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Cuius Regio, Eius Religio, in Anglo-Saxon England
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51IQSePVDRL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ One thousand and five hundred years ago innumerable Germans, Saxons, Angles and Jutes, came to the shores of Britain, and transformed it into England. One thousand and five hundred years ago the trunk of the English language was grafted upon a fundamentally British ethnic root. Post-Roman Britain was subject to a massive migration of Germans in the 6th century, and, the majority of the ancestry of the people of the British Isles derives from the period before the Anglo-Saxon migrations. Both these facts are implied by a recent paper published in Nature, The fine scale genetic structure of the British population (the link should work for those without academic access, though the supplement is probably really what you should read!). This paper is close to the final answer as to the question of whether Gildas was right, that the British* were driven into the sea by hordes of German barbarians, or, whether post-World War II historians were right, that change occurred through cultural emulation from elites on high. Gildas’ model of ethnic replacement was formulated in the context of his being a British cleric who was admonishing his flock, for they had clearly angered God to lose so much ground to the pagan Germans, who were on the march in the 6th century. In contrast, over the past few decades the thesis that the change in language and ethnic identity in Britain, what became England, must have occurred predominantly through cultural diffusion of Anglo-Saxon norms, has been the mainstream position. In Norman Davies’ book The Isles he wrote that the ancestor of English was of “pure Germanic character,” but also observed that “Modern genetic research is showing quite convincingly that the Germanic invasions, like the Celtic invasions before them, were insufficient to transform the existing gene pool to any major degree.” Writing in the year 2000, Davies is on strong ground when it comes to the genetics, at least for what he had on hand. But 15 years is a long time in science, and the post-genomic era has blossomed in the intervening period.

nature14230-f1 In the figure to the right you see an illustration of the genetic clusters inferred from the new Nature paper extant across modern England. They utilized fineSTRUCTURE to extract these components. If you want to understand the guts of the methods, I recommend Inference of Population Structure using Dense Haplotype Data by Lawson et al. As repeatedly emphasized within the paper the population genetic structure across the British Isles is very subtle. Another way to say this is that the British Isles is very homogeneous genetically. This is true to some extent of Northern Europe as a whole. When looking at Fst values across very distinct European populations they are quite modest. For example, the value comparing North-Wales and Kent samples is 0.002. That means 0.2% of the genetic variation in a pooled sample of North Welsh and Kentish individuals is partitioned across the populations. In contrast, a European population compared to the Han Chinese will give an Fst value of ~0.10, so that 10% of the genetic variation in a pooled sample is partitioned across the populations. With such small genetic distances it is difficult to tease apart historically informative structure with conventional methods, such as PCA and ADMIXTURE, which rely on genotypes. In contrast, fineSTRUCTURE leverages more information by looking at haplotypes, which encapsulates not just genotypes which vary across populations, but the structure across genotypes in individuals. This gives one a crisper snapshot of more recent patterns of relatedness.

51LfBq2WMlL But even with this method you can see that a vast swath of England proper can not be broken apart into local regions with great confidence. That suggests that there’s just little regional genetic structure to be found. The authors argue that this pattern is indicative of the fact that this was the core zone of Roman dominance, and later, of the commonwealth of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (the Heptarchy). As such it was unified culturally and economically in a manner which likely facilitated gene flow, which prevents the divergence across populations which allow one to infer population history more easily. To make matters worse, the genetic distance between source populations on the Saxon Shore, assorted Germanic groups, and culturally Brythonic groups**, is very low. Around the year 2000 I was curious about the peopling of Iceland, and at that stage the genetics was not very robust when it came to giving definitive answers as to the contribution of Irish and Scandinavian people, because the two groups are genetically very similar unless you use genome-wide methods.

This brings up a very curious angle on the paper: because it took so long to bring into press its background framing is already a touch anachronistic. Last month Nature also published Massive migration from the steppe was a source for Indo-European languages in Europe. And it is this paper which suggests why Northern Europeans are genetically homogeneous: there was massive demographic disruption in the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age. Contrary to Norman Davies asserts above it is quite possible that massive demographic changes ensued with the arrival of the Celtic languages. And, the people who were replaced or marginalized were not the descendants of the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers fleeing Doggerland, but what David Reich’s lab would term “Early European Farmers” (EEF), a compound of populations from West Asia bearing agriculture and a group of Mediterranean hunter-gatherers.

Ioan Gruffudd

Ioan Gruffudd

Within the supplements the authors mention that there is a curious enrichment of Spanish-like ancestry in Northern Wales. They state that “while our data supports some low level of ancestry from southern France/Spain in ancient British populations it is hard to reconcile with major contributions to modern British ancestry from these regions.” While the dominant cluster in England is ~1 percent Spanish-like, in certain Welsh groups it groups it goes above 5 percent. Though the authors are good in other areas to clarify that their clusters are not “real”, but reifications, that is, abstract mappings upon genetic variation which is distilled and concentrated in a human digestible form, it gets muddled here. There is a good amount of ancient DNA to suggest that the first farmers across much of Northern Europe genetically resembled modern Southern Europeans, due to the demographic migration and expansion of farmers from those regions. Later, a second wave of migrants from the east, possibly Indo-Europeans, replaced and assimilated a great deal of this component, introducing the exotic “Ancestral North Eurasian” (ANE), as well as reintroducing higher fractions of hunter-gatherer ancestry. So the elevation of the Spanish-like cluster in western Britain may be a function of the fact that the Indo-European newcomers had less of an impact in those regions.

How does this dovetail with the idea that the original hunter-gatherers of Europe had a modest impact on the modern genetics of this region? One has to go back to the start of the Holocene. A conventional framework dating back decades is that after the last Ice Age Europe was repopulated by a single group of hunter-gatherers who had retreated to “refugia” in the south. This group, expanding rapidly across an empty landscape, had gone through long periods of low effective population, and was genetically homogeneous. Before the arrival of the farmers from the ancient Middle East then the whole of Europe from Spain to the Urals, fading into Siberia, may have been inhabited by a people who exploded out of their Mediterranean fastness. This explains the extremely high representation of Y chromosomal haplogroup I and mtDNA haplogroup U5 in ancient hunter-gatherer remains across the continent. The arrival of intrusive farmers on the southern and eastern edge of the continent from West Asia resulted in a synthetic population, where the farmers amalgamated with a group of European hunter-gatherers, to produce the “Early European Farmers,” EEF. Expanding in a rapid explosive sweep across Europe this group brought both West Asian and hunter-gatherer ancestry across the continent. Later the proto-Indo-European group was formed via amalgamation between disparate elements, and including the far eastern branch of European hunter-gatherers.

With that model in mind, what this paper using the PoBI data set has done is map out the pattern of variation as generated predominantly by the EEF and Indo-Europeans, as well as a later contribution of Germanic people, who themselves are compounds of EEF and Indo-Europeans! But it seems to frame the results in the context of the older model, whereby there is a much larger role for cultural change from hunter-gatherer to agriculturalist, and modern Northern Europeans are the descendants of hunter-gatherers who were long resident in their present locales. Using that lens the people of North Wales are depicted as the most pure descendants of the first hunter-gatherers to arrive in Britain, rather than the group with the greatest affinity to EEF.

This is a minor matter, but, it highlights the fact that this paper took a long time to come to press. It was rather notorious in fact within the human population genetic community for how tardy it was. Joe Pickrell points out to me that the PoBI paper in Nature was submitted in November of 2013, while the Indo-European migration paper was published one month earlier, but submitted in December of 2014. The Lazaridis et al. preprint which has reshaped much of the current thinking on the peopling of Europe during the Holocene was put on biorXiv in December of 2013.

download But the biggest headline finding of this paper, that 10 to 40 percent of the ancestry of the English who are distributed across the expanse of southern and central England, have ancestry derived from German barbarians who arrived in the 6th century, is not much affected by this strange lacunae due to the vicissitudes of publication which I cover above. Reading through the supplements I am moderately confident that this value will stick. The issue that the source populations here are rather close genetically pops up even with the methods and data they have at hand, but it seems likely that they’re converging on the correct value. It would explain why older less powerful methods gave conflicting results.

It also illustrates two facts. First, the English are genetically more like their neighbors of the “Celtic Fringe” than they are like the Germans over the sea. Second, the English nevertheless have a substantial dollop of ancestry which indicates a genuine folk wandering occurred of massive proportions (at least by pre-modern standards) across the North Sea after the fall of Rome. The results are in perfect alignment with Peter Heather’s argument in Empires and Barbarians, where he suggests that German tribes who burst into the interior of the Roman world in the last centuries of the Empire, and then took over huge areas after the fall of the Western Empire, were coherent national-tribal entities. This is in contrast to the thesis that they were ad hoc social constructions of motley mercenaries of small numbers, invented de novo in the wake of the emergent post-Roman order. Heather never argues for a predominant replacement of indigenous populations anywhere, rather, he makes the case that many of these migrations were substantial, including women and children, and can be understood in nationalistic terms.

Though the modern English are not predominantly German, ancestry fractions on the order of 10 to 40 percent indicate considerably heft to the migration. And, it serves to explain to us I think why the archaeology and cultural history indicate a rupture of massive proportions, reflecting in fact the apocalyptic tones of Gildas, rather than the more sanguine theses propounded by the doyens of the study of Late Antiquity and the evolution of the Roman world into the medieval one. Gildas was a highborn man, and this holds the clue to why and how east and south Britain became England. The whole of the post-Roman Brythonic elite of these regions was defenestrated in a manner reminiscent of the flight of the earls, except more significant by orders of magnitude. In contrast in what became Francia the German newcomers did not totally marginalize the Roman elite, who retained influence in the Church, and, temporal power across the domains of the lenga d’òc. The Frankish elite in Neustria quickly became Romanized. Why did the German leaders in Britain not accept the norms of the Romanized Brythonic elites in analogous manner?

