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Thread: Celtic admixture and science in Britain

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    Celtic admixture and science in Britain

    Apparently the most culturally and scientifically productive parts of Great Britain were the ones with mixed Celto-Germanic ancestry, rather than predominantly Germanic ones (East Anglia) or predominantly Celtic ones (Wales). Maps of birthplaces of significant figures are from Murray:

    https://i.imgur.com/zDIJxxt.png


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    Not much unexpected considering that those areas were also broadly, most of the time (especially after the first few centuries of Anglo-Saxon migration and acculturation of the island), the most politically, economically, religiously and culturally influential in England, as well as, at least since the early Modern Era (probably even earlier), the most populous.

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    Wow, what a surprise: the last invaders took the best land for themselves and left the mountainous, thin soiled, areas, and the boggiest, swampiest areas for the prior inhabitants.

    So unexpected. :)


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    The map primarily matches population density clusters.


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    2 members found this post helpful.
    If we look carefully at the data, there are two things that may come as a surprise:

    1) Most of the significant figures of literature came from the Southeast and (mostly West) Midlands, but few came from the relatively wealthy Southwest (eg Bristol) and East Anglia (eg Cambridge), nor from the poorer Northwest or Northeast.

    2) It's more balanced for science figures, but East Anglia, the most Germanic part of Britain, still performs very badly, despite its proximity from London and the presence of Cambridge University. That is odd.

    As for Celto-Germanic areas performing better economically or scientifically than more purely Germanic or Italo-Celtic ones, this phenomenon has long been observed. In Germany, the wealthiest regions are in the west (Rhineland) and south (Baden-Württenberg and Bavaria), which have mixed Italo-Celtic and Germanic ancestry. Austria and Switzerland are even wealthier and even more mixed. In Italy, the wealthiest regions are in the north, where Germanic, Celtic and Italic ancestry come together. In Spain, Catalonia is one of the wealthiest region (if we exclude Madrid as it benefits from being the capital) and has the highest Germanic ancestry.

    The economic backbone of Europe is the region almost exactly at the limit between Italo-Celtic and Germanic regions. It has been dubbed the Blue Banana due to its shape on the map. I think the map should include a bit more of Austria and maybe also the Rhône-Alpes region in France. It does match to some extent the more densely populated parts of Europe. But that makes me wonder too why these regions in particular became more populous over time? It wasn't the case at all in ancient times. Is it the hybrid vigour of the population mixing that enabled a more vibrant economy as well as a higher fertility rate?



    There are many possible reasons, but hybrid populations may benefit from the fact that some individuals get the best alleles of the two (or more) source populations. But inevitably some people will also end up with more deleterious alleles from both populations. After centuries of natural selection, the overall population would have naturally pruned more of the bad alleles and conserved more of the advantageous ones than in an unmixed population. In other words, hybridising populations accelerates the process of natural selection.

    I have long wondered if the blending of population was one of the causes of increased socio-economic inequalities. Countries where populations have mixed relatively recently, like in the American continent and Australia, have much higher levels of inequalities. That is also the case in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, where tribes didn't mix much with one another until the 20th century when rural exodus forced people of different ethnic backgrounds to mix in cities.

    In contrast, more homogeneous populations, or at least where the blend has been allowed to stabilised over many centuries, like in Scandinavia, Finland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Albania, Belarus, Ukraine, Korea or Japan, are more egalitarian.
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    Celtic admixture and science in Britain

    @Tomenable and @Maciamo I like those broad perspectives and linkages, many thanks!

    But I still have difficulties to see some genetic differences between the Germans and Celts. Especially the 'West-Germans' and Celts.

    A. Celts and Germans


    About Celts and Germans I read a magnificent survey of the archeologist Hermann Ament, with a right eye for intermixtures and complexity!


    Some essential phrases with google translate:


    Historical role: heirs of the Celts, residents of the Mediterranean world


    What has connected the populations living within this vast area so closely that it seemed appropriate and justified to give them a common name, calling them all Germanic? From the point of view of the Gauls or Celts, the definition of this concept undoubtedly involved a demarcation from one's own identity, and this demarcation must soon have made sense to the Romans and, after some hesitation, also to the Greeks: non-Celtic barbarian peoples, according to the first part of the tribe, with whom one had to make unpleasant acquaintance, generally called "Germans".


    A certain uniformity of the cultural appearance was probably added: These Germans were basically sedentary, practiced agriculture and livestock, lived in rural settlements with pure wood architecture - a way of life, which was largely determined by the nature of the country and its climate. At any rate, they differed clearly from the hunter peoples of the far north as well as from the equestrian nomads of the eastern steppes.


