“We are not Celts at all but Galicians “

“We are not Celts at all but Galicians “

"NEWS - IN THIS SECTION NEXT ITEM

We are not Celts at all but Galicians

BRIAN DONNELLY September 10 2004






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CELTIC nations such as Scotland and Ireland have more in common with
the Portuguese and Spanish than with the Celts of central Europe,
according to a new academic report.
Historians have long believed that the British Isles were swamped by
a massive invasion of Iron Age Celts from central Europe around 500BC.
However, geneticists at Trinity College in Dublin now claim that the
Scots and Irish have more in common with the people of north-western
Spain.
Dr Daniel Bradley, genetics lecturer at Trinity College, said a new
study into Celtic origins revealed close affinities with the people
of Galicia.
He said: "It’s well-known that there are cultural relations between
the areas but now this shows there is much more. We think the links
are much older than that of the Iron Age because it also shows
affinities with the Basque region, which isn’t a Celtic region."
He added: "The links point towards other Celtic nations, in
particular Scotland, but they also point to Spain."
Historians believed the Celts, originally Indo-European, invaded the
Atlantic islands in a massive migration 2500 years ago.
But using DNA samples from people living in Celtic nations and other
parts of Europe, geneticists at the university have drawn new
parallels.
Dr Bradley said it was possible migrants moved from the Iberian
peninsula to Ireland as far back as 6000 years ago up until 3000
years ago.
"I don’t agree with the idea of a massive Iron Age invasion that took
over the Atlantic islands. You can regard the ocean, rather than a
barrier, as a communication route," Dr Bradley said.
Archaeologists have also been questioning the links between the Celts
of eastern France and southern Germany and the people of the British
Isles and the new research appears to prove their theories.
The Dublin study found that people in areas traditionally known as
Celtic, such as Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Brittany and Cornwall, had
strong links with each other and had more in common with people from
the Iberian peninsula.
It also found people in Ireland have more in common with Scots than
any other nation.
"What we would propose is that this commonality among the Atlantic
facade is much older, 6000 years ago or earlier," Dr Bradley added.
There are also close links between Scotland and Ireland dating back
much further than the plantations of the 1600s when many Scots moved
to Northern Ireland in search of fertile farming lands, the research
showed.
However, the researchers could not determine whether fair skin,
freckles, red hair and fiery tempers truly are Celtic traits.
Stephen Oppenheimer, professor of clinical socio-medical sciences at
Oxford, said that the Celts of western Scotland, Wales, Ireland and
Cornwall were descended from an ancient people living on the Atlantic
coast when Britain was still attached to mainland Europe, while the
English were more closely related to the Germanic peoples of the
interior.
He said: "The English are the odd ones out because they are the ones
more linked to continental Europe. The Scots, the Irish, the Welsh
and the Cornish are all very similar in their genetic pattern to the
Basque."
The study headed by Dr Bradley was published in the American Journal
of Human Genetics."

Re: “We are not Celts at all but Galicians “

Trust a scientist to think they have discovered something new. There is nothing particularly new in this report. Previous linguistic studies show all these links. Any claims of mass emigrations however are absurd. There is no way that hundreds of thousands of people up sticks and moved to a new country replacing the original inhabitants. Yes there was migration but the original population was not supplanted but rather absorbed - and in all probability remained the larger part of the new society. An example of this would be the Scots that came across from Ireland from about 500AD. They initially formed the kingdom of Dalriada on the western coast. The first king to unite the Picts and Scots was Kenneth McAlpin in 843AD. He had as much Pictish blood in him however as he did Scots. This also did not see the uniting of the kingdoms as ‘Alba’ until much later. Whilst the official language of the new kingdom was Gaelic many of the customs (and indeed the seat of power) remained Pictish.

OK - Lecture over.

I am not sure how much relevance any of these ramblings have much relevance to the research it is just that suggestions of mass emigrations annoy me as they are blatently false.

Alistair :-)

Re: “We are not Celts at all but Galicians “

In the cases you mention Alistair I think your right, but as regards the spread of agriculture from the Middle East there is now genetic evidence that people from that area made a sizable contribution to make up of Western Europeans.