514QTAjUcSL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ The ultimate causes can be chalked up to historical contingency. But the large genetic contribution suggests that the German nobility could recreate a Saxony-over-the-Sea in toto. There was no need to abandon the old gods and old ways, because their reshaped their new land in the imagine of their old one. The archaeological evidence seems to be that the agricultural system of post-Roman Britain was radically transformed, indicating wholesale transfer of skills and communities across the North Sea. But for me the key issue is that the Christian Church collapsed in eastern and southern Britain, only to reappear around the year 600 under both Brythonic and Continental missions. Despite the influence of the Celtic Church in the early decades, English Christianity was not an organic outgrowth of a religion which was submerged in the intervening century. Rather, it was a fresh planting of what had died. I have made an analogy before of what happened to Christianity in Britain to what happened to Christianity in the Balkans. While a regression occurred in post-Roman Gaul, what became Francia, it pales in comparison to the cultural devolution and atavism in Britain and the Latin-speaking world of the Balkans.*** It is fashionable in some quarters to declare that the Christian Church saved European civilization after the collapse of Rome, that the Church was the ghost of Rome. There is some truth in this, but, the example of Britain and the Balkans suggests to me that institutional and formal religion of the sort which we see in Christianity necessarily needs a minimal level of social and economic complexity, and concomitant “buy in” from the elites. Without the support of the powerful these sorts of institutional religions decay rapidly back toward primal animism and folk paganism. The old gods of the Celts and Romans were memories, but the new gods of the Germans were living and vital. It was a natural fit for the small scale economies which arose in the post-Roman landscape of proto-England.

download2 Gildas seems to have been wrong, or, frankly simply lying as to the facts, when it comes to the British folk as a whole across what became England. They were still there, centuries after Gildas flourished. The Law of Ina indicate this clearly. But, they were not the great and powerful, the heirs of Gildas’ hero, Ambrosius Aurelianus. The substantial genetic impact of the Germans probably did not occur simply through a few generations of replacement. Rather, the majority local population may have been marginalized to such an extent that they did not replace themselves, and the German gentry may have experienced downward mobility in Malthusian conditions. The land that they expanded into was not empty, but, without the complex institutional supports of the Roman system which was maintained in degraded form by the Brythonic warlords, many fled or diminished. The same could be said about the Balkans, where the Roman system collapsed with the predations of the Huns in the early 5th century. As outlined in The Geography of Recent Ancestry Across Europe, the Slavs did have a major impact across Eastern Europe across this period, as their culture replaced what had been there before. But in the Balkans these Slavs seem to have absorbed a considerable number of the local population if genetics is a guide, those which were previously Latin or Illyrian in ethnicity and identity. And just as in Britain the Christian religion disappeared, only to reappear only in later centuries due to missionary activities.

51YT6NJ34DL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

If Gildas was talking only of the Brythonic elites, his language may in fact not have been much of an exaggeration. The collapse of the Christian religion in post-Brythonic Britain-becoming-England also highlights to us the difference between modern mass culture, and that of the ancient and medieval world. The Roman Empire was nominally Christianized by the 5th century. Though there were elite holdouts among the high aristocracy and philosophers, they were a waning force. The Roman identity transitioned to a Christian identity. To be Roman was to be a Christian, Romanitas sanctified by Christ. To be a barbarian was to be a heathen (or, heretic in the case of Arians). The populace as a whole became Christian, because they followed the cultural identity of the elites. But, it can be argued that until the Reformation period the peasantry of Europe to a great extent were de facto pagans. Mass religious identity only took root with the spread of literacy, and confessional competition induced by the emergence of Catholic-Protestant divisions. The principle of cuius regio, eius religio, allowed for the solidification of confessional-national boundaries under the leadership of ruling elites in the 16th century. But a century later the conversion of the House of Hohenzollern to Calvinism from Lutheranism would not result a change in the dominant religion of their subjects. In England the Catholicism of the Duke of York rendered him unfit to rule in the eyes of his subjects, who welcomes the Protestant William and Mary (note, here “subjects” probably really means the nobility and gentry). In the 18th century the previously Protestant Electors of Saxony converted to Catholicism. And yet their domains remained almost wholly Lutheran.

The British peasants who lived under the rule of German elites in 6th century England were likely often descended from nominally Christian ancestors. But Christianity during that period was a religion of the mighty, at least in its full liturgical grandness. That was the legacy of Constantine. Marriage was solemnized in the Church for elites, not the peasants. Though the peasantry no doubt had a vague Christian identity, their understanding of the details of the faith were modest at best (we know this because there were debates by Churchmen whether ignorant conversions were true conversions). There was often a baptize-first and inculcate-later policy, as indicated by continued persistence of folk pagan practices across Christian Europe among the peasantry which had to be suppressed by the Church. The removal of an elite which would patronize the Church resulted in its withering, and the reversion of the peasantry which remained to a pagan identity. Consider what happened to the Secret Christians of Japan, who were more obviously zealous than Late Roman peasants likely were, but nevertheless could only maintain a syncretized religious identity.

These results show that a minority, but dominant, population can nevertheless culturally replace a majority in an inferior position. Many of the aspects of a given culture, such as institutional religion and confessional identity, are predicated on particular economic and social preconditions, which once removed result in very rapid change. Additionally, the fact that modern English has little Brythonic Celtic or Latin**** influence from this period (the Latin influence came with the Normans) indicates that upward and horizontal assimilation could exhibit only marginal reciprocity. The majority fraction of non-German ancestry in southern and eastern England could also be a function of later gene flow, equilibrating across the broader English realm.

The caricatures of extreme genetic and culturalist positions in this case misled us, and only resulted in confusion. A true understanding of the dynamics of post-Roman cultural change must take into account the results from genetics, which are the best demographic data we have in light of the collapse of the tax collecting apparatus of the Late Roman state.

* When I say British here I mean the Brythonic speaking Celtic and post-Celtic people who inhabited the British Isles before the arrival of Germans.

** I am being vague here because there is not great clarity whether the people of Roman Britain were Latinized by this time, though they retained some sort of distinctive identity clearly since they reemerged in other parts of Britain as a post-tribal Celtic people.

*** Latin, not Greek, was the dominant language of the hinterlands beyond the coast across the Balkans during the period of the later Roman Empire. The existence of Romanians and Vlachs is a testament to this.

**** A nod to those who argue that the post-Roman British world was one where the peasantry spoke vulgar Latin, as was the case in Gaul.

 
• Category: History, Science • Tags: Anglo-Saxon, England, fineSTRUCTURE 
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  1. iffen says:

    Nobody wants to talk like Grandpa anymore.

    Only 3 generations.

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  2. Withywindle says: • Website

    There’s a fascinating theory that southeastern England was already inhabited by German-speaking tribes before the Roman invasion; hence the startling lack of Celtic river names, etc., in Kent and the surrounding counties. One website: http://www.proto-english.org/e10.html. Does this genetic evidence speak to this? That is, does it rule out an influx of German migrants before the time of the Romans? Does it signal that the German influx is definitely post-Roman? And could a genetically largely-Celtic population ca. 100 BC have been speaking a Germanic language? Please forgive me if I am phrasing the question badly; or if I am asking a question for which the evidence you have provides no direct answer, neither pots nor phonemes necessarily being people. (Although people do go to pot, if not to phoneme.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    Does it signal that the German influx is definitely post-Roman?

    i didn't get into it, but the paper (actually, read the supplements), makes a pretty good case of an admixture between a north german group and whatever was local to britain in the centuries before 1000 AD. so it looks like large numbers of saxons etc. came and mixed with an indigenous substrate 800-1000 AD. i think that makes the idea of germans-in-britain during the roman time less likely (i know stephen oppenheimer has promoted this thesis).
  3. @Withywindle
    There's a fascinating theory that southeastern England was already inhabited by German-speaking tribes before the Roman invasion; hence the startling lack of Celtic river names, etc., in Kent and the surrounding counties. One website: http://www.proto-english.org/e10.html. Does this genetic evidence speak to this? That is, does it rule out an influx of German migrants before the time of the Romans? Does it signal that the German influx is definitely post-Roman? And could a genetically largely-Celtic population ca. 100 BC have been speaking a Germanic language? Please forgive me if I am phrasing the question badly; or if I am asking a question for which the evidence you have provides no direct answer, neither pots nor phonemes necessarily being people. (Although people do go to pot, if not to phoneme.)

    Does it signal that the German influx is definitely post-Roman?

    i didn’t get into it, but the paper (actually, read the supplements), makes a pretty good case of an admixture between a north german group and whatever was local to britain in the centuries before 1000 AD. so it looks like large numbers of saxons etc. came and mixed with an indigenous substrate 800-1000 AD. i think that makes the idea of germans-in-britain during the roman time less likely (i know stephen oppenheimer has promoted this thesis).

    Read More
  4. Great post Razib.

    So then is it clear from the genetic data that the Norman Conquest left little genetic impact?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    surname data alone should make that likely. but, i'm pretty sure it would be hard to tell too. many normans, like william the conqueror, seem to have had little scandinavian ancestry by the time of the conquest (you can see william's pedigree).
  5. Readers may also want to read Nicholas Wade’s recent NYT shallow piece on the PoBI research and compare it to the intellectually deeper presented piece by Razib Khan.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/19/science/study-reveals-genetic-path-of-modern-britons.html?_r=0

    IMO I will give credit where it is due and Razib wins this Wade vs Khan contest on PoBI and the peopling of the British Isles hands down.

    However neither Wade nor Khan take the PoBI researchers to task for not trying to better date the atDNA Cluster formations via NGS uniparental Y-DNA and mt-DNA analysis. I know my own R1b-L371 Y-DNA Hg in North Wales (Ordovices & Gwnedd Kingdom), along with 10 other men in the Wales Discovery Group, dates somewhere from 3100BC to 2700BC. Studies at YFULL have confirmed this. Maritime Beaker people were R1b.

    I concur with Razib on possible Spanish / Iberean influences in Wales based on my own atDNA analysis and this: “The Silures were in SE Wales and the Roman historian Tacitus described them as swarthy and curly-haired, and suggested their ancestors might be from Spain because of the similarities in appearance with some peoples in Spain.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus

    I am old school and subscribe to the Sunday NYT. I wonder why the NYT Editors retains Wade after all his recent controversies and they shitcan Khan even though his views and temperament seems to be mellowing following his Kalmbach’s Discover Magazine Blog involuntary departure?

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/david-altshuler-and-henry-louis-gates-race-in-the-age-of-genomics-1402094811

    Nice that Razib took the time to write about earlier bards such as Gildas. Those Green Squares in North Wales likely represent the most ‘Ancient Britons’ / ‘Native Britons’. Gildas preached to Nonnita, the mother of Saint David, while she was pregnant with the saint. Saint David is the Patron Saint in Wales. The Welsh annals placed St. David’s death 569 years after the birth of Christ, but Phillimore’s dating revised this to 601.

    The bigger story here is why isn’t the Wellcome Trust team that funded this 10 year US$5 million PoBI research making the macro level deidentified 17 Cluster Population Data (not micro level individual participant data) available to the Genetic Genealogy community via established companies such as FTDNA, Ancestry.com, 23andme?

