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Split Between English and Scots Older Than Thought
The Scotsman ^
| Louise Gray
Posted on 04/11/2004 6:50:11 PM PDT by WoofDog123
The ancient split between the English and Scots is older than previously thought, an Oxford don said today.
Traditionally the difference between the English and Scots, Welsh, Irish and Cornish was attributed to the foreign influence of invading forces such as the Anglo-Saxons, Celts and Vikings settling in different areas of Britain hundreds of years ago.
But Professor Stephen Oppenheimer of Oxford University, believes the difference originates much further back in history.
In a book tracing humankind from its origins in Africa 80,000 years ago, Prof Oppenheimer develops a theory of the original inhabitants of Britain.
The professor of clinical sociomedical sciences at Oxford University said the Celts of Western Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Cornwall are descended from an ancient people living on the Atlantic coast while Britain was still attached to mainland Europe, while the English are more closely related to the Germanic peoples of the interior.
As evidence he cites genetic data showing the Celts are more closely related to the Basque people of south west France and the Celts of Brittany and Spain, while the English are closer to the Germans descended from the Anglo Saxons.
In the past the split was attributed to migration, invasion and replacement, but Prof Oppenheimer said the difference was established long before Britain was even an island.
He said: The first line between England and the Celts was put down at a much earlier period, say 10,000 years ago.
The professor, who is speaking at the Edinburgh Science Festival tonight, said Britons are descended from the original settlers, rather than later invasions, and as such were already split by the western divide.
He said: The English are the odd-ones-out because they are the ones more linked to continental Europe.
The Scots, the Irish, the Welsh and the Cornish are all very similar in their genetic pattern to the Basque.
However, the professor did say later invasions will have influenced the developing cultures in different areas of Britain.
He said: The people themselves may have been more conservative about their movement but accepted new cultures coming in at different dates.
The revelations are all part of Prof Oppenheimers controversial theory, expanded in his book The Real Eve: Modern Mans Journey Out of Africa, that humans migrated from Africa and populated the planet.
The professor will speak about his theory in a talk entitled Out of Eden at the Apex International Hotel in the Grassmarket tonight
TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; Unclassified; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: anglosaxons; archaeology; caledonia; celts; economic; geneology; ggg; gingergene; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; history; pict; pictish; picts; stephenoppenheimer; vikings; worldhistory
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"As evidence he cites genetic data showing the Celts are more closely related to the Basque people of south west France and the Celts of Brittany and Spain, while the English are closer to the Germans descended from the Anglo Saxons."
The only surprise here is that the basque are genetically related to the celts. The rest of this stuff is easily deduced from the last couple of thousand years of history.
The west vs east proposal doesn't make clear where in the east of britain they are surprised to find germanic genes, though what I have read in other articles says that celtic genes are more common in England itself than was previously expected. From northumbria south was heavily settled by A-S tribes, danes, etc., from the 5th century onward. The pictish areas of scotland are not mentioned. What about any of this (besides basque-celtic genetic link) is a surprise at all? Obviously the celts would be genetically related to each other (brittany received its current celts from wales and cornwall celts running from anglo-saxons, etc).
What part of any of this is a surprise given the linguo-ethnic map of the roman empire in circa 400, and the known subsequent migrations?
If 't aina Sco'ish, IT'S CRAP!
posted on 04/11/2004 6:52:06 PM PDT
Implicit is the idea that the different ethnic or nationality groups in UK maintain separate breeding circles.
This would tend to support the contention of each side of the divide that the other's womenfolk are either elephants or shrews.
posted on 04/11/2004 6:54:46 PM PDT
I dinna ken Basque (ancestry from Inverness on my Dad's side).
To: WoofDog123; Gvan; Welsh Rabbit; ecurbh; dennisw; Michael2001; Wally_Kalbacken; Corin Stormhands; ...
celtic anthropology ping
posted on 04/11/2004 6:55:22 PM PDT
posted on 04/11/2004 7:02:29 PM PDT
(freepo ergo sum)
posted on 04/11/2004 7:02:50 PM PDT
(See baby pictures on the Tax-chick page!)
Some years ago the goodwife and I undertook our first tour of Scotland, following business in the north of England. Upon arrival in Berwick-upon-Tweed (from which my Scottish forebears sailed to America -- an unusual point of departure), she was told by a local that, despite Berwick being in English hands for 700+ years, "We're still Scottish here!"
posted on 04/11/2004 7:04:50 PM PDT
(Sacrificing tagline fame for... TRAD ANGLICAN RESOURCE PAGE: http://eala.freeservers.com/anglican)
To: blam; Fedora; JimSEA
I'm sort of interested in where the surrender/appeasment gene came into the mix.