    It can not be seen that the Teutons have had a common language from time immemorial and that this might even have justified their ethnic identity. On the contrary, in the area of ​​today's Northwest German and Dutch lowlands there must have been peoples around the turn of the century who came from a different language world, perhaps even still belonging to it, but who nevertheless and rightly belonged to the Teutons. Also in the 'Middle Mountains' range strong parts of Celtic origin and tongue were only gradually Germanized. Certainly it is indisputable that the languages ​​of all those peoples who appear in history as Germanic have vocabulary and structure in common that make them appear to be related. But this need not point to a physical relationship, in the sense that all Germanic speakers are descended from a Germanophonic primitive race. Rather, such similarities can also emerge as results of balancing and overlaying processes that have taken place within a uniformly conditioned space.


    This may indeed have been the actual cause of Germanicism: a reasonably uniformly conditioned space. First of all, this means the natural area: The nature of the country in Central Europe and Southern Scandinavia and the temperate climate type of climatic conditions offered quite uniform conditions, which led to the formation of consistent economic forms and settlements and favored the development of similar social structures. Secondly, and above all, the period: the peculiar historical constellation that has emerged for that geographical space towards the end of the first millennium BC was decisive for the development of Germanicism.


    Two causally connected processes are responsible for the emergence of this specific historical situation: the decline of Central European Celticism and the advance of the Romans to Central Europe. Since the middle of the last millennium BC BC, the Celtic tribes had settled as northern neighbors of the middle high civilization in the strip of land between the Atlantic coast and Carpathians. The proximity to the cultural world of the Middle Ages had shaped their existence and determined their development, which finally led them to the threshold of high culture, such as early forms of urban settlement, the circulation of coinage and the beginnings of their own writing. This facilitated the integration of Celtic territories into the expanding empire of the Romans; Gradually, the Celtic-populated northern Italy, the Alps, the southern coastal strip of Gaul and finally, in the fifties of the 1st century BC. By Caesar, all of Gaul to the Rhine by the Romans conquered. Flourishing and highly developed landscapes thus lost their Celtic identity. The Central European Celtic region in today's southern Germany as well as in Bohemia and Moravia got into isolation and finally into an existential crisis. This was the hour of the Central and Northern European barbarian tribes, who had hitherto settled in the back of the Celts. Together with the rest of the Celts in Central Europe, they formed a new ethnic group, just that of the Germanic tribes, and took over exactly the same historical role that existed until then the Celts had played. Teutons were henceforth the rulers of the highly civilized Mediterranean world, carried by the Romans, whose borders had been advanced - even by the Romans - into central Europe. From then on Germanic peoples constantly and in many areas grappled with Roman civilization, on the spiritual level as well as on the battlefield. Their civilization development was significantly influenced by the culture of the Mediterranean, and they thus completed a long learning process, which finally, at the end of antiquity, enabled them to replace the Roman state, at least in its western part.


    Not a uniform origin in the depths of the times, not an identity-consciousness inherited from primeval times, not a social order founded in such a mythical past, not a religion handed down from the very beginning - none of this was what made the common Germanity common, but rather it was, of course, on the basis of the forms of existence developed until then, which at the end of the first millennium BC. Chronic historical role "barbarian family versus Roman Empire".
    The original: http://www.novaesium.de/artikel/germanen2.htm


    In genetic sense large parts of the NW Germany and North Dutch were (proto) Celtic (Unetice, Tumulus, Urnfield influenced) and in migration times Germanic tribes from outmost North Germany and Southern Scandinavia came in. Just as in England was the case.

    B. The "proto-Celtic" development in NW Germany and North Dutch

    Although I really despise the ideas of the archeologist Sprockhoff (they were really some kind of Nordicist) he produced some maps about the Bronze Age that signifies the role of the nowadays called Elp culture for the Northern Lowlands and NW Germany.....they present some findings (which as such are of course 'neutral').

    Sprockhoff (1941)

    - findings of Kümmerkeramik:


    - findings of Sögel swords


    - findings of EBA axes with bent edge


    All together represent a Unetice derived Bronze age Elp Culture! That must have left a ("proto-Celtic") genetic footprint in nowadays population of NW Germany and North Dutch....It's reasonable to assume that Unetice derived cultures played a major part in the spread of R1b U106 to Lilla Beddinge/Scania ca. 2000 BC and Oostwoud North Dutch ca. 1800 BC. This haplotype is mostly seen as 'typical' German, but the actual spread began in EBA! And according to Prof. Schrijver (2017) the old Frisii (in Roman and Pre Roman times) spoke Celtic....