    The PoBI consent document and other documents said this would happen … but now a middle management PhD hack at Wellcome trust has said that ain’t happening and they will only release data to a ‘bona fide’ research instutions for genetic health and medical research. IMO, the PoBI team has hoodwinked the 2039 PoBI participants and they will not even release their own DNA data to them.

    I hope Razib will speak up on this subject. I think he recently did some Population Group cluster work for David Middleton at FTDNA. Those of us with British Heritage intend to battle Wellcome Trust and have them share this data as they promised.

    One of the Wellcome Trust members on their Board of Governors helped Permira acquire Ancestry.com in 2012 via a London based Private Equity firm. http://www.permira.com/investments/investment/95/ancestry-com

    The lines are really blurring between Genetic Research for ancestry and population studies and Genetic Research for Big Pharma which Wellcome Trust is a huge player in …. as well as 23andme. Looks like FTDNA or 23andme could be in line for being acquired by the Big Pharma complex.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    Kalmbach’s Discover Magazine Blog involuntary departure?

    it wasn't involuntary.

    i agree with you re: PoBI and data sharing. though i don't know the details....
    , @wiijy
    I am one of the PBI participants (and a statistical geneticist), and I signed up to anonymised data release. There was never any possibility for anyone to be able to get their own data back, but I am hoping to have some fun trying to work it out.

    The Welcome Trust generally give researchers access to data, but it can take a long time and be very bureaucratic.

    I am one of the Cumbrian cluster.

    , @Daniel H
    >>>Roman historian Tacitus described them as swarthy and curly-haired,

    Hah, the singer Tom Jones.
  6. @Randall Parker
    Great post Razib.

    So then is it clear from the genetic data that the Norman Conquest left little genetic impact?

    surname data alone should make that likely. but, i’m pretty sure it would be hard to tell too. many normans, like william the conqueror, seem to have had little scandinavian ancestry by the time of the conquest (you can see william’s pedigree).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Greg Pandatshang
    If they had little Scandinavian genetic imprint (along with strikingly little Scandinavian linguistic imprint) they would presumably have genes that were roughly the same as the rest of northern France at the time: some mix of Gaulish, Roman, and Frankish lineages plus a little Breton. Wouldn’t that mix be distinct enough from the Saxons to check for?
  7. @George Jones
    Readers may also want to read Nicholas Wade's recent NYT shallow piece on the PoBI research and compare it to the intellectually deeper presented piece by Razib Khan.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/19/science/study-reveals-genetic-path-of-modern-britons.html?_r=0

    IMO I will give credit where it is due and Razib wins this Wade vs Khan contest on PoBI and the peopling of the British Isles hands down.

    However neither Wade nor Khan take the PoBI researchers to task for not trying to better date the atDNA Cluster formations via NGS uniparental Y-DNA and mt-DNA analysis. I know my own R1b-L371 Y-DNA Hg in North Wales (Ordovices & Gwnedd Kingdom), along with 10 other men in the Wales Discovery Group, dates somewhere from 3100BC to 2700BC. Studies at YFULL have confirmed this. Maritime Beaker people were R1b.

    I concur with Razib on possible Spanish / Iberean influences in Wales based on my own atDNA analysis and this: "The Silures were in SE Wales and the Roman historian Tacitus described them as swarthy and curly-haired, and suggested their ancestors might be from Spain because of the similarities in appearance with some peoples in Spain." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus

    I am old school and subscribe to the Sunday NYT. I wonder why the NYT Editors retains Wade after all his recent controversies and they shitcan Khan even though his views and temperament seems to be mellowing following his Kalmbach's Discover Magazine Blog involuntary departure?

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/david-altshuler-and-henry-louis-gates-race-in-the-age-of-genomics-1402094811

    Nice that Razib took the time to write about earlier bards such as Gildas. Those Green Squares in North Wales likely represent the most 'Ancient Britons' / 'Native Britons'. Gildas preached to Nonnita, the mother of Saint David, while she was pregnant with the saint. Saint David is the Patron Saint in Wales. The Welsh annals placed St. David's death 569 years after the birth of Christ, but Phillimore's dating revised this to 601.

    The bigger story here is why isn't the Wellcome Trust team that funded this 10 year US$5 million PoBI research making the macro level deidentified 17 Cluster Population Data (not micro level individual participant data) available to the Genetic Genealogy community via established companies such as FTDNA, Ancestry.com, 23andme?

    The PoBI consent document and other documents said this would happen ... but now a middle management PhD hack at Wellcome trust has said that ain't happening and they will only release data to a 'bona fide' research instutions for genetic health and medical research. IMO, the PoBI team has hoodwinked the 2039 PoBI participants and they will not even release their own DNA data to them.

    I hope Razib will speak up on this subject. I think he recently did some Population Group cluster work for David Middleton at FTDNA. Those of us with British Heritage intend to battle Wellcome Trust and have them share this data as they promised.

    One of the Wellcome Trust members on their Board of Governors helped Permira acquire Ancestry.com in 2012 via a London based Private Equity firm. http://www.permira.com/investments/investment/95/ancestry-com

    The lines are really blurring between Genetic Research for ancestry and population studies and Genetic Research for Big Pharma which Wellcome Trust is a huge player in .... as well as 23andme. Looks like FTDNA or 23andme could be in line for being acquired by the Big Pharma complex.

    Kalmbach’s Discover Magazine Blog involuntary departure?

    it wasn’t involuntary.

    i agree with you re: PoBI and data sharing. though i don’t know the details….

    Read More
  8. With regards to the “Flight of the Earls” it’s worth pointing out this only involved the leaving of the key family members, given structure of Gaelic society there were multiple competing branches within each ruling family, several of which actually petitioned James I to receive the relevant title (Earl of Tryconnell etc.)

    The important thing about the Flight of the Earls is it paved the way for Plantation of Ulster which led to mass inflow of settlers from England and Scotland. The fact that there are two genetic clusters showing up for Northern Ireland in the above study points to level of change caused by the settlement of 10,000 of Scottish/English protestants into what was once the most Gaelic part of Ireland.

    Read More
  9. Should note that studies such as Busby looking at R1b in Europe show a clear cline from east to west when it comes to ratio of R1b-L21:R1b-U106

    So there is at least some sorta turn over in male lineages, which would tie in no doubt with elite replacement. Eupedia have following maps where the difference in distribution of R1b-L21 and R1b-U106 (also called S21) can be seen:


    vs.

    R1b-L21 has a plurality within english samples, but as a comparison 70%+ of Irish samples were R1b-L21+. The two Iron age genomes recovered from Hinxton were also R1b-L21+

    Read More
  10. I just don’t buy the touchy-feely “cultural diffusion” theory that the Anglo-Saxons were just a small ethnically insignificant conquering elite who imposed their culture on the natives but left the basic ethnic stock untouched.

    The almost total absence of Celtic placenames in England (except the far south west – Devon and Cornwall – and far north west – the Lake District) seems to indicate an almost total ethnic cleansing of the natives. So does the almost total absence of any serious Celtic influence on Old or Middle English. This debate is being carried on in a dialect of German, not in Welsh.

    If we take 450 ad as the date Hegist & Horsa first landed: at that time there were no Anglo-Saxons in Britain, except Germanic mercenaries in Roman employ and possibly a few pirates traders and fishermen on the south east coast – what is now Kent, Essex and east Anglia.

    By 550 AD, they were in command of half the island of Britain, and by 650, the borders of England had basically been carved out: with the exception of the Celtic kingdoms of Dumnonia and Cumbria. It is inconceivable that this happened peacefully.

    The evidence suggests a sudden violent highly effective takeover, in which the Celts were (a) massacred (b) driven into the hills of Wales, (c) driven into continental emigration (primarily to Brittany) or (d) reduced to slavery.

    The remant populations were then assimilated, or died out because of higher Anglo-Saxon birthrates.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    I just don’t buy the touchy-feely “cultural diffusion” theory that the Anglo-Saxons were just a small ethnically insignificant conquering elite who imposed their culture on the natives but left the basic ethnic stock untouched.

    shut up and read the paper. there's nothing touch-feely about haplotype phasing and this sample size. whereof one does not comprehend, thereof one must be silent.
  11. wiijy says:
    @George Jones
    Readers may also want to read Nicholas Wade's recent NYT shallow piece on the PoBI research and compare it to the intellectually deeper presented piece by Razib Khan.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/19/science/study-reveals-genetic-path-of-modern-britons.html?_r=0

    IMO I will give credit where it is due and Razib wins this Wade vs Khan contest on PoBI and the peopling of the British Isles hands down.

    However neither Wade nor Khan take the PoBI researchers to task for not trying to better date the atDNA Cluster formations via NGS uniparental Y-DNA and mt-DNA analysis. I know my own R1b-L371 Y-DNA Hg in North Wales (Ordovices & Gwnedd Kingdom), along with 10 other men in the Wales Discovery Group, dates somewhere from 3100BC to 2700BC. Studies at YFULL have confirmed this. Maritime Beaker people were R1b.

    I concur with Razib on possible Spanish / Iberean influences in Wales based on my own atDNA analysis and this: "The Silures were in SE Wales and the Roman historian Tacitus described them as swarthy and curly-haired, and suggested their ancestors might be from Spain because of the similarities in appearance with some peoples in Spain." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus

    I am old school and subscribe to the Sunday NYT. I wonder why the NYT Editors retains Wade after all his recent controversies and they shitcan Khan even though his views and temperament seems to be mellowing following his Kalmbach's Discover Magazine Blog involuntary departure?

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/david-altshuler-and-henry-louis-gates-race-in-the-age-of-genomics-1402094811

    Nice that Razib took the time to write about earlier bards such as Gildas. Those Green Squares in North Wales likely represent the most 'Ancient Britons' / 'Native Britons'. Gildas preached to Nonnita, the mother of Saint David, while she was pregnant with the saint. Saint David is the Patron Saint in Wales. The Welsh annals placed St. David's death 569 years after the birth of Christ, but Phillimore's dating revised this to 601.

    The bigger story here is why isn't the Wellcome Trust team that funded this 10 year US$5 million PoBI research making the macro level deidentified 17 Cluster Population Data (not micro level individual participant data) available to the Genetic Genealogy community via established companies such as FTDNA, Ancestry.com, 23andme?

    The PoBI consent document and other documents said this would happen ... but now a middle management PhD hack at Wellcome trust has said that ain't happening and they will only release data to a 'bona fide' research instutions for genetic health and medical research. IMO, the PoBI team has hoodwinked the 2039 PoBI participants and they will not even release their own DNA data to them.

