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Thread: Origin and mobility of Iron Age Gaulish groups in present-day France revealed.

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    Origin and mobility of Iron Age Gaulish groups in present-day France revealed.

    Origin and mobility of Iron Age Gaulish groups in present-day France revealed through archaeogenomics
    Fischer Claire-Elise et al.


    • 49 low coverage genomes from 27 sites from France, dated to ≈ 1200-80 years cal BCE

    • No major migration or population turnover between Bronze and Iron Age in France

    • A gradual North/South genetic structuration of IA populations

    The Iron Age period occupies an important place in French history, as the Gauls are regularly presented as the direct ancestors of the extant French population. We documented here the genomic diversity of Iron Age communities originating from six French regions. The 49 acquired genomes permitted us to highlight an absence of discontinuity between Bronze Age and Iron Age groups in France, lending support to a cultural transition linked to progressive local economic changes rather than to a massive influx of allochthone groups. Genomic analyses revealed strong genetic homogeneity among the regional groups associated with distinct archaeological cultures. This genomic homogenisation appears to be linked to individuals’ mobility between regions as well as gene flow with neighbouring groups from England and Spain. Thus, the results globally support a common genomic legacy for the Iron Age population of modern-day France that could be linked to recurrent gene flow between culturally differentiated communities.

    Genomic and cultural diversity among the Gauls

    As previously mentioned, the PCA performed on the French IA dataset highlighted a clear latitudinal distribution of individuals (Figure 1C). The genetic differentiation projected on the PC2 axis is positively correlated with the latitudinal position of the sites where were found the samples in France (r²=0.59, Pearson). This correlation even increases when adding IA individuals from Iberian Peninsula and England (Figure 3C, r2254 =0.628). However, the f3 statistic applied in the form f3(Mbuti, Ind1, Ind2) showed no clear grouping of individuals in relation to their region of origin (Figure S5). To better characterise the genomic variability perceived between French IA individuals, we ran an f3 statistic in the form f3(Mbuti, X, Ind), where X represents an ancestral component (WHG, Anatolia_N and Russia_EMBA_Yamnaya). The results clearly pointed out differences between regions of France with a greater affinity between IA_South and the Anatolia_N component, whereas IA groups from northern French (notably Normandy) regions present more affinity with the Steppe-legacy component (Figure S6 and Table S6). To more precisely quantify these gradual affinities, we performed a qpAdm analysis modelling the IA French groups with these three components as source populations (Table S7). The modelling results clearly confirm that a decreasing north to south gradient in the steppe-related component among IA French groups is inversely correlated with an increase in the early farmer component (Figure 3A and S8). The scarcity of data from Bronze Age periods did not allow us to compare these differential affinities at a fine regional scale for this period, but it is worth noting that the distribution of available data into two separated groups, North vs. South, permitted us to observe the same tendency (Figure 3B and S7). This steppe-related ancestry gradient is well established for Journal Pre-proof 7 modern-day European populations (Haak et al., 2015) and appears to be well established in French territory, at least since the BA period.

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Very interesting. A few excerpts:

    "Despite a great diversity of mitochondrial lineages among French IA groups, nearly 26% of the individuals could be characterised as belonging to haplogroup H. Even though important regional variability in haplogroup frequencies must be pointed out, haplogroup H represents almost 50% of the lineages in IA_North but less than 30% in IA_South groups (Table S3). Notable increases in haplogroup H and J frequencies betweenJournal Pre-proof6 French BA and IA can also be highlighted (Figure S2)."

    Nowadays mt-haplogroup H makes up 45% of French maternal lineages, and more generally between 40 and 50% in all Western Europe, with peaks exceeding that in Wales (60%) and Spanish Galicia (58.5%), two regions with high Celtic ancestry. Yet during the Iron Age hg H was apparently much rarer in France, especially in the southern half. This was already seen in Neolithic Europe. The most likely explanation is that mtDNA H was positively selected by evolution, either because it provides more energy (greater physical endurance and higher VO2 max) or confers a better resistance to some diseases (increased chance of survival from severe sepsis compared with individuals from other haplogroups).