    So the intermingling is older than in "Celtic-Germanic" times (iron age/ early middle ages).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    1) Most of the significant figures of literature came from the Southeast and (mostly West) Midlands, but few came from the relatively wealthy Southwest (eg Bristol) and East Anglia (eg Cambridge), nor from the poorer Northwest or Northeast.
    My best guess is that the major publishers were in London and that establishing who is a good writer is a far more subjective matter than who is a good scientist.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    The economic backbone of Europe is the region almost exactly at the limit between Italo-Celtic and Germanic regions. It has been dubbed the Blue Banana due to its shape on the map. I think the map should include a bit more of Austria and maybe also the Rhône-Alpes region in France. It does match to some extent the more densely populated parts of Europe. But that makes me wonder too why these regions in particular became more populous over time? It wasn't the case at all in ancient times. Is it the hybrid vigour of the population mixing that enabled a more vibrant economy as well as a higher fertility rate?
    The blue banana matches the route of the Rhine and the Thames, which were the equivalent of super-highways in medieval times. The Rhine also formed a natural boundary. As for hybrid-vigor, it's possible, but don't discount the possibility of synergy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    If we look carefully at the data, there are two things that may come as a surprise:

    1) Most of the significant figures of literature came from the Southeast and (mostly West) Midlands, but few came from the relatively wealthy Southwest (eg Bristol) and East Anglia (eg Cambridge), nor from the poorer Northwest or Northeast.

    2) It's more balanced for science figures, but East Anglia, the most Germanic part of Britain, still performs very badly, despite its proximity from London and the presence of Cambridge University. That is odd.

    As for Celto-Germanic areas performing better economically or scientifically than more purely Germanic or Italo-Celtic ones, this phenomenon has long been observed. In Germany, the wealthiest regions are in the west (Rhineland) and south (Baden-Württenberg and Bavaria), which have mixed Italo-Celtic and Germanic ancestry. Austria and Switzerland are even wealthier and even more mixed. In Italy, the wealthiest regions are in the north, where Germanic, Celtic and Italic ancestry come together. In Spain, Catalonia is one of the wealthiest region (if we exclude Madrid as it benefits from being the capital) and has the highest Germanic ancestry.

    The economic backbone of Europe is the region almost exactly at the limit between Italo-Celtic and Germanic regions. It has been dubbed the Blue Banana due to its shape on the map. I think the map should include a bit more of Austria and maybe also the Rhône-Alpes region in France. It does match to some extent the more densely populated parts of Europe. But that makes me wonder too why these regions in particular became more populous over time? It wasn't the case at all in ancient times. Is it the hybrid vigour of the population mixing that enabled a more vibrant economy as well as a higher fertility rate?



    There are many possible reasons, but hybrid populations may benefit from the fact that some individuals get the best alleles of the two (or more) source populations. But inevitably some people will also end up with more deleterious alleles from both populations. After centuries of natural selection, the overall population would have naturally pruned more of the bad alleles and conserved more of the advantageous ones than in an unmixed population. In other words, hybridising populations accelerates the process of natural selection.

    I have long wondered if the blending of population was one of the causes of increased socio-economic inequalities. Countries where populations have mixed relatively recently, like in the American continent and Australia, have much higher levels of inequalities. That is also the case in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, where tribes didn't mix much with one another until the 20th century when rural exodus forced people of different ethnic backgrounds to mix in cities.

    In contrast, more homogeneous populations, or at least where the blend has been allowed to stabilised over many centuries, like in Scandinavia, Finland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Albania, Belarus, Ukraine, Korea or Japan, are more egalitarian.
    well switzerland is probably this rich simply because they were neutral during WW. as you already said it wasn't the case at all in ancient times. and i think higher fertility rate has to do with higher life standards. i doubt it's because of hybridisation. the fertility rate was way higher than it is today in every european region.
    Last edited by Ailchu; 24-04-18 at 16:39.

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Yeah I think it's more about opportunity and less about genes in a lot of cases. Many other areas would've been just as prosperous if given the chance, and on top of this I doubt the Celtic Germanic people are that much different from the purely Celtic or Germanic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailchu View Post
    well switzerland is probably this rich simply because they were neutral during WW.
    That's a myth. Many other countries were neutral during WWII (Ireland, Sweden, Spain, Portugal). Switzerland is wealthy in part thanks to its banks, but also because the country is extremely well managed, has very economically liberal laws and enjoys very a low corruption. It is also very democratic (the only true direct democracy), although I am not sure that really impacted its wealth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Expredel View Post
    The blue banana matches the route of the Rhine and the Thames, which were the equivalent of super-highways in medieval times. The Rhine also formed a natural boundary.
    The Rhine and Thames are only two among dozens of great rivers in Europe. The Thames is rather short and not very busy in comparison to the Rhône, Meuse, Danube, or even the Seine and Po. But actually the Meuse, Danube and Po are also in the Blue Banana and the Rhône should be (maybe even the Seine with the north of France from Normandy to Alsace).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    The Rhine and Thames are only two among dozens of great rivers in Europe. The Thames is rather short and not very busy in comparison to the Rhône, Meuse, Danube, or even the Seine and Po. But actually the Meuse, Danube and Po are also in the Blue Banana and the Rhône should be (maybe even the Seine with the north of France from Normandy to Alsace).
    I think this is an important observation. Before the advent of cars and trucks and highways built for them, rivers were the cheapest form of transportation for goods.