    I hope Razib will speak up on this subject. I think he recently did some Population Group cluster work for David Middleton at FTDNA. Those of us with British Heritage intend to battle Wellcome Trust and have them share this data as they promised.

    One of the Wellcome Trust members on their Board of Governors helped Permira acquire Ancestry.com in 2012 via a London based Private Equity firm. http://www.permira.com/investments/investment/95/ancestry-com

    The lines are really blurring between Genetic Research for ancestry and population studies and Genetic Research for Big Pharma which Wellcome Trust is a huge player in .... as well as 23andme. Looks like FTDNA or 23andme could be in line for being acquired by the Big Pharma complex.

    I am one of the PBI participants (and a statistical geneticist), and I signed up to anonymised data release. There was never any possibility for anyone to be able to get their own data back, but I am hoping to have some fun trying to work it out.

    The Welcome Trust generally give researchers access to data, but it can take a long time and be very bureaucratic.

    I am one of the Cumbrian cluster.

    Read More
  12. I am very eager to see fineStructure applied in a similar way to the the Ashkenazim. The pre-1939 Ashkenazic population of Europe had well-defined and well documented patterns of cultural and linguistic geographical variation. The genetics should mirror this.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    well, please remember that the difference between celts and germans probably dates to at least 5 thousand years ago or so. the one between litvaks and galicians is on the order of 500 to 1000 thousand. so it is going to be harder, though i don't doubt that IBD methods in the future are going to uncover structure due to divergence of family lineages...
  13. AG says:

    Interesting, human genes shuffling and recombination can be achieved in so many different ways from cellular level meiosis all the way to human migration/settlement.

    As Wade pointed out

    “the Romans controlled that area of Britain and introduced farming systems and roads and broke down many political barriers to movement,” said Mark Robinson, an archaeologist at Oxford and a co-author of the study, published in the journal Nature. The population under Roman rule thus became homogenized, whereas those beyond it would have remained politically fragmented, making travel and intermarriage difficult, Dr. Robinson said.

    So physical barrier (geographic one) is only way to prevent homogenization. Once barrier is down, human naturally mixed. In east asia, siniciation followed the similar path. Many ancient ethnic groups disappeared into Han. Most recent example is ethnic Manchurian who I am part of it. I do no have any personal regret for that. Certainly integrated Manchurian did quite well economically in China. As why some other minorities have trouble, I do not know reason. One thing is certain that they would become even poorer if they formed independent countries like outer mongolia.

    Fighting against inevitable is for losers. Winner know how to adapt and take advantage of any situation. Just my opinion (Tongue-in-cheek) .

    Read More
  14. PD Shaw says:

    This largely comports with the history told in _The Anglo-Saxon World by Nicholas Higham an M.J. Ryan (2013). They describe an apartheid society in which the English had conquered and taken the most fertile lands and reduced the native population to a slave or peasant status living on the outskirts. For example, Wessex Law gave the British half wergild (man value) of a Saxon. Command of resources would give the English males reproductive advantage.

    Such a racial caste system would have broken down as it would have required maintenance of the ability to identity British from English, with the British having all incentives to adopt the language, cultural and clothing styles of the English. The authors placed some importance on the spread of Christianity and in particular the insistence on their being one church organization in an area, not a high church (English) and low church (Celtic) for each community, which would have supported continuation of community differences.

    Read More
  15. Razib, this was a great read. Thanks. You also touched upon my favourite topic: the Slavicization of Illyrians and Vlachs in the hinterland of the Western Balkans.

    Read More
  16. @Razib Khan
    Does it signal that the German influx is definitely post-Roman?

    i didn't get into it, but the paper (actually, read the supplements), makes a pretty good case of an admixture between a north german group and whatever was local to britain in the centuries before 1000 AD. so it looks like large numbers of saxons etc. came and mixed with an indigenous substrate 800-1000 AD. i think that makes the idea of germans-in-britain during the roman time less likely (i know stephen oppenheimer has promoted this thesis).

    wow, those are incredible maps!

    Read More
  17. @john cronin
    I just don't buy the touchy-feely "cultural diffusion" theory that the Anglo-Saxons were just a small ethnically insignificant conquering elite who imposed their culture on the natives but left the basic ethnic stock untouched.

    The almost total absence of Celtic placenames in England (except the far south west - Devon and Cornwall - and far north west - the Lake District) seems to indicate an almost total ethnic cleansing of the natives. So does the almost total absence of any serious Celtic influence on Old or Middle English. This debate is being carried on in a dialect of German, not in Welsh.

    If we take 450 ad as the date Hegist & Horsa first landed: at that time there were no Anglo-Saxons in Britain, except Germanic mercenaries in Roman employ and possibly a few pirates traders and fishermen on the south east coast - what is now Kent, Essex and east Anglia.

    By 550 AD, they were in command of half the island of Britain, and by 650, the borders of England had basically been carved out: with the exception of the Celtic kingdoms of Dumnonia and Cumbria. It is inconceivable that this happened peacefully.

    The evidence suggests a sudden violent highly effective takeover, in which the Celts were (a) massacred (b) driven into the hills of Wales, (c) driven into continental emigration (primarily to Brittany) or (d) reduced to slavery.

    The remant populations were then assimilated, or died out because of higher Anglo-Saxon birthrates.

    I just don’t buy the touchy-feely “cultural diffusion” theory that the Anglo-Saxons were just a small ethnically insignificant conquering elite who imposed their culture on the natives but left the basic ethnic stock untouched.

    shut up and read the paper. there’s nothing touch-feely about haplotype phasing and this sample size. whereof one does not comprehend, thereof one must be silent.

    Read More
  18. @Charles Nydorf
    I am very eager to see fineStructure applied in a similar way to the the Ashkenazim. The pre-1939 Ashkenazic population of Europe had well-defined and well documented patterns of cultural and linguistic geographical variation. The genetics should mirror this.

    well, please remember that the difference between celts and germans probably dates to at least 5 thousand years ago or so. the one between litvaks and galicians is on the order of 500 to 1000 thousand. so it is going to be harder, though i don’t doubt that IBD methods in the future are going to uncover structure due to divergence of family lineages…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Charles Nydorf
    My reason for suspecting that there could be some kind of cline is that while a very high proportion of Ashkenazic ancestry goes back to a bottleneck around 1300, a small proportion does not. I wonder if this small proportion comes from regional subpopulation that was never bottlenecked and whose descendants mixed with the bottleneck descendants in varying proportions in different regions.
  19. @PD Shaw
    This largely comports with the history told in _The Anglo-Saxon World by Nicholas Higham an M.J. Ryan (2013). They describe an apartheid society in which the English had conquered and taken the most fertile lands and reduced the native population to a slave or peasant status living on the outskirts. For example, Wessex Law gave the British half wergild (man value) of a Saxon. Command of resources would give the English males reproductive advantage.

    Such a racial caste system would have broken down as it would have required maintenance of the ability to identity British from English, with the British having all incentives to adopt the language, cultural and clothing styles of the English. The authors placed some importance on the spread of Christianity and in particular the insistence on their being one church organization in an area, not a high church (English) and low church (Celtic) for each community, which would have supported continuation of community differences.

    thank looks like an interesting book!

    Read More
  20. I cannot argue with the genetic material and defer to you regarding it and this fascinating unraveling of our history it all represents.

    I do have to quibble a bit with some descriptions of the barbarians. It should be remembered and factored in, that some tribes were already Christian, although not always orthodox. Some Barbarian tribes already lived within the limes and were in their way Romanophiles. Certainly the Lombards and the Visigoths were among these. Apollinaris Sidonius describes his interactions with the Visigothic King as almost amiable. These people were not Roman to be sure but neither were they howling savages.

    Unfortunately, a second wave of barbarian tribes who had never lived in, or developed cultural linkages with Rome, Like the Franks and the Saxons, could and did, crush the Roman civil society and most of its manifestations. The Saxons who invaded Britannia were among these unreconstructed pagans. They would have had little feeling for existing Roman institutions of populations. As you state, they had their own developed system of settlement and agriculture.

    My guess about population displacement by the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, is the following. Typical agriculture in Romano-Britannia would have been centered on large villas, perhaps latifundia’s. Since Germanic agriculture was very centered on family homesteads, the existing, “British” farm laboring population would have been redundant. Some might have lingered on as Saxon slaves, but given the Saxon farming tradition, it’s difficult to imagine whole populations staying on as such. So, mass migrations of displaced farm laborers looks entirely plausible. Perhaps this explains, in part Gildas’s description.

    One genetic related observation; several late Roman writers mention the phenomenon of Roman city dwellers and farmers actually running off to join the barbarian armies. How many it’s difficult to say but, their blood lines would have been absorbed into that of the conquerers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    i mention arian xtians in the post. i am aware of the assimilation of some 'barbarians' such as arbogast or theodoric.

    How many it’s difficult to say but, their blood lines would have been absorbed into that of the conquerers.

    unless there is massive gene flow 'back' from the non-saxon margins there had to be local people assimilated. the data are hard to reconcile with >50% german.
  21. PD Shaw says:

    I’m a bit surprised by this: “We thus think it likely that there was limited input of DNA from Danish Viking settlement, and that the majority of any more recent ancestry contribution from Denmark reflects the Saxon migrations.”

