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Thread: Autosomal analysis of the genomes of Iron Age Britons and Anglo-Saxons

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    ScienceNews reports:

    Britons might not be Anglo-Saxons, a genetic analysis of five ancient skeletons hints.


    When archaeological digs revealed ancient graves on the grounds of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, England, researchers there took it as a sign that they should analyze the ancient people’s DNA. Two skeletons were from men who were buried about 2,000 years ago. The other three skeletons were from women who died about 1,300 years ago, not long after the Anglo-Saxons invaded Britain.
    The researchers were surprised to find that the older Iron Age men were genetically more similar to people living in Britain today than the Anglo-Saxon women were. Stephan Schiffels of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute reported the results October 20 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics.

    “It doesn’t look like these Anglo-Saxon immigrants left a big impact on the genetic makeup of modern-day Britain,” Schiffels said.

    The finding raises an intriguing possibility that indigenous people in Britain may have repelled the Anglo-Saxons but adopted the invaders’ language and culture, says Eimear Kenny, a population geneticist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, who was not involved in the work. More ancient samples from other times and parts of Britain should give a clearer picture of that episode of history, she said.

    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/anglo-saxons-left-language-maybe-not-genes-modern-britons

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by T101 View Post
    ScienceNews reports:

    ...............


    The finding raises an intriguing possibility that indigenous people in Britain may have repelled the Anglo-Saxons but adopted the invaders’ language and culture, says Eimear Kenny, a population geneticist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, who was not involved in the work. More ancient samples from other times and parts of Britain should give a clearer picture of that episode of history, she said.

    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/anglo-saxons-left-language-maybe-not-genes-modern-britons
    Really? "Let's adopt the language and culture of the invaders we successfully repelled." Someone isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. If more research shows that the Anglo-Saxons didn't greatly affect the autosomal structure of British DNA, that simply shows that they were a small conquering elite, just as the Normans were later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjlowery87 View Post
    So what does all this mean about the extinct of the Anglo Saxon immigration?
    It's going to go back and forth for a while as different samples from different regions clarify and cloud but in the end i think it'll come down to something like:

    English ~ 1/2 German + 1/2 Welsh

    i.e. multiple waves (Belgae, Saxons, Danes etc) of similar northern populations coming from a northern/eastern direction via the north sea combined with multiple waves (HGs, Megalith, BB) of more southern populations from a southern/western direction via the Atlantic coast.

    nb remote parts of the north Wales mountains have up to 30% E1b

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    Funny how they keep comparing it to all of Britain and not just england,I'm pretty sure the welsh will agree that they are not Saxons.

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    Isn't there an east vs west difference in england when it come to to DNA?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjlowery87 View Post
    Isn't there an east vs west difference in england when it come to to DNA?
    According to the People of the British Isles project, there are detectable differences between people in certain western regions of England compared to the rest of England. For example, the people of the Welsh Marches cluster with people of East Wales rather than the rest of England, and people from Devon and Somerset cluster in-between the rest of England and the Cornish (who are even farther away). However, there's also a big chunk of England that is fairly genetically uniform nowadays. In the south it goes all the way from Kent to Dorset, and from East Anglia to eastern Gloucestershire. It also extends up north a bit, but the North is more tricky because there is also a north vs. south difference in England. See the red dots here.

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    [QUOTE=T101;442273]Charleston Chiang (@cwkchiang) reports from ASHG 2014 the following:

    Schiffels: Older Iron age samples more like present British samples, while younger AS samples left little imprint on modern GBR. #ASHG14[/QUOTEOK but "british" is a poor labelling, I think - there are some differences I think between genuine men of the Black Country near Wales or the Cornwall, and genuine men from Lincoln, East-Anglia and East Yorkshire...I already said that today european British population has been partly "receltized" by immigration and difference in demography - Also, already COON had pointed to the 'mediterranean' resurgence in the Glasgow Area (Celts + Pre-Celtes) - populations are not always everduring steady

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    Sorry I didn't wait to have red all the posts - Sharkey had made an interesting complement

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    just a naive question
    why the two threads "HINXTON GENOMES" and "AUTOSOMALS ANALYSIS IRON AGE BRITONS AND ANGLO-SAXONS have not been put in the same bag???