    "Regarding the Y chromosome lineages, we observed an increase in Y chromosome diversity in the Iron Age.
    We identified four major haplogroups in the French IA dataset: haplogroups I1, I2, and G2, which were dominant during the Neolithic in western Europe, and the overrepresented R1b1a haplogroup associated with steppe-related migration (69%)."
    "Most individuals were found1146 to carry haplogroup R1b1a (69%), other males belonging to haplogroups G2a2 (17,24%), I1 and I2 (both at 6,9%)

    Still no E-V13 or J2b, despite its presence in La Tène individuals from Central Europe and among modern French. While I2 and G2a are expected in the continuity of the Neolithic population, I1 is more surprising. I'd like to see the supplementary data to see the location and age of the I1 samples, to confirm whether they could be late IA northern Gauls with possible mixed Germanic ancestry. If not, the deep clade would be highly interesting.
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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    I have made a table to summarise the Y-DNA and mtDNA. I sorted them by culture, but I noticed that the dates do not always match the culture as they should! For example the COL153A and COL153I samples are described as Late Iron Age and as La Tène B1, but they are dated 780-410 BCE, which should be Hallstatt C or D!

    Sample ID Date (BCE) Location Culture Y-haplogroups mt-haplogroups
    BPV1445 - BA_Paris_Basin Bronze Age .. Ia4
    BPV1455 - BA_Paris_Basin Bronze Age R1b-M269 HV0a
    NOR2B-6 650-500 EIA_Alsace Hallstatt .. K1a2a
    JEB8 - EIA_Alsace Hallstatt .. J1c8a
    CROI1-4 800-625 EIA_Alsace Hallstatt C R1b-M269 J1c1b1a
    NOR3-15 650- 550 EIA_Alsace Hallstatt C - D1 .. U6c
    NOR3-6 650- 550 EIA_Alsace Hallstatt C - D1 .. H7d
    CROI11 800-550 EIA_Alsace Hallstatt C/D1 .. T2
    BUCH82 475-250 IA_Champagne Hallstatt C/La Tène C1 .. K1a
    PAL170 600-500 IA_North Hallstatt D .. T2b7a
    NOR4-4 550 EIA_Alsace Hallstatt D1/D2 .. U5a1a1
    GOX287 550-450 EIA_Alsace Hallstatt D2 / D3 I1a2b3-Z58>Z138>S2293 T1a
    WET429 - LIA_Alsace Hallstatt? G2a2b-L497>Z1815 K1a4a1
    SCPG2 - LIA_Alsace Halstatt- La tène .. T
    PECH9 600-300 IA_South La Tène .. J1c
    BES1154 510-475 IA_South La Tène .. V9
    GDF1231 500-300 IA_Paris_Basin La Tène .. HV0
    GDF1264 500-300 IA_Paris_Basin La Tène R1b-P312 H2b
    GDF1341 500-300 IA_Paris_Basin La Tène .. K1a1b1
    GDF1348 500-300 IA_Paris_Basin La Tène R1b-L21>FGC11134>CTS4466>A1334 H
    GDF1349-A 500-300 IA_Paris_Basin La Tène .. T1a4
    BES1096B 475-450 IA_South La Tène R1b-P312 X2
    PT2 425-400 IA_South La Tène .. J1c1b1
    PT7 425-400 IA_South La Tène .. J1c1
    CLR23 400-300 IA_South La Tène R1b-U106>L48>Z9/S268 R0a1b
    CLR24 400-300 IA_South La Tène R1b-L151 H1e
    CLR31 400-300 IA_South La Tène R1b-P312>DF27>Z2552 N1a1a1