    The land around rivers was also flat and fertile producing some of the goods which could be shipped. Later on, they generated power for factories.

    The Milanese were very aware of this fact. They built an extensive system of canals in addition to using the Po.
    https://www.slideshare.net/ClaudioRe...mbardys-canals

    The U.S did the same thing with the Erie Canal, which opened up the entire western part of the country for both goods (raw materials east and manufactured goods west, along with people migrating to the west.)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erie_Canal#Impact

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    Hmm possibility but it does show. I got a mix of different indo-European admixture and I do really well with science and technology. However the rest of my family does not have uni degree and i will get one. How odd

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I think this is an important observation. Before the advent of cars and trucks and highways built for them, rivers were the cheapest form of transportation for goods.

    The land around rivers was also flat and fertile producing some of the goods which could be shipped. Later on, they generated power for factories.

    The Milanese were very aware of this fact. They built an extensive system of canals in addition to using the Po.
    https://www.slideshare.net/ClaudioRe...mbardys-canals

    The U.S did the same thing with the Erie Canal, which opened up the entire western part of the country for both goods (raw materials east and manufactured goods west, along with people migrating to the west.)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erie_Canal#Impact
    Agree but IMO besides the Celtic and or Germanic factor....


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    2 members found this post helpful.
    The problem is that there is a bit of anachronistic projection of modern situation onto genetic events of admixture that happened 1,500-2,000 years ago. The "blue banana" is a modern (as in Modern Era transitioning to Contemporary Era phenomenon). Many historians have pointed out that it broadly coincides with more decentralized and, in some cases, even fragmented polities of the past. But in the Middle Ages, Switzerland and Austria weren't such important highlights of economic and cultural development, certainly not compared to most of France (including Southern France, now far from one of the most developed regions), Italy and even parts of Spain. Even as early as the beginning of the Modern Era, Northern Germany, with its focus on semi-independent trade cities, was notoriously wealthier than Southern/Southwestern Germany. In sum, I think there is a lot of hazards in trying to find explanations for a modern economic situation in events or, even more controversially, in genetic pulses of admixture that happened many centuries earlier (furthermore, involving 2 very closely related populations with a long previous history of movements and exchanges since at least Bell Beaker, so that in fact I'm pretty sure that the invading "Germans" - as in German-speaking - during the Migration Period were actually very close to the Celts around them).

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    Oh yeah, what a fantastic premise Tormenable, I'm ashamed to post in a forum full of racists with identity issues, shame because there are genuinely good posts and posters here and there but the cloud of neo nazis is always threatening this place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I have long wondered if the blending of population was one of the causes of increased socio-economic inequalities. Countries where populations have mixed relatively recently, like in the American continent and Australia, have much higher levels of inequalities. That is also the case in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, where tribes didn't mix much with one another until the 20th century when rural exodus forced people of different ethnic backgrounds to mix in cities.

    In contrast, more homogeneous populations, or at least where the blend has been allowed to stabilised over many centuries, like in Scandinavia, Finland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Albania, Belarus, Ukraine, Korea or Japan, are more egalitarian.
    IMO this is a classic case of "correlation, not causation": countries where an ongoing process of admixture is still happening are most probably experiencing big economic, social and political changes in the last few centuries or decades, and as we know throughout history, since early Antiquity, such pulses of admixture are almost never symmetrical and egalitarian. They're usually very assymetical and involve some kind of stratified social dynamics that's at the backstage of the whole admixture process, whether it is expansive farmers vs. hunter-gatherers, civilizations vs. tribal populations, modern colonization vs. pre-modern states and tribes, smasters/landowners vs. slaves/indentured servants etc. So, in the places where you can see a recent and still not stabilised process of admixture, it's most likely that you have 1 people prevailing over others, or several people getting into contact with a more dominant society in some (initially) assymetrical way, where they are for several generations 2nd class citizens or at best people still striving to get out from the disadvantaged position experienced by their recent ancestors, and they can still perceived as visibly different enough to be treated accordingly in a different - usually negative - way. As I said, there is a correlation, but the cause is one that affects both the admixture process and the persistence of very unequal social and economic structures for some time.

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