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    just a naive question
    why the two threads "HINXTON GENOMES" and "AUTOSOMALS ANALYSIS IRON AGE BRITONS AND ANGLO-SAXONS have not been put in the same bag???
    Good idea, done.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    Then I wonder why they always want to group all the isles countries together?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjlowery87 View Post
    Funny how they keep comparing it to all of Britain and not just england,I'm pretty sure the welsh will agree that they are not Saxons.
    Well i think the two parts are pretty mixed now in most of Britain hence the confusion. It's only the edges: North Wales, the east coast of England and Scotland where it's easy to see the physical distinction.

    Also it's probably more accurate to replace:

    German -> North Sea
    Welsh -> Atlantic Coastal (kinda Iberian but not precisely so)

    so

    North Wales = 1/4 North Sea + 3/4 Atlantic Coastal
    England, South Wales, parts of Scotland = 1/2 North Sea + 1/2 Atlantic Coastal
    Scotland = 3/4 North Sea + 1/4 Atlantic Coastal


    not exactly or anything but something along those lines

    (i think views are skewed by thinking of the "Celts" (Welsh, Irish, part the Scots) as all one group separate from the "Germanics" (English and part of the Scots) when it's obvious the Welsh are different.)

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    According to Gildas the Anglo-Saxons conquered parts of Great-Britain until the battle at Mons Badonis. He called it the last great battle of the Saxons with the Brits, thus indicating that a long lasting peace or truce followed it. Very little is known about the location and date. But this could indicate that around 500 the island was divided in two: A Anglo-Saxon and a British part. Later, when the fights between Saxon and British kingdoms resumed a number of celtic names appear in the names of the kings of Wessex. So, I assume that Norfolk and Suffolk, Sussex and Essex, Kent and the area around the new forest and the isle of Wight was substantially more Anglo-Saxon than Mercia, Wessex and Northumbria.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Badon

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    I suspect Hinxton1 and Hinxton4 were the Iron Age Celts and the other three were Anglo-Saxons. For one thing, Hinxton 1 and 4 were both on the Y-dna R-DF25 branch, which looks very Celtic from what I've seen on the web. And for another, they tended to have lower North Sea scores on Eurogenes15 - the exception being that Hinxton1 was higher than Hinxton5 there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greying Wanderer View Post
    Well i think the two parts are pretty mixed now in most of Britain hence the confusion. It's only the edges: North Wales, the east coast of England and Scotland where it's easy to see the physical distinction.

    Also it's probably more accurate to replace:

    German -> North Sea
    Welsh -> Atlantic Coastal (kinda Iberian but not precisely so)

    so

    North Wales = 1/4 North Sea + 3/4 Atlantic Coastal
    England, South Wales, parts of Scotland = 1/2 North Sea + 1/2 Atlantic Coastal
    Scotland = 3/4 North Sea + 1/4 Atlantic Coastal


    not exactly or anything but something along those lines

    (i think views are skewed by thinking of the "Celts" (Welsh, Irish, part the Scots) as all one group separate from the "Germanics" (English and part of the Scots) when it's obvious the Welsh are different.)
    not so: as awhole England is more North-Sea I suppose, than Scotland
    and as England, Scotland is (or WERE) variated according to regions - Scots (roughly said) have more Vikings imput but very less Anglo-Saxon-Frisian imput -
    and when I spoke of Wales, even in Wales subregions were seen, wtih more blond hairs in central-eastern Wales (and as an hazard: more Y-I1! so surely more Y-R1b-U106)
    Y-E1b in some points of North Wales is an exception we have yet to explain
    I think precise studies of East Anglia and Centra England would show some autosomals differences too -
    Belgae were not Germans, it's shown by their skeletons and the relative rupture in the Netherlands in the SNPs and STRs within Y-R1b South or North Rhine river - the less "germanic" qality of Southerners is evident - they have maybe a little bit more of 'north-sea' but not too much I suppose -


