Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
DNA indicates that the first settlers of the British Isles were Basque...there are a couple of studies for this, but the best compilation of data and historical/archaeological/linguistic info that I've found is the book Britain Begins, which I mentioned *somewhere* in this thread or another one.

Quote Originally Posted by sionnach View Post
That is a very tempting idea given the Irish tales of the milesians and their origin from the Iberian peninsula but I do not think we can conclude this any more that anything else about the Celts. I remember S. Oppenheimer discussing that there is a very high percentage of the R1b haplotypes in common with the Irish, welsh, and Basque people but there are sub types that are not. I have read recently an alternative view on the genetics of R1b in Europe with the people carrying this haplotype migrating from around the alps and then down to Spain and over to Britain and Ireland. The other possibilities on why they share many of the same genetic markers may have been social (closer clan affiliation/language/other social aspects) or due to isolation of geographic barriers after the spread of the Rib haplotypes had established in the area. There is a recent survey "People of the British Isles" printed in nature that did show an interesting division of Wales into two groups by north and south suggesting two separate migrations to Wales and the influence of the Anglo/Saxon genetics compare to little of the Roman or Viking genetic influence.


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Interesting that they DNA shows Spain as a point of origin. In the 5th century the Greek historian Herodotus said the Celts were "Those who lived beyond the pillars of Hercules" (Spain) and had their rising was from Danube. Wonder how much the DNA from the Danube area matches that of the Isles.