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Author Topic: Cunliffe's - Britain Begins  (Read 1208 times)
Arch Y.
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« on: December 29, 2012, 04:02:18 AM »

I just downloaded Cunliffe's - "Britain Begins" Kindle version and it was nice to see that so much has changed with references to DNA, including ancient DNA. Many years ago I was really into his book "Facing the Ocean" and wrote to him asking about consideration of DNA studies. I never got a response but notably DNA was mentioned in "Celtic from the West" thanks to people like Jean M. who brought the matter to attention at the forums or conferences of the ABrAZo project, etc. However, I am a bit perplexed that Cunliffe is mostly referring to Oppenheimer's works. In many ways I am disappointed because the assertion Cunliffe seems to make is that DNA (especially ancient DNA) is pretty much hopeless. I'm not sure if Oppenheimer gained traction or credibility, but it certainly was weird to read about "Rox" again. I have yet to really read it in-depth but now I am less motivated to do so knowing that his DNA references are a bit dated.

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rms2
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2012, 10:52:36 AM »

Thanks for the warning. I'll pass on that one.
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razyn
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2012, 12:01:06 PM »

I think it's a terrific book, not that I've read it yet, but I've looked through (a real paper copy, not the Kindle experience).  But it is too bad he still defers to the incorrect, five year old guesswork of his erstwhile collaborator Oppenheimer.  If that was all the info I had on DNA, I'd think DNA was useless, too.  We've had at least a couple of other threads with a similar complaint -- I'll link them, below:

http://www.worldfamilies.net/forum/index.php?topic=9622.0

http://www.worldfamilies.net/forum/index.php?topic=10892.0

But that being said, most of this new Cunliffe book is about archaeology; and most of that is well written, interesting, and beautifully illustrated with photos and maps.  You can add your own evolving understanding or opinions about DNA, especially Y-DNA -- there's not enough emphasis on that, in this book, to make the mummy's curse of Oppenheimer really much of a distraction.
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R1b Z196*
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2012, 03:54:11 AM »

True. At least being informed as I am about the flaws of Oppenheimer's work. I am a bit disappointed thinking that such a respected archaeologist could be giving credibility to a bunch of worthless work. Is there anyway to get in touch with him and let him know that Oppenheimer's work should be discarded and refer to the more legitimate research that has been out there for quite a while? I agree with you about the book. It is well written, interesting, etc. At least he does recognize the limitations of Y-DNA, so he must be given credit for it. I guess the positive outcome of his book setting a precedence is that future archaeology and history books will now include some consideration for DNA research.

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cmblandford
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2013, 08:29:04 PM »

My copy is available for purchase - .
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 10:09:41 PM by cmblandford » Logged

Y-DNA:  R-DF13*


Surname Project:  Blandford

Kit:  ft115893   Ysearch:  EYSPZ


Earliest Known Ancestor:  Thomas Blanford; Dorset, England; born 1648


alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 09:59:48 PM »

It almost seems a rule that archaeologists are still at the Oppenheimer phase when it comes to DNA, even some of the very best.  That said they are archaeologists after all and if they are not up on a subject enough they should just avoid it completely. I dont like archaeologists dabbling half heartedly in DNA and getting it wrong.  Its almost as bad as Oppenheimers laughable attempts to dabble in archaeology.   
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 10:03:19 PM »

Cunliffe is a one man expensive book industry these days. I suppose yachts dont pay for themselves!
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