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Author Topic: R-L21 in England and Wales: Britons  (Read 4535 times)
rms2
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« on: October 01, 2010, 08:20:01 PM »

So, what say ye?

Makes a certain amount of sense, doesn't it?
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eochaidh
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2010, 09:47:23 PM »

Germans, or pre-Germans. Unless things have changed, L21 is thought to have originated in what is now Germany.  This would hold true for the Irish, French, Dutch, Belgian, Spanish, Basque and any other L21s.

If L21 originated in France, then the L21 of England and Wales would be Gaulish, or pre-Gaulish and so on...

Britons had to have come from the Continent.
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Jdean
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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2010, 05:26:02 AM »

As a rule of thumb I would say more likely to be right than wrong.

That said I think the pre industrial people of Wales were mostly descendants of Britons anyway, where as England was more of a mixed bag.


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rms2
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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2010, 05:45:21 AM »

Germans, or pre-Germans. Unless things have changed, L21 is thought to have originated in what is now Germany.  This would hold true for the Irish, French, Dutch, Belgian, Spanish, Basque and any other L21s.

If L21 originated in France, then the L21 of England and Wales would be Gaulish, or pre-Gaulish and so on...

Britons had to have come from the Continent.

Note the title of the thread, which includes ". . . in England and Wales". I wasn't really addressing the ultimate origin of L21 but rather what it represents in England and Wales.

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eochaidh
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2010, 12:05:52 PM »



Britons had to have come from the Continent.
[/quote]

Note the title of the thread, which includes ". . . in England and Wales". I wasn't really addressing the ultimate origin of L21 but rather what it represents in England and Wales.


[/quote]

Yes, but as they said in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail", who are the Britons? I believe the Britons would represent centuries of movement from different areas of the Conitnent. And I believe that some L21 in England and Wales could have entered in much later times with Saxons and Vikings.
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rms2
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2010, 01:16:18 PM »



Yes, but as they said in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail", who are the Britons? I believe the Britons would represent centuries of movement from different areas of the Conitnent. And I believe that some L21 in England and Wales could have entered in much later times with Saxons and Vikings.

True, but, in general, the distribution of L21 in Britain corresponds not so much with the historic strongholds of the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons but more with the Celtic Britons.

Besides, the question, "Who are the Britons?", need not be answered in minute, exacting  detail, with an absolute, unbending law of nature. No doubt there are answers short of that which will prove quite satisfactory.
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rms2
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« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2010, 01:31:00 PM »

L21 appears to be (at least thus far) the most prevalent y haplogroup in Wales, western England, SW Scotland, and Brittany, all strongholds of the Britons.

Of course, there would be some spillover from Ireland in Wales, SW Scotland and to some extent in western England, and that might confuse things a bit.
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2010, 02:30:04 PM »

I think its best to use an unloaded term like 'pre-Roman' rather than Celts, Britons etc because people then start to get confused.  Pre-Roman is a useful term.  I strongly suspect L21 was largely pre-Roman in origin in Britain.  It is apparently rare in the Anglo-Saxon homelands.  Some may have been brought by Norwegians but they had very little impact except down the Scottish Atlantic coast and in a couple of pockets in England.  So I would say L21 is largely pre-Roman. Its overall distribution would fit far better an out of (northern) France movement than one from the traditional Anglo-Saxon homelands.  In both Britain and Gaul its concentration seems to increase the further we move from the Celtic/Latin-Germanic frontier. 
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rms2
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« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2010, 07:22:26 PM »

What was "Pre-Roman" in England and Wales? Wasn't it the tribes collectively known as the Britons? And weren't they Celts?

What's confusing about that?

It's no great mystery to see that the distribution of L21 in Britain mirrors that of the Britons.
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NealtheRed
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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2010, 08:42:46 PM »

L21 appears to be (at least thus far) the most prevalent y haplogroup in Wales, western England, SW Scotland, and Brittany, all strongholds of the Britons.

Of course, there would be some spillover from Ireland in Wales, SW Scotland and to some extent in western England, and that might confuse things a bit.

I think that England and Wales were settled by Q-Celts first and P-Celts moved in later. One thing I have noticed from L159 haplotypes is that it looks oldest in Western Scotland.

Gaels must have been in Britain and moved into Ireland before the P-Celts moved in. The Britons spoke a later form of Celtic, and changed the "k" sound found in Indo-European to "p".
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« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2010, 08:47:32 PM »

L21 appears to be (at least thus far) the most prevalent y haplogroup in Wales, western England, SW Scotland, and Brittany, all strongholds of the Britons.