PP

Re: “We are not Celts at all but Galicians “

What did I say in the last "the Irish aren’t Celts" thing? If you were not involved this is almost exactly what I said.

Posted by .

Re: “We are not Celts at all but Galicians “

Oh no….
I am lost!
How do you get from La Coruna to Ballymount exit on the M50…
oh oh oh will be late for work…..

Posted by .

Re: “We are not Celts at all but Galicians “

So now I know why I like Irish music being filipino- the spanish, no doubt some galacian, got one of my forebears in the family way and , HOLA!!! a celtic gene somehow passes through… and that’s why I play uilleann pipes ;-)

so very very clear

Posted by .

Re: “We are not Celts at all but Galicians “

"And what the F*** has it got to do with ITM anyway??"

Well I don’t know about you Bribanjo but I find the cultural links between the different Celtic cultures very interesting (and also relevant). It kept me in University for 5 years anyway.

Discussions like this help to explain why there are similarities and comparisons between the music of Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Brittany, Galicia and Asturias, Mann and Cornwall and also why we do not prance around with silly hats and bells on our ankles and carry sticks that we use to hit other people’s sticks with.

Alistair :-)

P.S. This last bit is in jest. I hope no Morris Men get annoyed.

P.P.S. At least they wouldn’t be able to sneak up on me and hit me with one of their sticks. The ringing would give them away. ;-)

Re: “We are not Celts at all but Galicians “

Here’s one for you: if someone plays a Morris tune and there’s no-one else there to hear it, is it still crap?

Joking!!!!! Too many English people know where I live.

Re: “We are not Celts at all but Galicians “

In all seriousness John Skelton recorded a tune called The Lollipop Man on his album ‘One at a Time’. He says it is a slowed down version of a Morris tune (reel), a version of which can be found on JC’s tunefinder. It is a lovely tune… honest!!

Re: “We are not Celts at all but Galicians “

I believe you Alistair - it really was just a joke. I have heard loads of great English tunes at various folk festivals down along the South coast. Heard some nice Scottish stuff at the Ben Nevis too. ;¬)

Re: “We are not Celts at all but Galicians “

Heard some Scottish stuff in the Ben?? I’m confused. Was the CD player on? ;-) There are some great tunes in the Ben but there is a definate bias towards Irish tunes - not that there is anything wrong with that.

Anyway, I thought we were both poking fun at the Morris men. It was really just an aside that The Lollipop Man happened to be a nice tune… when slowed down… and played without any squeeze boxes… or bells… or silly sticks. or…….. I better stop there :-)

Re: “We are not Celts at all but Galicians “

Yup, last time I was there (I think it was a Wednesday) there were quite a few Scottish sets played, but the majority of the tunes were Irish right enough.

I’m off to cultivate a garden on my hat.

Re: “We are not Celts at all but Galicians “

I understand that there is lots of morris dancing in Galicia and other parts of northern Spain - they just don’t call it that. There are also similar practices in Poland (far nearer the original celtic homelands than these islands). There is lots found in the Americas where the Spabish took it. In this respect it seems that the English are closer to their Celtic neighbours than you would imagine. The Irish, of course, have mummers dances in places like Wicklow.

Re: “We are not Celts at all but Galicians “

We had a discussion similar to this a while back - "Irish Music and History", I believe. Here’s an excerpt:
Did you ever read about Cheddar Man, a post-Ice Age skeleton found in the Cheddar Gorge in England? Scientists extracted his mitochondrial DNA and compared the sequence to a modern-day bloke, Mr. Adrian Targett, and found a close match. The implication was that a substantial proportion of people in modern Britain form part of local kinship groups which have had a continuous existence for 300- 400 generations. Each of those generations has adapted itself to each successive cultural and linguistic wave over the millennia.This debunks the notion that Britain’s "Island Race" was the sum total of numerous mass invasions, Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings etc. So no matter what language you speak, if your forebears are from around a certain area, they’ve probably been there since the Ice Age.