    concerning autosomals of the 5 Hinxton people, analysis are not concordant for every small components and we are obligad to "translate" polings to polings but a sa whole
    it is easy enough to tell between the 3 first ones: 389795/96/97 from the 2 last ones: 389798/99 (last: "celtic")
    more North Sea or very more North Euro among "Saxons", more West-Euro, more Meds among "Celts"
    what is a problem is the Eurogenes showing more Baltic among "Celts" (13,90 / 16,17 >< 6,42 / 3,38 / 7,00) AND less EastEuro (5,70 / 7,47 >< 12,73 / 8,57 / 12,41) but a total Baltic+East Euro equivalent (roughly said) when dv3 shows very less East-Euro among "Celts" -
    but it's true 'baltic' is not 'eastern-euro': more ancient, more Hrs-Grs I think, 'eastern-euro' would have been reinforced by Indo-Europeans of later waves in Germanics AND/OR less erazed by Western autochtones... the 'baltic' (IF CORRECT) could have been picked up by first Y-R1b coming through North, or found in original Britain among females, by the Celt males? uneasy to tell - by the way, the "Atlantic" population was more a 'cromagnoid'-'capelloid' (mesolithic) + 'mediterranean' (not so heavy by Cardial agricultors, rather by maritime Megalithers) mix than a pure 'mediterranean' - but the Abglo-Saxons of subsequent centuries were maybe no more the "pure" Anglo-Saxons -
    Coon shew some cemetaries in East England had more Anglo-Saxon males but a good hint of Breton females, and these Bretons at this times maybe too had some taste of other Europeans components after Roma Empire?

    it is very exciting but we need more and more old DNA (as all of us know)

    have a good Sunday

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    I agree that different parts of england would have more celto Germanic mix than other parts would be more Celt.in my opinion

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    Wow, so R1b U106 is Pre Anglo Saxon in the British isles now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    not so: as awhole England is more North-Sea I suppose, than Scotland
    and as England, Scotland is (or WERE) variated according to regions - Scots (roughly said) have more Vikings imput but very less Anglo-Saxon-Frisian imput -
    and when I spoke of Wales, even in Wales subregions were seen, wtih more blond hairs in central-eastern Wales (and as an hazard: more Y-I1! so surely more Y-R1b-U106)
    Y-E1b in some points of North Wales is an exception we have yet to explain
    I think precise studies of East Anglia and Centra England would show some autosomals differences too -
    Belgae were not Germans, it's shown by their skeletons and the relative rupture in the Netherlands in the SNPs and STRs within Y-R1b South or North Rhine river - the less "germanic" qality of Southerners is evident - they have maybe a little bit more of 'north-sea' but not too much I suppose -


    concerning autosomals of the 5 Hinxton people, analysis are not concordant for every small components and we are obligad to "translate" polings to polings but a sa whole
    it is easy enough to tell between the 3 first ones: 389795/96/97 from the 2 last ones: 389798/99 (last: "celtic")
    more North Sea or very more North Euro among "Saxons", more West-Euro, more Meds among "Celts"
    what is a problem is the Eurogenes showing more Baltic among "Celts" (13,90 / 16,17 >< 6,42 / 3,38 / 7,00) AND less EastEuro (5,70 / 7,47 >< 12,73 / 8,57 / 12,41) but a total Baltic+East Euro equivalent (roughly said) when dv3 shows very less East-Euro among "Celts" -
    but it's true 'baltic' is not 'eastern-euro': more ancient, more Hrs-Grs I think, 'eastern-euro' would have been reinforced by Indo-Europeans of later waves in Germanics AND/OR less erazed by Western autochtones... the 'baltic' (IF CORRECT) could have been picked up by first Y-R1b coming through North, or found in original Britain among females, by the Celt males? uneasy to tell - by the way, the "Atlantic" population was more a 'cromagnoid'-'capelloid' (mesolithic) + 'mediterranean' (not so heavy by Cardial agricultors, rather by maritime Megalithers) mix than a pure 'mediterranean' - but the Abglo-Saxons of subsequent centuries were maybe no more the "pure" Anglo-Saxons -
    Coon shew some cemetaries in East England had more Anglo-Saxon males but a good hint of Breton females, and these Bretons at this times maybe too had some taste of other Europeans components after Roma Empire?

    it is very exciting but we need more and more old DNA (as all of us know)

    have a good Sunday
    Some of this is me being sloppy with labeling.

    .

    "as awhole England is more North-Sea I suppose, than Scotland"

    I probably shouldn't use "north sea" and "atlantic coast" as they are too close to the names of actual population components. I use those labels to indicate *direction of flow* so the *flow* from the north includes "north sea", "baltic" and "eastern euro" components.

