British genes

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The BBC sponsored a study on British genetics. Here is the BBC site, an NY TIMES article on the topic, and the abstract from Current Biology (Wade in the NY TIMES seems to buy Renfrew’s “demic diffusion” of Indo-Europeans with agriculture 8,000 years ago-the article seems a bit more garbled than usual for him).

Update:
From the message board:

Contrary to the NY Times article, in recent years the fashionable orthodoxy, at least among archeologists, has been to claim that the Anglo-Saxon conquest was not a mass migration, but a mixture of elite takeover and cultural borrowing. Presumably on this view the Celts in England gave up their language and started speaking a Germanic language just on a whim, and many of them migrated to Wales and Britanny for the sake of the climate.

Actually, the UCL research reported in ‘Current Biology’ was widely publicised in the British press last year precisely because it showed there was a LARGE proportion of A-S ancestry in much of England! I haven’t yet seen the full CB article (it requires subscription, and will take a few weeks to reach my usual library), but the Abstract does not suggest that the UCL team have changed their assessment.

Posted by David B at May 28, 2003 07:44 AM

2 Comments

  1. Contrary to the NY Times article, in recent years the fashionable orthodoxy, at least among archeologists, has been to claim that the Anglo-Saxon conquest was not a mass migration, but a mixture of elite takeover and cultural borrowing. Presumably on this view the Celts in England gave up their language and started speaking a Germanic language just on a whim, and many of them migrated to Wales and Britanny for the sake of the climate.

    Actually, the UCL research reported in ‘Current Biology’ was widely publicised in the British press last year precisely because it showed there was a LARGE proportion of A-S ancestry in much of England! I haven’t yet seen the full CB article (it requires subscription, and will take a few weeks to reach my usual library), but the Abstract does not suggest that the UCL team have changed their assessment.

  2. Here is the link to the research paper:

    http://www.familytreedna.com/pdf/capelli2_CB.pdf

    The link below is to another research paper that concentrated on the genetic differences between the Welsh and the Central English. Because it only concentrated on a small area of the English population it overestimated the amount of Germanic ancestry in the modern English population:

    http://mbe.oupjournals.org/cgi/content/full/19/7/1008

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