    CLR35 400-300 IA_South La Tène I2a1a1a-M26/L158 H1e
    CLR44 400-300 IA_South La Tène R1b-L151 H2b
    PEY163 400-150 IA_South La Tène R1b-M269 W1g
    ERS1164 400-100 LIA_Alsace La Tène .. H2a2a
    ERS83-2 400-100 LIA_Alsace La Tène G2a2b-L497>Z1815>Y7538 Ia4
    ERS86 400-100 LIA_Alsace La Tène .. HV
    ERS88 400-100 LIA_Alsace La Tène .. U5a1c
    GLN126 300-100 IA_Paris_Basin La Tène R1b-L52 H1e
    GLN141 300-100 IA_Paris_Basin La Tène R1b-U152>L1358 K1a
    GLN29-A 300-100 IA_Paris_Basin La Tène .. U8a1
    GLN32 300-100 IA_Paris_Basin La Tène I2a1b2-L38>S19763 H3
    PECH3 225-200 IA_South La Tène R1b-L21>DF13>FGC5544 HV0a
    PECH5 225-150 IA_South La Tène R1b-L151 H1e1b1a
    PECH8 225-150 IA_South La Tène R1b-L52 J1c2m
    PEY53 200-150 IA_South La Tène .. J1c11a
    PEY73 200-150 IA_South La Tène .. U5b3
    BES1249 150-50 IA_South La Tène G2a2b-L497>Z1816>Y14681 H2a2a ?
    BES1248 150-50 IA_South_o La Tène I1* J1c2
    UN129 120-80 IA_Normandy La Tène R1b-M269 K1a1b1c
    UN19 120-80 IA_Normandy La Tène R1b-L21>DF21>S424>S190 W1c
    UN85 120-80 IA_Normandy La Tène R1b-DF27 H2a2a ?
    CHF106 475-400 IA_Champagne La Tène A R1b-L151 U4a1d
    BUCH48-1 475-250 IA_Champagne La Tène ancien G2a2b-L497>Z1815>CTS3226 U4b1a3a
    BUCH48-2 475-250 IA_Champagne La Tène ancien R1b1a1b K2
    COL330 810-540 LIA_Alsace La Tène B G2a2b-L497>Z1816 J1c1b1a
    COL336 760-400 LIA_Alsace La Tène B .. T1a1
    COL239 740-390 LIA_Alsace_o La Tène B R1b-L21>DF21>S6189 H1e
    BFT228 400-350 IA_North La Tène B I2a1b1-M223>CTS9411 H2a2a ?
    BLH447 400-350 IA_North La Tène B .. H5a1 ?
    COL153A 780-410 LIA_Alsace La Tène B1 .. H2a2a ?
    COL153I 780-410 LIA_Alsace La Tène B1 .. U6c1
    ATT26 350-200 IA_North La Tène B1-B2 .. H1e
    ATT27 350-200 IA_North La Tène B1-B2 .. K1a
    ATT3 350-200 IA_North La Tène B1-B2 R1b-P312>DF27>PF6540 H1 ?
    ATT52-2 350-200 IA_North La Tène B1-B2 .. K1a3a
    BFM265 250-190 IA_North La Tène C1 .. U2e1b
    ISL6950 330/225 IA_Champagne LTM/F R1b-DF27 J1c1
    VAS75 400-300 IA_North .. H6a
    VAS79-2 400-300 IA_North R1b-M269 T2b

    Some Y-DNA haplogroups confirm my (and other people's) theories about the origins of the Gauls. They carry R1b-L21, R1b-DF27, R1b-U152, G2a-L497 and I2a2b-L38, as I had already predicted over 10 years ago. There is also plenty of undifferentiated R1b-M269 (maybe low coverage), R1b-P312 (generally Celtic) and R1b-L151 (aka L11 or P310), which is more broadly Celto-Germanic. No surprise there.

    The only surprises are the presence of isolated samples of I1-Z138 and R1b-S106>L48>Z9, which are generally thought to be Germanic. The former was found in Alsace, so a Germanic origin is indeed likely. The latter was found in southern France though.

    Another sample was I1*. It had only one SNP listed, so it could even be pre-I1 and unrelated to Germanic tribes.
    Last edited by Maciamo; 03-04-22 at 20:56.