    .

    "and as England, Scotland is (or WERE) variated according to regions - Scots (roughly said) have more Vikings imput but very less Anglo-Saxon-Frisian imput"

    Well the east coast of Scotland and the lowlands were settled by Saxons and the Scots language is a Saxon dialect etc with Gaels in the west and Norse in the north but that's a quibble to my main point which is that despite the cultural differences I think the various waves of the northern flow (northern Celtic, Saxons, Vikings etc) were genetically similar.

    .

    "and when I spoke of Wales, even in Wales subregions were seen, wtih more blond hairs in central-eastern Wales (and as an hazard: more Y-I1! so surely more Y-R1b-U106)"

    Yes, south and central Wales have a lot more English mixture. North wales is the interesting anomaly. My theory is if there was a specifically north_wales component included in the admixture runs they would show that different parts of the Isles can be modeled as varying proportions of two components: a north_wales component representing the HG and Atlantic Megalith people and a second component representing the various waves that came from the direction of the north sea and if correct the sequence of the proportions of the two components would roughly be:

    north Wales
    south Wales
    most of England
    east coast of England
    Scotland
    Ireland

    .

    "Belgae were not Germans"

    I'm sloppy with labeling. What I mean is a maritime-centric region comprising modern Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Scandinavia and the Baltic which over time pushed west in numerous coastal mediated waves (possibly being pushed from the east and thus including an eastern euro component that increased over time).

    So not Germans but people who Romans would think *looked like* Germans.

    .

    happy tuesday :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greying Wanderer View Post
    "Belgae were not Germans"

    Some Belgian tribes - to wit the Nervians - claimed Germanic decent. And Caesar wrote about the Germani Cisrhenani. There might have been a large and wide contact zone.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nervii#Language
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germani_cisrhenani

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    Quote Originally Posted by epoch View Post
    Some Belgian tribes - to wit the Nervians - claimed Germanic decent. And Caesar wrote about the Germani Cisrhenani. There might have been a large and wide contact zone.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nervii#Language
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germani_cisrhenani
    I commented on this over in linguistics in a recent thread.

    Virtually all of the so-called "Germanic" tribes of Belgic Gaul (such as the Eburones, Nervii, Nemetes) have exclusively Celtic tribal, personal, place and deity names. The only exception from this is the Rhine delta region. Likewise, and I know that there's a lot of people out there who still believe what Stephen Oppenheimer said back in "Origins of the British", but there's no evidence for Germanic settlement in Britain prior to the migration period.


    In my opinion, people get that "Germanic" connotation the wrong way. The word "Germani" itself is probably of Celtic origin ("neighbours" or "near ones"), and the way Caesar used it, it should be understood as a geographic origin, rather than as an ethnic or linguistic indicator.

    Back to genetics, I don't think its a contradiction at all that U106 may have been in Britain long before the Anglo-Saxons. Considering that the split between P312 and U106 is rather ancient (relatively shortly after the arrival of R1b in Central/Western Europe as a whole), it could easily have arrived in Britain considerably earlier.

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    Most r1b u106,r1b df19 and i1 most likely came withe Germanic tribes,Anglo Saxons and vikings.if there was some in england prior to the Anglo Saxon invasion I don't think it was a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by T101 View Post
    ScienceNews reports:

    Britons might not be Anglo-Saxons, a genetic analysis of five ancient skeletons hints.


    When archaeological digs revealed ancient graves on the grounds of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, England, researchers there took it as a sign that they should analyze the ancient people’s DNA. Two skeletons were from men who were buried about 2,000 years ago. The other three skeletons were from women who died about 1,300 years ago, not long after the Anglo-Saxons invaded Britain.
    The researchers were surprised to find that the older Iron Age men were genetically more similar to people living in Britain today than the Anglo-Saxon women were. Stephan Schiffels of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute reported the results October 20 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics.

    “It doesn’t look like these Anglo-Saxon immigrants left a big impact on the genetic makeup of modern-day Britain,” Schiffels said.

    The finding raises an intriguing possibility that indigenous people in Britain may have repelled the Anglo-Saxons but adopted the invaders’ language and culture, says Eimear Kenny, a population geneticist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, who was not involved in the work. More ancient samples from other times and parts of Britain should give a clearer picture of that episode of history, she said.