    Granted “limited” and “majority” are somewhat vague claims, but I thought we were moving towards a greater understanding of significant Viking settlement in the Danelaw, not simply plunderers. Their model is not picking up anything particularly distinct about the Danelaw region. (Orkney does show settlement though)

    Read More
  22. robother says:

    Absolutely fascinating, especially to an long-ago student of English History. We finally seem to be reaching a level of sophistication that looks at the real interplay between culture and genetics. At the risk of violating Kahn’s quoted admonition (“whereof one does not comprehend, thereof one must be silent), I have to ask for a clarification: doesn’t this study paint a simple picture of a conquering immigration of Germanic males mating with a Celtic female population? Replacement of high status Brythonic males, whether by defenestration or flight would leave their females (as many of the Earls did in fact), and it is hard to imagine many Saxon women leaving home and hearth too make a hazardous journey (or warriors making room for them in the invading warships).
    As I recall, recent genetic study of Celtic (Irish) types has shown that high status males within that population replaced lower status males in landholding fairly quickly: it doesn’t look like there would have been much cultural resistance to the idea, even without the threat of physical violence.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    doesn’t this study paint a simple picture of a conquering immigration of Germanic males mating with a Celtic female population?

    this seems plausible, at least look at Y chr. OTOH, this looks at whole genomes, and they didn't mention any deviation on the X chromosome (which if it was very sex biased should show different patterns). i can ask someone associated with the paper.
    , @PD Shaw
    On page 18, the authors point out that admixture btw/ Briton and Anglo-Saxon did not appear to occur until 200 yrs after Anglo-Saxon arrival. This could occur "if mixing did not occur for some period (e.g. if the Anglo-Saxon community remained distinct for some period after arrival), or if mixing took place gradually, and initially at a relatively slow rate." This suggests the apartheid model, in which the important thing is that British males are relatively restricted from having offspring. That could involve Saxon males mating with some British women, but probably not frequently. Also cousin marriage may have been common. (The authors also indicate that Viking contributions which are hard to tease out from Anglo-Saxons might be pushing back the dates and there really is no 200 yr gap)
    , @PD Shaw
    On page 18, the authors point out that admixture btw/ Briton and Anglo-Saxon did not appear to occur until 200 yrs after Anglo-Saxon arrival. This could occur "if mixing did not occur for some period (e.g. if the Anglo-Saxon community remained distinct for some period after arrival), or if mixing took place gradually, and initially at a relatively slow rate." This suggests the apartheid model, in which the important thing is that British males are relatively restricted from having offspring. That could involve Saxon males mating with some British women, but probably not frequently. Also cousin marriage may have been common. (The authors also indicate that Viking contributions which are hard to tease out from Anglo-Saxons might be pushing back the dates and there really is no 200 yr gap)
    , @Paul Ó Duḃṫaiġ

    As I recall, recent genetic study of Celtic (Irish) types has shown that high status males within that population replaced lower status males in landholding fairly quickly: it doesn’t look like there would have been much cultural resistance to the idea, even without the threat of physical violence.
     
    Well we didn't even need the DNA to show this the actual written record shows it time in and time out. Generally what you could term "top-down replacement" which given the inheritance structure of Gaelic Ireland (no primogeniture, no concept of illegitimacy, elected leadership) led to massive birth rates to the elite.

    Kenneth Nichols "Gaelic and Gaelicized Ireland during the Middle ages" is a good introduction (originally published 1972), the paperback price is ridiculous on US amazon (like 3 times what you pay in Ireland!) but the Kindle version isn't too bad at less than $9

    http://www.amazon.com/Gaelic-Gaelicized-Ireland-Middle-Ages/dp/1843510030

    I don't evenunderstand difference with amazon.co.uk price in comparison to amazon.com price!

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gaelic-Gaelicised-Ireland-Kenneth-Nicholls-ebook/dp/B007ZQY61G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427533318&sr=8-1&keywords=gaelic+and+gaelicized+ireland

  23. @Razib Khan
    well, please remember that the difference between celts and germans probably dates to at least 5 thousand years ago or so. the one between litvaks and galicians is on the order of 500 to 1000 thousand. so it is going to be harder, though i don't doubt that IBD methods in the future are going to uncover structure due to divergence of family lineages...

    My reason for suspecting that there could be some kind of cline is that while a very high proportion of Ashkenazic ancestry goes back to a bottleneck around 1300, a small proportion does not. I wonder if this small proportion comes from regional subpopulation that was never bottlenecked and whose descendants mixed with the bottleneck descendants in varying proportions in different regions.

    Read More
  24. @Thomas O. Meehan
    I cannot argue with the genetic material and defer to you regarding it and this fascinating unraveling of our history it all represents.

    I do have to quibble a bit with some descriptions of the barbarians. It should be remembered and factored in, that some tribes were already Christian, although not always orthodox. Some Barbarian tribes already lived within the limes and were in their way Romanophiles. Certainly the Lombards and the Visigoths were among these. Apollinaris Sidonius describes his interactions with the Visigothic King as almost amiable. These people were not Roman to be sure but neither were they howling savages.

    Unfortunately, a second wave of barbarian tribes who had never lived in, or developed cultural linkages with Rome, Like the Franks and the Saxons, could and did, crush the Roman civil society and most of its manifestations. The Saxons who invaded Britannia were among these unreconstructed pagans. They would have had little feeling for existing Roman institutions of populations. As you state, they had their own developed system of settlement and agriculture.

    My guess about population displacement by the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, is the following. Typical agriculture in Romano-Britannia would have been centered on large villas, perhaps latifundia's. Since Germanic agriculture was very centered on family homesteads, the existing, "British" farm laboring population would have been redundant. Some might have lingered on as Saxon slaves, but given the Saxon farming tradition, it's difficult to imagine whole populations staying on as such. So, mass migrations of displaced farm laborers looks entirely plausible. Perhaps this explains, in part Gildas's description.

    One genetic related observation; several late Roman writers mention the phenomenon of Roman city dwellers and farmers actually running off to join the barbarian armies. How many it's difficult to say but, their blood lines would have been absorbed into that of the conquerers.

    i mention arian xtians in the post. i am aware of the assimilation of some ‘barbarians’ such as arbogast or theodoric.

    How many it’s difficult to say but, their blood lines would have been absorbed into that of the conquerers.

    unless there is massive gene flow ‘back’ from the non-saxon margins there had to be local people assimilated. the data are hard to reconcile with >50% german.

    Read More
  25. @robother
    Absolutely fascinating, especially to an long-ago student of English History. We finally seem to be reaching a level of sophistication that looks at the real interplay between culture and genetics. At the risk of violating Kahn's quoted admonition ("whereof one does not comprehend, thereof one must be silent), I have to ask for a clarification: doesn't this study paint a simple picture of a conquering immigration of Germanic males mating with a Celtic female population? Replacement of high status Brythonic males, whether by defenestration or flight would leave their females (as many of the Earls did in fact), and it is hard to imagine many Saxon women leaving home and hearth too make a hazardous journey (or warriors making room for them in the invading warships).
    As I recall, recent genetic study of Celtic (Irish) types has shown that high status males within that population replaced lower status males in landholding fairly quickly: it doesn't look like there would have been much cultural resistance to the idea, even without the threat of physical violence.

    doesn’t this study paint a simple picture of a conquering immigration of Germanic males mating with a Celtic female population?

    this seems plausible, at least look at Y chr. OTOH, this looks at whole genomes, and they didn’t mention any deviation on the X chromosome (which if it was very sex biased should show different patterns). i can ask someone associated with the paper.

    Read More
  26. Dear Mr. Khan,

    Pilot of the genewaves, here is my request, you don’t have to play it, but I hope you’ll do your best…

    Would you mind producing a summary of articles such as these written in terms those not immersed in your field might understand? I’m an electrical engineer, thus hopefully not a complete dolt. But I don’t speak the parlance of haplotypes and what not. An executive summary that describes the data set, basic methods, and conclusions would be nice, along with a sentence telling me the “so what?” would be especially helpful.

    But it’s your bidness, and your call.

    With interest in your campaign of subversion,

    The Grate Deign

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sandgroper
    Civil engineer here. I have read just about everything Razib has written on genetics from the outset, and there is a hell of a lot to learn, not helped by the fact that the science is rapidly expanding away from us while we are still trying to nail the basics.

    Basically, it's a very big ask - I understand enough to know that it is not easily reducible to lay language, and Razib has two small children and a PhD to get finished, and there is no return for him from performing this service, even if it were possible, which I doubt it is.

    I shouldn't answer for Razib, but from my perspective as a learner, I am afraid I think the only answer is to do one's own homework, at least to the point where you know what questions to ask.
    , @April Brown
    I found it helpful (and I was where you are, stumbling over words like 'admixture') to just have a tab open to a dictionary or something like Wikipedia, and just throw in each new word and keep reading the definitions until I got it. Kind of like learning a new language; bombarding yourself with vocabulary seems fruitless at first, but eventually it all starts to click.

    Tricky thing with this genetics stuff; there's been a lot of new data suddenly influxing (is that a word?) into the field in a very short period of time, when you compare it with other disciplines (like your own, electrical engineering) which have had more to work with for longer. The rapidly expanding body of knowledge comes along with a jargon explosion. Translating that jargon into plaintext is kind of like explaining The Internet and The Hardrive and the difference between an Operating System and a File Folder to one's grandparent. Again. It's just shocking really how hard it is to translate concepts when there's no shared jargon, even when you know (or hope) that the person you're working with is fully intelligent enough to grasp the concepts, if only you could figure out a way to communicate them.

    Anyway, my longwinded point here is that you're probably going to have to learn the jargon, if you're interested in this stuff. It's cool stuff, and I say that as somebody who is still barely a beginner at the specialized language.
    , @Razib Khan
    i guess this is a good idea. let me work on this...
  27. PD Shaw says:

    On the Iberian component, it does seem like they have more work to do. The comparison sample comes from “central France and in Spain (principally Barcelona),” whereas I think the theory would require samples from Galicia or Basque regions. (The authors recognize this)

    But some form of migration like this is consistent with Barry Cunliffe’s Atlantic-Facing Celts theory, which emphasis sailing routes from Northern Spain into the Irish Sea. If the genetic record is still not that impressive, it is probably because the ocean routes from the Belgium to Danish coast were at least as easy to cross and the South and East of England was more fertile and strategic anyways.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    i found this curious, because the HGDP and 1000 Genomes DO have basque samples. i think the 'first farmers' probably did come by sea, via two directions. but i doubt they were celts. perhaps the bell beakers were?
  28. notanon says:

    With such small genetic distances it is difficult to tease apart historically informative structure with conventional methods, such as PCA and ADMIXTURE, which rely on genotypes. In contrast, fineSTRUCTURE leverages more information by looking at haplotypes, which encapsulates not just genotypes which vary across populations, but the structure across genotypes in individuals.

    According to the paper the largest component in south/central England is FRA17 which seems to center in NW France but this component doesn’t appear in north Wales which to me implies later arrival (could be wrong) which if it’s not Anglo-Saxon doesn’t seem to fit (unless it was later later i.e. Norman, Huguenot etc which also seems unlikely given the scale of it).

    So I’m wondering could the Fra17 component not be a component at all but a product of the hajnal line anti cousin marriage churning of the various Germanic and Celtic components?

    (This would make it a marker of where the churning was at it’s greatest and the similarity with NW France would come not from a migration but from the people in Neustria and Austrasia being the product of a similar churning?)

    (I am going to go read how fineSTRUCTURE works now so this comment may be dumb.)