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    Elite member spongetaro's Avatar
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    Thank you.
    it looks like R1b L21 was once spread all over France

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    Gauls: ... 49 low coverage genomes ...

    Dod... K12b:


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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot for running the K12b of the samples, Salento!

    I have combined the K12b values of the new samples with those of previous studies of Iron Age Gaul and calculated the overall Iron Age Gaul modal, as well as the average by culture (Hallstatt C-D vs La Tène) and by geographic region.

    Hallstatt vs La Tène

    Some samples (BUCH82 and SCPG2) were intermediary between Hallstatt and La Tène, so excluded them from both. WET429 was not carbon dated and the paper describes it as "Hallstatt?", so I also excluded it. COL239 and COL330 are listed as La Tène samples, but their carbon dating placing them more into the Hallstatt period, so I also didn't take them into account.

    Comparing the two successive Iron Age cultures of Gaul, we observe an increase in North European, Gedrosian and Siberian components during the La Tène period, accompanied by a decrease in Atlantic Med and Southwest Asian. This is easy to explain. The Atlantic Med and Southwest Asian components were the main components (along with Caucasian) of the Neolithic and Chalcolithic population of Gaul (like most of Europe). The Indo-European migrations from the Pontic Steppe brought more North European, Gedrosian and a bit of Siberian. A first wave (or several waves) of Indo-Europeans settled in Gaul during the Bronze Age. A second one during the Hallstatt expansion. The La Tène expansion brought further Indo-European DNA from Central Europe, which had slightly more Steppe ancestry at the time than Gaul. The difference between Gaul and Central Europe was not huge either as the original westward Steppe/R1b expansion had already taken place 2000 years earlier. So nothing strange there. It's completely expected.

    Regional variations

    Here is how I grouped the samples:

    • North = Parisian basin, Picardy and Normandy
    • Northeast = Champagne, Lorraine and Alsace
    • South = Languedoc
    • Southeast = Provence

    The geographic divergences are bigger than those over time between Hallstatt and La Tène.

    North European ancestry is considerably higher in North and Northeast Gaul (about 38.5%) than in the South (34%) an Southeast (32%) and is inversely proportional to Atlantic Med.

    The Caucasus ancestry is distributed differently, with much higher percentages in the Northeast (10.5%) and Southeast (11%) than in the North/Northwest (7.7%) or South (6.6%).

    The Gedrosian ancestry peaks in the North (7.4%) and is less than half of it in the South (3.3%). The Northeast and Southeast are both around 5%. Nowadays the highest Gedrosian percentage in Europe is found among the Irish, British and Dutch populations, so it makes sense than northern France, which is geographically closest, should have the most of it. It denotes higher Steppe ancestry.


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    … you’re welcome Maciamo, anytime :)

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    Thank you Salento and Maciamo. The distances aren’t too bad considered I'm basically a colonial Portuguese who has some local miscegenation with Indians and Africans.

    Source data from
    (Post #2) more data from posts #s 6 and 7 of this thread.
    Distance to: Duarte
    6.17150711 Medieval_Catalonia_Valencia_(n=9)
    6.71266713 Roman_&_Visigothic_Iberia_(n=31)
    10.25049755 Etruscans_(n=48)
    10.62952962 GDF1348
    11.06989612 Col330
    11.27186764 Latins_(n=4)
    11.43833904 Early_Iron_Age_Slovenia_(n=10)
    11.51145951 Early_Iron_Age_Croatia_(n=9)
    12.12435978 Villanovans_(n=2)
    12.52036741 ERS83-2
    12.66101497 BES1154
    12.67455719 IA_Gaul_Southeast
    12.75759382 BPV1455
    12.85418609 GDF1341
    13.23454193 BES1096B
    13.33091895 Bell_Beaker_Hungary_(n=6)
    13.35800883 IA_Gaul_Hallstatt
    13.56658026 GLN126B
    13.77767034 BPV1445
    14.03098001 Bronze_Age_Illyrians
    14.05616946 Croi12-2
    14.05696980 Medieval_Andalusia_(n=14)
    14.07130058 Middle_Late_Bronze_Age_Italy_(n=9)
    14.21477752 WET429
    14.52055095 Early_Bronze_Age_Southern_France_(n=5)

