Celtic Myth Exposed?


Despite their claims to a cultural kinship, the Celtic peoples do not form a single group, the research shows.
Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and Cornwall have a very different genetic make-up.
The Cornish have DNA that is much more similar to that of other English groups than to the Welsh or the Scots.

Oxford University geneticist Professor Peter Donnelly said: ‘One might have expected those groups to be quite similar genetically because they were Celtic. But while see distinct groups in those regions they are amongst the most different.’

Archaeologist Professor Mark Robinson said: ‘I had assumed that there was going to be this uniform Celtic fringe extending from Cornwall through to Wales into Scotland. And this has very definitely not been the case.’

I presume therefore that the Celts as they travelled across from Brittany to Cornwall and then to Wales and then to Ireland and Scotland, conquered and mixed/assimilated with the existing local tribes.

Had the celts purged and wiped out the existing tribes as they migrated I would think that in that case only there would be a unique genetic print.

I am not an expert, not even a amateur student, but I think the concept of migrating and then mixing with the dominant local tribes in each location explains the pattern the study shows.

North Wales might be a special case where it looks like there is a dominant celtic gene. So perhaps some celtic warlord (Llewelyn ap Khan) modelling himself on Ghengis Khan wiped out the natives and rewarded himself with a harem resulting in a unique North Welsh celtic race??!!


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Seriously, I thought people stopped believing this ‘you are your DNA’ nonsense years and years ago. And what does ‘truest Britons’ even mean?

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Not here on my estate. :smile:

This is not really new actually. I can’t remember the name of the author / academic (but I’ll try to dig it up again and post here), but earlier research had found that basically most (or many) people in England (who weren’t descendants of recent immigrants) had similar genetic stock to the people of Wales & Scotland (and Cornwall), and that this tended to undermine the idea that there had been an “ethnic cleansing” of Celtic people by the “Anglo Saxon” invaders.

I had myself often wondered what became of the “Ancient Britons” in England who didn’t migrate (or escape) to Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, etc, and it seemed to turn out that most of them didn’t go anywhere, and their descendants are still here (mixed with “Anglo Saxon” “Viking” and possibly Norman influences of course (and I’m probably one of them - another reason why I’m happy to be learning a language related to that of some of my probable ancestors, even if I’m not Welsh).

The story as presented in that news article is only one way of looking at it (and it doesn’t surprise me that the Daily Mail would put a particular spin on it, i.e. the “Celtic Myth”). But another way of looking at it is that the story of the Anglo Saxons driving the “Ancient Britons” out of England is the real “myth” here.

And it doesn’t deny that the “Celtic” people of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and Cornwall, do still have strong cultural and linguistic connections - it doesn’t have to be genetic to be significant.

And of course there are libraries full of books about the meaning of the word “Celtic”. It’s a big subject, but that it had very little to do with genetic links has been known, I think, for a very long time.

Yes, that makes sense to me.

Would make a good TV drama series, especially that last bit. :slight_smile:

Do they go around waving test-tubes at each other? :slight_smile:

“See! I towd you you was the farwver!”