    Read More
  29. @Razib Khan
    surname data alone should make that likely. but, i'm pretty sure it would be hard to tell too. many normans, like william the conqueror, seem to have had little scandinavian ancestry by the time of the conquest (you can see william's pedigree).

    If they had little Scandinavian genetic imprint (along with strikingly little Scandinavian linguistic imprint) they would presumably have genes that were roughly the same as the rest of northern France at the time: some mix of Gaulish, Roman, and Frankish lineages plus a little Breton. Wouldn’t that mix be distinct enough from the Saxons to check for?

    Read More
  30. PD Shaw says:
    @robother
    Absolutely fascinating, especially to an long-ago student of English History. We finally seem to be reaching a level of sophistication that looks at the real interplay between culture and genetics. At the risk of violating Kahn's quoted admonition ("whereof one does not comprehend, thereof one must be silent), I have to ask for a clarification: doesn't this study paint a simple picture of a conquering immigration of Germanic males mating with a Celtic female population? Replacement of high status Brythonic males, whether by defenestration or flight would leave their females (as many of the Earls did in fact), and it is hard to imagine many Saxon women leaving home and hearth too make a hazardous journey (or warriors making room for them in the invading warships).
    As I recall, recent genetic study of Celtic (Irish) types has shown that high status males within that population replaced lower status males in landholding fairly quickly: it doesn't look like there would have been much cultural resistance to the idea, even without the threat of physical violence.

    On page 18, the authors point out that admixture btw/ Briton and Anglo-Saxon did not appear to occur until 200 yrs after Anglo-Saxon arrival. This could occur “if mixing did not occur for some period (e.g. if the Anglo-Saxon community remained distinct for some period after arrival), or if mixing took place gradually, and initially at a relatively slow rate.” This suggests the apartheid model, in which the important thing is that British males are relatively restricted from having offspring. That could involve Saxon males mating with some British women, but probably not frequently. Also cousin marriage may have been common. (The authors also indicate that Viking contributions which are hard to tease out from Anglo-Saxons might be pushing back the dates and there really is no 200 yr gap)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    the group with the whole genomes (ancient) found one individual that was VERY german. that to me suggests that the women and children were brought over, so that not all males were offspring of local women.
  31. PD Shaw says:
    @robother
    Absolutely fascinating, especially to an long-ago student of English History. We finally seem to be reaching a level of sophistication that looks at the real interplay between culture and genetics. At the risk of violating Kahn's quoted admonition ("whereof one does not comprehend, thereof one must be silent), I have to ask for a clarification: doesn't this study paint a simple picture of a conquering immigration of Germanic males mating with a Celtic female population? Replacement of high status Brythonic males, whether by defenestration or flight would leave their females (as many of the Earls did in fact), and it is hard to imagine many Saxon women leaving home and hearth too make a hazardous journey (or warriors making room for them in the invading warships).
    As I recall, recent genetic study of Celtic (Irish) types has shown that high status males within that population replaced lower status males in landholding fairly quickly: it doesn't look like there would have been much cultural resistance to the idea, even without the threat of physical violence.

    On page 18, the authors point out that admixture btw/ Briton and Anglo-Saxon did not appear to occur until 200 yrs after Anglo-Saxon arrival. This could occur “if mixing did not occur for some period (e.g. if the Anglo-Saxon community remained distinct for some period after arrival), or if mixing took place gradually, and initially at a relatively slow rate.” This suggests the apartheid model, in which the important thing is that British males are relatively restricted from having offspring. That could involve Saxon males mating with some British women, but probably not frequently. Also cousin marriage may have been common. (The authors also indicate that Viking contributions which are hard to tease out from Anglo-Saxons might be pushing back the dates and there really is no 200 yr gap)

    Read More
  32. Dutch Boy says:

    Michael Jones argues in “The End of Roman Britain” that Roman civilization did not make much of an impact on Britain and thus there was not a robust Romanitas to oppose the Germanification brought by the invaders.

    Read More
  33. Doorway says:

    This brings up another interesting area to study- why major invasions in different places and different times lead to different long term consequences.

    In Chinese history, there were several invasions where the invaders conquered China but eventually they became immersed in the local population, with perhaps little overall cultural impact many generations later. On the other hand, the Mongol invasion may not have led to many lasting major long term cultural changes (though the great wall is at least a physical reminder of their presence), but genetically, there was a pretty significan impact, if we’re to trust the discussions about the genetic heritage of Ghenghis Khan.

    In India, there were also invasions, but these seemed to have a bigger cultural impact many generations later, such as the caste system, the introduction of Islam into northern India, etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    On the other hand, the Mongol invasion may not have led to many lasting major long term cultural changes (though the great wall is at least a physical reminder of their presence), but genetically, there was a pretty significan impact, if we’re to trust the discussions about the genetic heritage of Ghenghis Khan.

    this didn't impact china much. it's mostly outside. OTOH, some major manchu lineages spread. that's probably because the yuan rule was of limited duration, and most of the mongols fled after its fall.

    In India, there were also invasions, but these seemed to have a bigger cultural impact many generations later, such as the caste system, the introduction of Islam into northern India, etc.


    islamic period invasions were generally limited demographic impact, except among upper class muslims (where still a minor component). OTOH, there seems to be something going on with jatts in india that is distinctive.
  34. The PoBI is an extraordinary paper, full of surprises. But I don’t think I have ever seen, or will ever see, a more egregious case (or set of cases) of ‘confirmatory bias’. The guiding lights would seem to be (a) “pretty nearly everything we’ve always taught is true, and there’s scarcely a need to modify the notes we’ve always used to teach our students”; and (b) “we mustn’t say anything that might upset anyone”.

    But there is one amazing and indisputable message – of enormous scientific significance in the story of the population of the British Isles, and of huge political importance in these times of resurgent Scottish nationalism — a message hidden from the press only by the most-skilful sleight-of-hand.

    The Celtic Fringe has gone — evaporated in a single puff of smoke

    No doubt, similar results from Ireland will soon confirm that it doesn’t exist there either. Kathleen Ni Houlihan, I sense your tears.

    Read More
  35. jtgw says:

    I suppose Ioan Gruffudd could pass as Mediterranean, but surely the Paradebeispiel of the dark Welshperson is Catherine Zeta-Jones, who has frequently been cast in Latina roles, starting with Mask of Zorro and Traffic, yet as far as I know doesn’t have a drop of Latin blood in her.

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  36. Daniel H says:
    @George Jones
    Readers may also want to read Nicholas Wade's recent NYT shallow piece on the PoBI research and compare it to the intellectually deeper presented piece by Razib Khan.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/19/science/study-reveals-genetic-path-of-modern-britons.html?_r=0

    IMO I will give credit where it is due and Razib wins this Wade vs Khan contest on PoBI and the peopling of the British Isles hands down.

    However neither Wade nor Khan take the PoBI researchers to task for not trying to better date the atDNA Cluster formations via NGS uniparental Y-DNA and mt-DNA analysis. I know my own R1b-L371 Y-DNA Hg in North Wales (Ordovices & Gwnedd Kingdom), along with 10 other men in the Wales Discovery Group, dates somewhere from 3100BC to 2700BC. Studies at YFULL have confirmed this. Maritime Beaker people were R1b.

    I concur with Razib on possible Spanish / Iberean influences in Wales based on my own atDNA analysis and this: "The Silures were in SE Wales and the Roman historian Tacitus described them as swarthy and curly-haired, and suggested their ancestors might be from Spain because of the similarities in appearance with some peoples in Spain." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus

    I am old school and subscribe to the Sunday NYT. I wonder why the NYT Editors retains Wade after all his recent controversies and they shitcan Khan even though his views and temperament seems to be mellowing following his Kalmbach's Discover Magazine Blog involuntary departure?

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/david-altshuler-and-henry-louis-gates-race-in-the-age-of-genomics-1402094811

    Nice that Razib took the time to write about earlier bards such as Gildas. Those Green Squares in North Wales likely represent the most 'Ancient Britons' / 'Native Britons'. Gildas preached to Nonnita, the mother of Saint David, while she was pregnant with the saint. Saint David is the Patron Saint in Wales. The Welsh annals placed St. David's death 569 years after the birth of Christ, but Phillimore's dating revised this to 601.

    The bigger story here is why isn't the Wellcome Trust team that funded this 10 year US$5 million PoBI research making the macro level deidentified 17 Cluster Population Data (not micro level individual participant data) available to the Genetic Genealogy community via established companies such as FTDNA, Ancestry.com, 23andme?

    The PoBI consent document and other documents said this would happen ... but now a middle management PhD hack at Wellcome trust has said that ain't happening and they will only release data to a 'bona fide' research instutions for genetic health and medical research. IMO, the PoBI team has hoodwinked the 2039 PoBI participants and they will not even release their own DNA data to them.

    I hope Razib will speak up on this subject. I think he recently did some Population Group cluster work for David Middleton at FTDNA. Those of us with British Heritage intend to battle Wellcome Trust and have them share this data as they promised.

    One of the Wellcome Trust members on their Board of Governors helped Permira acquire Ancestry.com in 2012 via a London based Private Equity firm. http://www.permira.com/investments/investment/95/ancestry-com

    The lines are really blurring between Genetic Research for ancestry and population studies and Genetic Research for Big Pharma which Wellcome Trust is a huge player in .... as well as 23andme. Looks like FTDNA or 23andme could be in line for being acquired by the Big Pharma complex.

    >>>Roman historian Tacitus described them as swarthy and curly-haired,

    Hah, the singer Tom Jones.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jtgw
    Just looked up his biography on Wikipedia. Three of his grandparents were English, while his lone Welsh grandparent was herself born of English parents. So he isn't exactly the ideal example of the Welsh phenotype.
  37. @RazibKhan
    You asked for more details about Wellcome Trust and the PoBI Team witholding research from the Genetic Genealogy community. There’s an email address for Wellcome Trust where you or others can get additional details to what I posted in another blog.

    I think the PoBI research is of tremendous value to those citizen-scientists exploring their British Heritage via Genetic Genealogy. However, there is a wide gulf on this issue and a ‘sharing issue’ of macro anononymized data at the SNP level (not personal data) from academic scientists doing similar work along with their research funders like Wellcome Trust in the Big Pharma Complex.