    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/anglo-saxons-left-language-maybe-not-genes-modern-britons
    for the sake of argument imagine this model:
    1) a vasconic substrate with a center of gravity in the southwest (where there used to be lots of gold, silver and copper mines)
    2) waves of invaders from roughly the same source region from roughly the northeasterly direction
    3) a modern population which is a mix of the two

    Then the remains of people from each invader wave from soon after they arrived would not match the modern population but samples from 500 years later after some mixing with the substrate would match better.

    Then a second invader wave arrives and samples taken from remains from soon after they arrived wouldn't match but samples from 500 years later after some mixing with the substrate would match better.

    Then a third invader wave arrives from the northeast ... etc.

    If this model is correct then you'd expect the remains to swing between "not like modern" and "like modern" with each wave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    I commented on this over in linguistics in a recent thread.

    Virtually all of the so-called "Germanic" tribes of Belgic Gaul (such as the Eburones, Nervii, Nemetes) have exclusively Celtic tribal, personal, place and deity names. The only exception from this is the Rhine delta region. Likewise, and I know that there's a lot of people out there who still believe what Stephen Oppenheimer said back in "Origins of the British", but there's no evidence for Germanic settlement in Britain prior to the migration period.
    not me, I believe the Belgae where a gaulish-germanic mix and represent the first germanic ( part of ) in britain

    In my opinion, people get that "Germanic" connotation the wrong way. The word "Germani" itself is probably of Celtic origin ("neighbours" or "near ones"), and the way Caesar used it, it should be understood as a geographic origin, rather than as an ethnic or linguistic indicator.
    or spear people ...........or Romans state IIRC, the pure ones
    Back to genetics, I don't think its a contradiction at all that U106 may have been in Britain long before the Anglo-Saxons. Considering that the split between P312 and U106 is rather ancient (relatively shortly after the arrival of R1b in Central/Western Europe as a whole), it could easily have arrived in Britain considerably earlier.[/QUOTE]
    có che un pòpoło no 'l defende pi ła só łéngua el xe prónto par èser s'ciavo

    when a people no longer dares to defend its language it is ripe for slavery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    I commented on this over in linguistics in a recent thread.

    Virtually all of the so-called "Germanic" tribes of Belgic Gaul (such as the Eburones, Nervii, Nemetes) have exclusively Celtic tribal, personal, place and deity names. The only exception from this is the Rhine delta region. Likewise, and I know that there's a lot of people out there who still believe what Stephen Oppenheimer said back in "Origins of the British", but there's no evidence for Germanic settlement in Britain prior to the migration period.


    In my opinion, people get that "Germanic" connotation the wrong way. The word "Germani" itself is probably of Celtic origin ("neighbours" or "near ones"), and the way Caesar used it, it should be understood as a geographic origin, rather than as an ethnic or linguistic indicator.

    Back to genetics, I don't think its a contradiction at all that U106 may have been in Britain long before the Anglo-Saxons. Considering that the split between P312 and U106 is rather ancient (relatively shortly after the arrival of R1b in Central/Western Europe as a whole), it could easily have arrived in Britain considerably earlier.
    "and the way Caesar used it, it should be understood as a geographic origin, rather than as an ethnic or linguistic indicator"

    I'd say the context was pretty clear he meant they looked different to Vascones and Gauls and similar to Germans - but I agree that doesn't mean they were Germans by language or culture just that there was a northern population which looked alike because they came from the same source region.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    Really? "Let's adopt the language and culture of the invaders we successfully repelled." Someone isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. If more research shows that the Anglo-Saxons didn't greatly affect the autosomal structure of British DNA, that simply shows that they were a small conquering elite, just as the Normans were later.
    I thought the same, too. Anglo-saxons were maybe a ruling minority, it occured several times in human history. In the areas closer to the roman "heartland", barbarians were gradually assimilated into the culture and ethnic groups of the roman/romanized conquered populations (the Franks in France, Longobards and Goths in Italy, Visigoths in Iberia). Britain was fairly far from the centre of the Empire to undergo the exactly opposite process, I guess.
    Nullum magnum ingenium mixtura dementiae fuit.

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