    Target: Duarte
    Distance: 1.4730% / 1.47302996
    32.3 CA_Remedello_culture_(n=3)
    19.9 Medieval_Andalusia_(n=14)
    13.0 GDF1348
    11.4 Neolithic_Latvia_(n=4)
    10.9 GLN126B
    5.4 Epipaleolithic_Magreb_(Iberomaurusians)_(n=5)
    5.1 Epipaleolithic_Mesolithic_Caucasus_(CHG)_(n=2)
    2.0 Pre-Pottery_Neolithic_Iran_(n=6)

    Distance to: Duarte
    2.33224233 42.80% Medieval_Andalusia_(n=14) + 57.20% GDF1348
    2.77527099 50.80% Medieval_Andalusia_(n=14) + 49.20% CLR44
    3.51528332 49.40% Medieval_Andalusia_(n=14) + 50.60% BPV1445
    3.70095404 43.40% Medieval_Andalusia_(n=14) + 56.60% Col330
    3.94803510 49.00% Medieval_Andalusia_(n=14) + 51.00% GLN126B
    4.06451692 52.20% Medieval_Andalusia_(n=14) + 47.80% CLR24
    4.35912801 47.20% Medieval_Andalusia_(n=14) + 52.80% IA_Gaul_Southeast
    4.36419363 19.80% Early_Medieval_Canaries_(n=5) + 80.20% GDF1348
    4.43076179 25.00% Early_Medieval_Canaries_(n=5) + 75.00% BPV1445
    4.62788427 53.00% Medieval_Andalusia_(n=14) + 47.00% IA_Gaul_South
    4.66417136 47.60% Iron_Age_Iberia_(n=22) + 52.40% Medieval_Andalusia_(n=14)
    4.76589619 48.20% Medieval_Andalusia_(n=14) + 51.80% BES1096B
    4.77553415 66.80% Roman_&_Visigothic_Iberia_(n=31) + 33.20% GDF1348
    4.77874624 48.20% Iron_Age_Southern_Gaul_(n=8) + 51.80% Medieval_Andalusia_(n=14)
    4.80274657 56.60% Medieval_Andalusia_(n=14) + 43.40% GLN141
    4.84659305 24.60% Early_Medieval_Canaries_(n=5) + 75.40% GLN126B
    4.85328375 49.00% Early_Bronze_Age_Southern_France_(n=5) + 51.00% Medieval_Andalusia_(n=14)
    4.86750290 59.20% Medieval_Andalusia_(n=14) + 40.80% CLR31
    5.01578967 78.00% Roman_&_Visigothic_Iberia_(n=31) + 22.00% Pech9
    5.04636530 24.00% Early_Bronze_Age_Iberia_(n=7) + 76.00% Roman_&_Visigothic_Iberia_(n=31)
    5.11753538 17.60% Pre-Pottery_Neolithic_Levant_(n=15) + 82.40% GDF1348
    5.16942087 15.20% Iron_Age_&_Hellenistic_Egypt_(n=3) + 84.80% GDF1348
    5.17024507 76.00% Roman_&_Visigothic_Iberia_(n=31) + 24.00% CLR44
    5.18746490 22.80% Iron_Age_Iberia_(n=22) + 77.20% Roman_&_Visigothic_Iberia_(n=31)
    5.19626512 42.80% Chalcolithic_BB_Sardinia_(n=10) + 57.20% Ostrogoths_(n=3)

  10. #10
    Regular Member torzio's Avatar
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    As I state .........with more than 500 years difference in age between Halstatt culture phase one to La Tene culture ..............we expected diferences
    Fathers mtdna ...... T2b17
    Grandfather paternal mtdna ... T1a1e
    Sons mtdna ...... K1a4p
    Mothers line ..... R1b-S8172
    Grandmother paternal side ... I1-CTS6397
    Wife paternal line ..... R1a-PF6155

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