    Debbie Kennett in her blog said this (in ” “) about the Genetic Genealogy community & the PoBI Participants (those more interested in their ancestral origins / cluster group than genetic health research):

    “… When I asked BRUCE WINNEY of PoBI about the availability of the data back in 2012 I was told it would be accessible through the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium”

    ” … AncestryDNA have already expressed an interest in the data and we understood from DANIEL CROUCH of PoBI when he spoke in Ireland that AncestryDNA was hoping to collaborate with POBI on further analysis. BENNETT GREENSPAN from Family Tree DNA went to BRUCE WINNEY’s talk at WDYTYA Live last year and he is also interested in having access to the data for the FTDNA Family Finder test. I’m sure 23andMe will also be making inquiries.”

    “If people are interested in making the data more publicly accessible then it’s probably easiest if they contact PEETER DONNELLY of PoBI direct, especially if they’ve taken part in the project.”

    My Jones investigation, direct with Wellcome Trust, has found: Yes the data in question will be available at the WTCCC … but ONLY to ‘bona fide’ academic research institutions … and ONLY for ‘approved’ genetic health research. This means even the requested macro level anonoymized data of the 17 PoBI Population Clusters WILL NOT be made available to FTDNA – ANCESTRYDNA – 23andme BritainsDNA or anyone in the Genetic Genealogy community.

    All this in despite that certain Public PoBI Documents and various conversations with the above named people implied that deidentified PoBI data would be made available for ancestry or Genetic Genealogy research, BGA classification, etc. In addition, I think that the PoBI team hoodwinked many of their Participants on this and that these Participants were not provided a clearly written Consent Document they could understand.

    Wellcome Trust is controlled by those in Big Pharma and this is all about money to obtain free DNA test from uninformed PoBI Participants … then Big Pharma developing outrageously expensive new drugs that cost us all in higher out of pocket medical / drug payments or higher health insurance premium payments.

    If your readers are concerned by all this they should email THE Decision maker at Wellcome Trust on withholding PoBI data from the Genetic Genealogy community:

    Michael Dunn
    M.DUNN@wellcome.ac.uk

    Michael Dunn is Head of the Genetic and Molecular Sciences team in Science Funding. Having obtained a PhD in biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, he went on to work on medical genetics at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in Oxford. Michael joined the Trust in 2000. His role is to manage and develop its scientific portfolio and community of investigators to enable the Trust to achieve its mission.

    Peter Donnelly now works at the same place Oxford as Dunn did. http://www.well.ox.ac.uk/peter-donnelly Looks like a tight knit good ole boys network with the mantra of “Test the DNA of some stupid research participants so we can develop some very expensive drugs … forget about it if they work that well)

    Read More
  38. jtgw says:
    @Daniel H
    >>>Roman historian Tacitus described them as swarthy and curly-haired,

    Hah, the singer Tom Jones.

    Just looked up his biography on Wikipedia. Three of his grandparents were English, while his lone Welsh grandparent was herself born of English parents. So he isn’t exactly the ideal example of the Welsh phenotype.

    Read More
  39. I really hope they take into account ancient DNA in any future revaulation of their data set. As mention at the Hinxton site (which the Welcome trust were developing) the retrieved 5 ancient genomes, 2 males from the Iron age and 3 Anglo-Saxon era females.

    Some of the work people are doing are pointing to the Iron age samples clustering with modern Irish/West Scots when it comes to PCA analysis etc.

    Ideally we could do with a slew of ancient-DNA samples from period 1AD-500AD from across western Europe this would at least give a better baseline when looking at modern population samples.

    Read More
  40. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    All very interesting. I would make two points.

    Firstly, an issue raised earlier in the thread is the non-survival of Roman and earlier place names over much of England. In my view caution should be exercised in assuming this is the consequence of population removal.

    Three factors need to be taken into account.

    1. The circumstances in which the English assumed control of particular areas – coup, conquest by war or peaceful acquisition by treaty. In Kent, for example, this ancient tribal territory appears to have been taken over as a going concern, and many place names, land boundaries etc have survived to the present. The account of St Augustine’s mission also mentions some Christian survival, though the self-described Christians couldn’t remember much of their ancestors’ beliefs. Early law codes also specified different groups of people, some of which may indicate British descent. In Essex and East Anglia, however, just across the Thames estuary, there is little evidence of any continuity, and this may hint at a more violent transformation.

    Secondly, the feudalisation process in the mid-Saxon period, with the emergence of large noble estates, seems to have involved the abandonment or relocation of many earlier settlements and very probably the loss of their names.

    Thirdly, the Viking disruption to the east and north of England, as well as adding an additional layer of new settlements, was probably accompanied by the loss of existing ones – and undoubtedly the dispossession of local elites.

    Secondly, the “apartheid” point made by one poster about the intermarriage of English and British people is probably relevant to some degree, but complex. Some of the English proto-states which arose in the sixth century seem initially to have had a mixed character. Some early “English” kings had British, or partly British, names for example (Caedwalla, Maegla).

    Read More
    • Replies: @PD Shaw
    Thanks for addressing the survival of place names. You've provided a cautionary note that I can recall being made in the Higham book I mention upthread. I just couldn't recall the details. I recall his point that not many place names can be traced to before Old English in England or elsewhere in the British Isles.

    As to apartheid, I should clarify that this is somewhat backwards looking. The genesis of this theory appears to be as an attempt to explain potentially high genetic contributions of English invaders relative to archaeological finds. Archaeologists find the immigrant-to-native ratio in South and East England at gravesites and such to be between 1:3 and 1:5, and 1:10 in other parts of England. This study posits from computer models that "a social structure limiting intermarriage between indigenous Britons and an initially small Anglo-Saxon immigrant population provide a plausible explanation of the high degree of Continental male-line ancestry in England." Link The study lists some evidence of such a social structure, such as legal disadvantage or the Visigoths outlawing intermarriage around this time with the native populations of France and Spain, but it is not an historical analysis by any means. Apartheid may be too provocative of a term.

  41. @robother
    Absolutely fascinating, especially to an long-ago student of English History. We finally seem to be reaching a level of sophistication that looks at the real interplay between culture and genetics. At the risk of violating Kahn's quoted admonition ("whereof one does not comprehend, thereof one must be silent), I have to ask for a clarification: doesn't this study paint a simple picture of a conquering immigration of Germanic males mating with a Celtic female population? Replacement of high status Brythonic males, whether by defenestration or flight would leave their females (as many of the Earls did in fact), and it is hard to imagine many Saxon women leaving home and hearth too make a hazardous journey (or warriors making room for them in the invading warships).
    As I recall, recent genetic study of Celtic (Irish) types has shown that high status males within that population replaced lower status males in landholding fairly quickly: it doesn't look like there would have been much cultural resistance to the idea, even without the threat of physical violence.

    As I recall, recent genetic study of Celtic (Irish) types has shown that high status males within that population replaced lower status males in landholding fairly quickly: it doesn’t look like there would have been much cultural resistance to the idea, even without the threat of physical violence.

    Well we didn’t even need the DNA to show this the actual written record shows it time in and time out. Generally what you could term “top-down replacement” which given the inheritance structure of Gaelic Ireland (no primogeniture, no concept of illegitimacy, elected leadership) led to massive birth rates to the elite.

    Kenneth Nichols “Gaelic and Gaelicized Ireland during the Middle ages” is a good introduction (originally published 1972), the paperback price is ridiculous on US amazon (like 3 times what you pay in Ireland!) but the Kindle version isn’t too bad at less than $9

    http://www.amazon.com/Gaelic-Gaelicized-Ireland-Middle-Ages/dp/1843510030

    I don’t evenunderstand difference with amazon.co.uk price in comparison to amazon.com price!

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gaelic-Gaelicised-Ireland-Kenneth-Nicholls-ebook/dp/B007ZQY61G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427533318&sr=8-1&keywords=gaelic+and+gaelicized+ireland

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  42. @The Grate Deign
    Dear Mr. Khan,

    Pilot of the genewaves, here is my request, you don't have to play it, but I hope you'll do your best...

    Would you mind producing a summary of articles such as these written in terms those not immersed in your field might understand? I'm an electrical engineer, thus hopefully not a complete dolt. But I don't speak the parlance of haplotypes and what not. An executive summary that describes the data set, basic methods, and conclusions would be nice, along with a sentence telling me the "so what?" would be especially helpful.

    But it's your bidness, and your call.

    With interest in your campaign of subversion,

    The Grate Deign

    Civil engineer here. I have read just about everything Razib has written on genetics from the outset, and there is a hell of a lot to learn, not helped by the fact that the science is rapidly expanding away from us while we are still trying to nail the basics.

    Basically, it’s a very big ask – I understand enough to know that it is not easily reducible to lay language, and Razib has two small children and a PhD to get finished, and there is no return for him from performing this service, even if it were possible, which I doubt it is.

    I shouldn’t answer for Razib, but from my perspective as a learner, I am afraid I think the only answer is to do one’s own homework, at least to the point where you know what questions to ask.

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  43. A short history of Wales through flags.

    http://nathenamin.com/2011/11/08/history-of-welsh-flags/

    Speaking of Energy Drinks, my Welsh Jones R1b-L371 ancestors passed down to me a recipe and ingredients for GOLDEN DRAGON elixir (much more potent than the RED DRAGON version).

    Among other things GOLDEN DRAGON uses very old pulverized Sheep Testes from the mountains of Snowdonia in NW Wales.

    GOLDEN DRAGON is over 100X more potent than present day Viagra and likely the secret to how the Welsh (THE Ancient Britons) defeated the Romans, the Saxons, area Tribes, etc.

    Read More
  44. @The Grate Deign
    Dear Mr. Khan,

    Pilot of the genewaves, here is my request, you don't have to play it, but I hope you'll do your best...

    Would you mind producing a summary of articles such as these written in terms those not immersed in your field might understand? I'm an electrical engineer, thus hopefully not a complete dolt. But I don't speak the parlance of haplotypes and what not. An executive summary that describes the data set, basic methods, and conclusions would be nice, along with a sentence telling me the "so what?" would be especially helpful.

    But it's your bidness, and your call.

    With interest in your campaign of subversion,

    The Grate Deign

    I found it helpful (and I was where you are, stumbling over words like ‘admixture’) to just have a tab open to a dictionary or something like Wikipedia, and just throw in each new word and keep reading the definitions until I got it. Kind of like learning a new language; bombarding yourself with vocabulary seems fruitless at first, but eventually it all starts to click.

    Tricky thing with this genetics stuff; there’s been a lot of new data suddenly influxing (is that a word?) into the field in a very short period of time, when you compare it with other disciplines (like your own, electrical engineering) which have had more to work with for longer. The rapidly expanding body of knowledge comes along with a jargon explosion. Translating that jargon into plaintext is kind of like explaining The Internet and The Hardrive and the difference between an Operating System and a File Folder to one’s grandparent. Again. It’s just shocking really how hard it is to translate concepts when there’s no shared jargon, even when you know (or hope) that the person you’re working with is fully intelligent enough to grasp the concepts, if only you could figure out a way to communicate them.