"What part of any of this is a surprise given the linguo-ethnic map of the roman empire in circa 400, and the known subsequent migrations?"
With a little more time to type now, for those who aren't already familiar with it, I will put some more info on the historical migrations which make the current ethnic picture.
The Welsh and Cornish are the ethno-linguistic remnants of the apparently dominant celtic group in southern britain at the end of the roman period. Their were extended at least up into the cumbrian mountains (the name is derived from the same name the welsh give themselves, Cymru, or the language, Cymraeg,). Cornish and Welsh were basicly identical languages with very few changes over the roughly 1300 years of geographical separation until cornish became extinct under an English language-cleansing programme. Bretons actually immigrated from western britain during the germanic invasion period. I am not sure if there is any concensus on whether the language spoken by the various tribes the romans found in their invasion 54AD(?) was a p-celtic language or not, though I assume so. The romans apparently didn't take much interest in documenting the languages of subject peoples. One such tribe, the Pritani, would become the source of the name of the island Britain (p-celtic p-->b mutation)
I don't know what the ethnic composition of western scotland was before the Irish invaded, but the language of scots gaelic, Manx (extinct, Isle of Man) and Ireland were very similar with a common root. Western Scotland saw the establishment of small Irish kingdoms, eventually merging and politically conquering the Pictish kingdom of the East of scotland about a thousand years ago.
There are virtually no remaining traces of the Pictish language aside from some placenames, but it is generally assumed to be p-celtic (like welsh, cornish, etc.) One scholar wrote a work arguing it was finno-ugric, related to the language of finland, estonia, hungary. I would think genetic studies could clear this up once and for all in the east and northeast of scotland. Maybe there have already been some.
Large-scale (west) germanic immigrationinvasion into eastern and southern britain began in the 5th century, pushing out or assimilating/enslaving the remaining romano-celtic population, with nothing but placenames to attest to the celtic language's past presence. Scandinavian immigration began in the late 9th century to the north and eastern parts of england, and added to the ethnic mix, also altering the english language in a number of ways in those areas. This language would become the dominant dialect of english.
Aside from the basque connection, I am not sure where the article is pointing out a status-quo that was older than what I have listd above.
I think the basque and celtic languages have some overlap as well.
YEC INTREP - I have a book based on excellent research that traces the original inhabitants of the British Isles directly back to Japheth!
posted on 04/11/2004 8:03:12 PM PDT
by olde north church
(Victory has a 1000 fathers, defeat is an orphan.)
So the English are related to Germans. Duh!!! It's called Angle"s Land, after the invasion/migration of north german Angles and Saxons into Britain in the late fifth and early sixth century. This is the source of the Legend of Arthur, who was probably a Celtic chieftain rallying the tribes after the departure of the Legions in 410 had left the Celtic Britons on their own. So complete was the Anglo Saxon triumph that some say there is not a place in England that bears a Celtic name, nor a word in English that remains from the Gaelic of the Celts. Is it so hard to believe that the descendants of these invaders would dominate the land genetically?
posted on 04/11/2004 8:31:36 PM PDT
(" You have never tasted freedom my friend, else you would know, it is purchased not with gold, but w)
To: TigerLikesRooster; WoofDog123
posted on 04/11/2004 9:00:10 PM PDT
(Why are the Basque so fascinating?)
posted on 04/11/2004 9:08:36 PM PDT
To: blam; SunkenCiv
BUMP N Ping
"So complete was the Anglo Saxon triumph that some say there is not a place in England that bears a Celtic name, nor a word in English that remains from the Gaelic of the Celts. Is it so hard to believe that the descendants of these invaders would dominate the land genetically?"
There are like a whopping 2 or 3 loanwords surviving into modern english. Crag is one, i think but am not sure tor is another.
On the otherhand, placenames (romano-british, in any event) DID survive in good part, though sometimes with addition of an OE suffix, i.e. cester. many anciently-sited cities, most rivers, etc., have kept elements of their historical names (either roman , maybe pre-roman), often very recognisable. Placenames, of course, are the LAST language artifact to change, and many european place-names go back with some mutation as far as we have recorded history, despite howevermany invasions, ethnic replacements, conquests, etc., went on.
As far as the genetic issue, surprisingly there is a decent mix of celtic genes in the english population, much more than had been expected based on the apparent total eradication of romano-celtic culture. I think I saw the article on FR a couple of months ago, or if not on archaeologica.org. I cannot remember the details now, but it implied a decent % of celtic breeding stock (women or slaves or whatever) remained in the saxon/anglish areas.
For those of us who wear the tartans with pride, we knew this all along because of the differences between P Gaelic and Q Gaelic...The tales of our origins are very clear and it is always nice to see that someone other than us finally understands....
posted on 04/12/2004 12:28:11 AM PDT
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