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Thread: The Origin of L21

  1. #1
    Regular Member rms2's Avatar
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    Cool The Origin of L21

    I want to discuss the origin of L21, hopefully without heated controversy or lack of civility.

    Some of us have mentioned French archaeologist and linguist Henri Hubert and his book (which was originally in two volumes), The History of the Celtic Peoples. If you don't have it yet, take my word for it, the book is worth buying.

    In Chapter I ("The Origins of the Celts") of Part Two, "Movements of the Celtic Peoples," Hubert writes:

    The fact which dominates the whole history of the Celts, and apparently starts it, following as it did closely upon the breaking-up of the Italo-Celtic community (if that abstract concept ever corresponded to the existence of a definite social group), is the separation into two groups of peoples, whose languages became different as has been explained above - that is, the Goidelic, or Irish, group, and the Brythonic group, which includes the Gauls.
    The separation of the Celtic dialects is a fact of far greater importance than the supposed distinction between the Celts and the Gauls. It implies a fairly deep division between the peoples which spoke these two groups of dialects, and also a fairly long separation, a fairly long interval between the migrations of the two Celtic bodies . . . In other words, it leads one to believe that the occupation of the British Isles by the Celts and of Ireland by the Goidels took place long before - centuries before - the historical movements of the Brythonic peoples . . . We must go back to the Bronze Age for the earlier invasion (p.131).
    . . . The movements of the Celts were, in my opinion, likewise in two waves, and must have been governed by the same demographic laws [i.e., as those that governed the movement of other Bronze Age Indo-European peoples], by the same general facts in the history of civilization. In other words, the breaking-off of the Goidelic group, and probably the first Celtic colonization of the British Isles, must have occurred at the same time as the descent of the Latins into Italy, and that of the first Greek invaders into Greece. The differentiation of the Brythonic, Umbrian, and Doric dialects took place afterwards at some time unknown, among the groups which had remained behind and in contact with one another.
    . . . In short, the dividing of the Celtic peoples into two groups is an ancient event, of very great importance, connected with the great facts of European prehistory. It is the consequence of the breaking-up of the Italo-Celtic community (p. 139).
    Hubert then spends some time discussing the "cradle of the Celts" and concludes:

    Western Germany fulfills these conditions exactly. It is full of place names of Celtic origin, quite especially in the south-west. A very large number have survived in recognizable form (p. 147).
    This post is a little long, so I'll get into what he says about the Goidels in the next one.

  2. #2
    Regular Member rms2's Avatar
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    Cool

    In Part V of "Origins of the Celts," Hubert discusses "The Goidelic Cradle":


    But whence did the Goidels come, and when did they come? Where must we look for their earliest home on the Continent and their starting-point? Probably they came from north of the Brythonic domain, and it is to them that tradition refers when it tells that the Celts used to live on the low coasts of the North Sea. They must have left those shores very early, for hardly a trace of them remains there (p. 169).
    . . . In the first period of the Bronze Age there arrived in the British Isles, coming from the Continent, people with very marked characteristics. The old Neolithic inhabitants (among whom I include those of all the beginning of the Bronze Age) were long-heads of Mediterranean type, who built for their dead, or, at least, for the more distinguished of them, tumuli with a funeral chamber known as the "long barrows", in which one sometimes finds those curious bell-shaped beakers adorned at regular intervals with bands of incised or stamped decoration, of a very simple and austere type. The newcomers were of quite a different type, and had other funeral practices.
    They buried their dead under round tumuli, known as "round barrows", in graves in which the body was placed in a crouching position on one side and enclosed in stone flags or woodwork. Later they burned them. In their graves there were zoned beakers (Fig. 33), but of a late type in which the neck is distinguished from the belly, or vases derived from these beakers . . . The grave goods comprised buttons with a V-shaped boring, flint and copper daggers, arrow-heads, and flat perforated pieces of schist which are "bracers", or bowman's wristguards. The skeletons were of a new type: tall, with round heads of a fairly constant shape, the brow receding, the supraciliary ridge prominent, the cheek-bones highly developed, and the jaws massive and projecting so as to present a dip at the base of the nose. I have already described them as one of the types represented in Celtic burials.
    The association of the physical type of this people with the beaker has led British anthropologists to call it the Beaker Folk . . . In Scotland they were accompanied by other brachycephals, with a higher index and of Alpine type. In general they advanced from south to north and from east to west, and their progress lasted long enough for there to be a very marked difference in furniture between their oldest and latest tombs.
    . . . Their progress was a conquest. It is evident that they subdued and assimilated the previous occupants of the country (pp. 171-173).
    So when does he really answer the "where from?" question? Here:


    It is at least certain that the Beaker Folk went from Germany to Britain, and not from Britain to Germany. The typical round-heads of the round barrows are a Nordic type, which may have grown up on the plains of Northern Europe . . . Secondly, the similarity of the British barrows to the tumuli of North Germany at the beginning of the Bronze Age and the constant practice of burying the dead, when inhumation is practised, in a contracted position, as in Central Germany; and lastly, the similarity of many of the urns of the round barrows, which are late developments of the zoned beaker, and of other vases found there, to the so-called Neolithic pottery of North Germany in the region of the megaliths.
    . . . At this point it is legitimate to ask what became of all the people who set up the megalithic monuments in the north-west of Germany, and what became of the tribes of bowmen who were mingled with them, for it is a dogma of German Siedelungsgeschichte that all the north-west seaboard, Westphalia, and Hanover were emptied of their inhabitants before the second period of the Bronze Age.
    Many scholars, British, German, and French, have accordingly thought that the mixed population of this part of Germany, which one day set off and emigrated, was the original stock of the Goidels (pp. 175-176).
    . . . The most obscure point in the hypothesis adopted is the original position of the future Goidels, for if the zone-beaker folk was the nucleus which organized them it is very hard to determine where it was itself formed. Moreover, it spread over almost the whole of the Celtic domain and left descendants there. In any case it occupied all the seaboard districts between the Rhine and the Elbe which remained outside the frontiers previously mentioned. These were the districts which were emptied by the migration of the Goidels to Britain.
    . . . Was it a total or a partial emigration? It was probably partial, for there remained what is usually left behind by peoples which have been a long time in a country where they have been engaged in adapting the ground to human life, namely the distribution of dwellings and the shape of villages and fields. In the western part of North-Western Germany, in Western Hanover, and Westphalia, cultivated land and dwellings are arranged in a manner which is foreign to Germany, or has become so. It is the arrangement found in Ireland (Fig. 35), part of England, and France.
    . . . Agricultural peoples never change their abode entirely. This is an indication that the Goidels did not leave in one body, and that they did not all leave.
    What was the reason of their emigration? It was certainly not weakness or poverty. Perhaps there was some encroachment of the sea on a coast which has altered much. Perhaps some invention in the matter of navigation was discovered. The megalith builders whom the Goidels surrounded were certainly sailors who were not afraid of crossing the North Sea (pp. 187-188).

  3. #3
    Regular Member rms2's Avatar
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    Smile

    Someone might reasonably point out that L21 is turning up frequently in Scandinavia, especially Norway, and Scandinavia is not known to have been settled by the Goidels.

    You may have noticed that Hubert associated the earliest arrival of Q-Celtic speakers (Goidels) in Britain with the arrival of the Beaker Folk. Interestingly, the Beaker Folk also settled in Norway.

    http://events.um.edu.mt/eaa2008/prescott.pdf

    THE BEAKER CULTURE AND BRONZE AGE BEGINNINGS ALONG THE NORWEGIAN COAST; SO MUCH SO FAST (Christopher Prescott, Institute of Archaeology, University of Oslo, Norway)

    The Late Neolithic (the LN,2350-1750 BC) in Norway can be regarded as the initiation of the Bronze Age in southern and coastal Norway. LN-developments were probably sparked by Beaker influences, conceivably also migration, from northern Jutland in Denmark to Lista and Jæren in Southern Norway, and are thus part of wider southern Scandinavian development around the Battle Axe Period to LNBeaker transition.

    From these geographically and chronologically restricted beginnings, early LN technology, modes of production and culture quickly spread throughout southern and coastal replacing older social, cultural and production forms, and redefining a historical trajectory. Spreading perhaps as far as 1000 km from the Beaker areas in Lista and Rogaland, the speed in which these wide-reaching and dramatic changes took place is equally remarkable, perhaps taking place within a generation.

    LATE NEOLITHIC EXPANSION TO NORWAY – MEMORIES OF A SEA-BORNE EPISODE (Einar Østmo, Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway)

    During the Early and Middle Neolithic, South Scandinavian Neolithic cultures were present in Norway foremost in the Oslo Fiord region in SE Norway. Late Neolithic finds are however abundant above all in SW Norway, certainly testifying to the opening of the sea route across the Skagerrak. These finds include Bell Beaker pottery and pressure-flaked points with tang and barbs, in addition to numerous flint daggers and other items. Arguably, the sea-borne expansion was connected with recent inventions concerning shipbuilding, probably made possible by the new metal tools, foremost axes. This marks the beginning of the Northern shipbuilding tradition, distinct from those found in Britain and in the Mediterranean and gave rise to the development of Scandinavian shipbuilding during the Bronze and Iron Ages.

  4. #4
    Regular Member rms2's Avatar
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    Cool

    On page 367 of his book, The Horse The Wheel and Language, David Anthony connects the spread of Proto-Italo-Celtic to the Csepel Bell Beaker folk of the Danube Valley.


    The many thousands of Yamnaya kurgans in eastern Hungary suggest a more continuous occupation of the landscape by a larger population of immigrants, one that could have acquired power and prestige partly just through its numerical weight. This regional group could have spawned both pre-Italic and pre-Celtic. Bell Beaker sites of the Csepel type around Budapest, west of the Yamnaya settlement region, are dated about 2800-2600 BCE. They could have been a bridge between Yamnaya on their east and Austria/Southern Germany to their west, through which Yamnaya dialects spread from Hungary into Austria and Bavaria, where they later developed into Proto-Celtic. Pre-Italic could have developed among the dialects that remained in Hungary, ultimately spreading into Italy through the Urnfield and Villanovan cultures. Eric Hamp and others have revived the argument that Italic and Celtic shared a common parent, so a single migration stream could have contained dialects that later were ancestral to both.

  5. #5
    Regular Member rms2's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    A couple of days ago Dr. Anatole Klyosov offered to update his analysis of L21, with emphasis on its origin and spread, using the haplotypes from the R-L21 Plus Project.

    He sent me his analysis this morning. Dr. Klyosov concludes that L21 probably arose first in France, with a TMRCA of 4,200 years, plus or minus 530 years. It appeared in Germany almost simultaneously, with a TMRCA of 4,100 years, plus or minus 530 years. It then spread to the Isles and elsewhere.

    Obviously, the TMRCAs for France and Germany are virtually the same, so what can be said is that L21 probably arose somewhere between the Rhine and the Loire (or between Bohemia and the Atlantic coast of France).

    Dr. Klyosov says that the ancestral or base haplotype of L21 is identical to that for P312, so we are talking about a rapid expansion from somewhere on the Continent.

    Here is a link to the location of the file:
    R-L21 Project Files

    Scroll down to R_L21_table.doc and click on it.

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