    Anyway, my longwinded point here is that you’re probably going to have to learn the jargon, if you’re interested in this stuff. It’s cool stuff, and I say that as somebody who is still barely a beginner at the specialized language.

    Read More
  45. @The Grate Deign
    Dear Mr. Khan,

    Pilot of the genewaves, here is my request, you don't have to play it, but I hope you'll do your best...

    Would you mind producing a summary of articles such as these written in terms those not immersed in your field might understand? I'm an electrical engineer, thus hopefully not a complete dolt. But I don't speak the parlance of haplotypes and what not. An executive summary that describes the data set, basic methods, and conclusions would be nice, along with a sentence telling me the "so what?" would be especially helpful.

    But it's your bidness, and your call.

    With interest in your campaign of subversion,

    The Grate Deign

    i guess this is a good idea. let me work on this…

    Read More
  46. @PD Shaw
    On the Iberian component, it does seem like they have more work to do. The comparison sample comes from "central France and in Spain (principally Barcelona)," whereas I think the theory would require samples from Galicia or Basque regions. (The authors recognize this)

    But some form of migration like this is consistent with Barry Cunliffe's Atlantic-Facing Celts theory, which emphasis sailing routes from Northern Spain into the Irish Sea. If the genetic record is still not that impressive, it is probably because the ocean routes from the Belgium to Danish coast were at least as easy to cross and the South and East of England was more fertile and strategic anyways.

    i found this curious, because the HGDP and 1000 Genomes DO have basque samples. i think the ‘first farmers’ probably did come by sea, via two directions. but i doubt they were celts. perhaps the bell beakers were?

    Read More
  47. @PD Shaw
    On page 18, the authors point out that admixture btw/ Briton and Anglo-Saxon did not appear to occur until 200 yrs after Anglo-Saxon arrival. This could occur "if mixing did not occur for some period (e.g. if the Anglo-Saxon community remained distinct for some period after arrival), or if mixing took place gradually, and initially at a relatively slow rate." This suggests the apartheid model, in which the important thing is that British males are relatively restricted from having offspring. That could involve Saxon males mating with some British women, but probably not frequently. Also cousin marriage may have been common. (The authors also indicate that Viking contributions which are hard to tease out from Anglo-Saxons might be pushing back the dates and there really is no 200 yr gap)

    the group with the whole genomes (ancient) found one individual that was VERY german. that to me suggests that the women and children were brought over, so that not all males were offspring of local women.

    Read More
    • Replies: @PD Shaw
    I think Gildas' story that Vortigern invited the Saxons to settle in exchange for defense against invading Scots/Picts after Rome departed would presume women and children were brought over. (Chris Wickham doesn't seem to think much of the story though, possibly because its moral dimensions are too obvious or the story line borrowed from the Continent). But if you are going to pledge sword to begin a new life, I think you bring your family and kin. How else would that work? A bunch of young men settled into a different population? A bunch of young men settled away from the native population with barely a woman around?
  48. @Dutch Boy
    Michael Jones argues in "The End of Roman Britain" that Roman civilization did not make much of an impact on Britain and thus there was not a robust Romanitas to oppose the Germanification brought by the invaders.

    thanks. i need to read more about this.

    Read More
  49. @Doorway
    This brings up another interesting area to study- why major invasions in different places and different times lead to different long term consequences.

    In Chinese history, there were several invasions where the invaders conquered China but eventually they became immersed in the local population, with perhaps little overall cultural impact many generations later. On the other hand, the Mongol invasion may not have led to many lasting major long term cultural changes (though the great wall is at least a physical reminder of their presence), but genetically, there was a pretty significan impact, if we're to trust the discussions about the genetic heritage of Ghenghis Khan.

    In India, there were also invasions, but these seemed to have a bigger cultural impact many generations later, such as the caste system, the introduction of Islam into northern India, etc.

    On the other hand, the Mongol invasion may not have led to many lasting major long term cultural changes (though the great wall is at least a physical reminder of their presence), but genetically, there was a pretty significan impact, if we’re to trust the discussions about the genetic heritage of Ghenghis Khan.

    this didn’t impact china much. it’s mostly outside. OTOH, some major manchu lineages spread. that’s probably because the yuan rule was of limited duration, and most of the mongols fled after its fall.

    In India, there were also invasions, but these seemed to have a bigger cultural impact many generations later, such as the caste system, the introduction of Islam into northern India, etc.

    islamic period invasions were generally limited demographic impact, except among upper class muslims (where still a minor component). OTOH, there seems to be something going on with jatts in india that is distinctive.

    Read More
  50. TB says:

    A monumental post, takes rereading, thanks, can actually visualize the events and persons as you blaze through them. Like the hyperlink option . There is so much I don’t know and its nice to visit a person’s blog that’s done his fair share of reading, and knows his mathematics.

    The Qawwali king:

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  51. PD Shaw says:
    @Anonymous
    All very interesting. I would make two points.

    Firstly, an issue raised earlier in the thread is the non-survival of Roman and earlier place names over much of England. In my view caution should be exercised in assuming this is the consequence of population removal.

    Three factors need to be taken into account.

    1. The circumstances in which the English assumed control of particular areas - coup, conquest by war or peaceful acquisition by treaty. In Kent, for example, this ancient tribal territory appears to have been taken over as a going concern, and many place names, land boundaries etc have survived to the present. The account of St Augustine's mission also mentions some Christian survival, though the self-described Christians couldn't remember much of their ancestors' beliefs. Early law codes also specified different groups of people, some of which may indicate British descent. In Essex and East Anglia, however, just across the Thames estuary, there is little evidence of any continuity, and this may hint at a more violent transformation.

    Secondly, the feudalisation process in the mid-Saxon period, with the emergence of large noble estates, seems to have involved the abandonment or relocation of many earlier settlements and very probably the loss of their names.

    Thirdly, the Viking disruption to the east and north of England, as well as adding an additional layer of new settlements, was probably accompanied by the loss of existing ones - and undoubtedly the dispossession of local elites.

    Secondly, the "apartheid" point made by one poster about the intermarriage of English and British people is probably relevant to some degree, but complex. Some of the English proto-states which arose in the sixth century seem initially to have had a mixed character. Some early "English" kings had British, or partly British, names for example (Caedwalla, Maegla).

    Thanks for addressing the survival of place names. You’ve provided a cautionary note that I can recall being made in the Higham book I mention upthread. I just couldn’t recall the details. I recall his point that not many place names can be traced to before Old English in England or elsewhere in the British Isles.

    As to apartheid, I should clarify that this is somewhat backwards looking. The genesis of this theory appears to be as an attempt to explain potentially high genetic contributions of English invaders relative to archaeological finds. Archaeologists find the immigrant-to-native ratio in South and East England at gravesites and such to be between 1:3 and 1:5, and 1:10 in other parts of England. This study posits from computer models that “a social structure limiting intermarriage between indigenous Britons and an initially small Anglo-Saxon immigrant population provide a plausible explanation of the high degree of Continental male-line ancestry in England.” Link The study lists some evidence of such a social structure, such as legal disadvantage or the Visigoths outlawing intermarriage around this time with the native populations of France and Spain, but it is not an historical analysis by any means. Apartheid may be too provocative of a term.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    Apartheid may be too provocative of a term.

    i agree. one could say that the manchus also practiced apartheid, but no one uses that term.
  52. PD Shaw says:
    @Razib Khan
    the group with the whole genomes (ancient) found one individual that was VERY german. that to me suggests that the women and children were brought over, so that not all males were offspring of local women.

    I think Gildas’ story that Vortigern invited the Saxons to settle in exchange for defense against invading Scots/Picts after Rome departed would presume women and children were brought over. (Chris Wickham doesn’t seem to think much of the story though, possibly because its moral dimensions are too obvious or the story line borrowed from the Continent). But if you are going to pledge sword to begin a new life, I think you bring your family and kin. How else would that work? A bunch of young men settled into a different population? A bunch of young men settled away from the native population with barely a woman around?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    the story of them starting as mercenaries was recapitulated many times in the islamic world re: turks. to some extent the same happened in china, where the chinese would play off their enemies, only to have their enemies be even worse (the jurchen and mongol examples).
  53. @PD Shaw
    Thanks for addressing the survival of place names. You've provided a cautionary note that I can recall being made in the Higham book I mention upthread. I just couldn't recall the details. I recall his point that not many place names can be traced to before Old English in England or elsewhere in the British Isles.

    As to apartheid, I should clarify that this is somewhat backwards looking. The genesis of this theory appears to be as an attempt to explain potentially high genetic contributions of English invaders relative to archaeological finds. Archaeologists find the immigrant-to-native ratio in South and East England at gravesites and such to be between 1:3 and 1:5, and 1:10 in other parts of England. This study posits from computer models that "a social structure limiting intermarriage between indigenous Britons and an initially small Anglo-Saxon immigrant population provide a plausible explanation of the high degree of Continental male-line ancestry in England." Link The study lists some evidence of such a social structure, such as legal disadvantage or the Visigoths outlawing intermarriage around this time with the native populations of France and Spain, but it is not an historical analysis by any means. Apartheid may be too provocative of a term.

    Apartheid may be too provocative of a term.

    i agree. one could say that the manchus also practiced apartheid, but no one uses that term.

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  54. @PD Shaw
    I think Gildas' story that Vortigern invited the Saxons to settle in exchange for defense against invading Scots/Picts after Rome departed would presume women and children were brought over. (Chris Wickham doesn't seem to think much of the story though, possibly because its moral dimensions are too obvious or the story line borrowed from the Continent). But if you are going to pledge sword to begin a new life, I think you bring your family and kin. How else would that work? A bunch of young men settled into a different population? A bunch of young men settled away from the native population with barely a woman around?

    the story of them starting as mercenaries was recapitulated many times in the islamic world re: turks. to some extent the same happened in china, where the chinese would play off their enemies, only to have their enemies be even worse (the jurchen and mongol examples).

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  55. I take it that the crucial point is the presence of the GER3 contintental cluster (very much Saxony) in England and its near total absence in Wales? What do you make of the FRA17 cluster, also conspicuously absent in Wales? The authors of the paper note it and explain it as an unrecorded movement of peoples in prehistoric times: would you agree with them?

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