Of course, there would be some spillover from Ireland in Wales, SW Scotland and to some extent in western England, and that might confuse things a bit.

I think that England and Wales were settled by Q-Celts first and P-Celts moved in later. One thing I have noticed from L159 haplotypes is that it looks oldest in Western Scotland.

Gaels must have been in Britain and moved into Ireland before the P-Celts moved in. The Britons spoke a later form of Celtic, and changed the "k" sound found in Indo-European to "p".

That being said, it would explain why Welsh is closer to Gaulish. Gaelic is much older so it has a longer history in Britain.
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2010, 10:54:44 AM »

What was "Pre-Roman" in England and Wales? Wasn't it the tribes collectively known as the Britons? And weren't they Celts?

What's confusing about that?

It's no great mystery to see that the distribution of L21 in Britain mirrors that of the Britons.

Its just the term Briton's leads on to the issue of Celts then it all gets complex.  Basically pre-Roman implies to me the population that was the collective result of the whole prehistoric period. 
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Jean M
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« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2010, 12:09:29 PM »

So, what say ye?

Makes a certain amount of sense, doesn't it?

So much sense that I'm just going for the simple statement in today's update of the Celtic Tribes of the British Isles.

We could quibble until the cows come home. L21 is not likely to have been the only Y-DNA haplogroup among the pre-Roman inhabitants of Britain and Ireland. Plus some L21 could have arrived with Germanic immigrants at a later date. I agree with all of that. I just don't feel inclined confuse readers with caveats in the opening paragraph.

Nor do I feel inclined to tiptoe around with terminology. Even if R1b-L21 arrived in the British Isles in the Neolithic, and Celtic arrived in the Bronze Age (which I don't think likely), that still makes R1b-L21 the marker of the Celts in the British Isles vs the later arrivals. Which is what readers want to know.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2010, 12:10:20 PM by Jean M » Logged
alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2010, 12:56:19 PM »

L21 appears to be (at least thus far) the most prevalent y haplogroup in Wales, western England, SW Scotland, and Brittany, all strongholds of the Britons.

Of course, there would be some spillover from Ireland in Wales, SW Scotland and to some extent in western England, and that might confuse things a bit.

I think that England and Wales were settled by Q-Celts first and P-Celts moved in later. One thing I have noticed from L159 haplotypes is that it looks oldest in Western Scotland.

Gaels must have been in Britain and moved into Ireland before the P-Celts moved in. The Britons spoke a later form of Celtic, and changed the "k" sound found in Indo-European to "p".

I really think the idea of 'waves' of Celts, one P and one Q is utter nonsense.  Its a very out of date, really a 19th century, model.  Basically Celtic probably spread everywhere in an early form which would have included the ancestral Q form.  However, it is likely that afterwards it was chains of interaction rather than migration that usually led to the P-Q difference.   If you look at Q Celtic areas they are the areas where the metalwork evidence suggests a break off from the elite networks of temperate western Europe before the La Tene era.  However I really do not believe the idea that Q-Celts are some sort of beaker continuity while P-Celts are La Tene invaders.  That is nearly 2000 years of a difference in date.  Everything I have read from mainstream linguists (not those oddball non-linguists who try to apply math to language change) tells me that 2000 years ago Gaelic, British and Gaulish had not been long separated, certainly nothing in the region of 2000 years.  They may have arrived in their common Celtic ancestor may have arrived in all of these areas a long time earlier but they may have kept in touch enough through elite interaction that they effectively were not separated until such interaction broke down in some areas.  Some areas remained closer to the west-central European interaction network (Britain) while other area like Ireland and Iberia did not.  This interaction network is best seen in the evolution of metalwork. Britain remained in strong contact with Gaul in the period 600-300BC but Ireland didnt.  Ireland went into some sort of Dark Age due to systems collapse in that period and essentially no elite metalwork is known in Ireland.  That IMO is the point in time where P-Celtic (as a dialect trend, not an invasion) appeared and spread across Gaul and Britain but not Ireland and Iberia.  In other words it is being isolated in that period that meant P-Celtic didnt spread to Ireland or Iberia.  It has nothing to do with an alternative Atlantic culture in that period.  There is no alternative culture in Ireland in that period, it is simply tumbleweed in terms of high status metalwork.    

I think the P-Q change has been magnified into P and Q 'branches'.  The idea of branches is distorting.  We are basically talking about one or two changes that separate otherwise virtually identical Gaelic and British, not some kind of deep-time separation.  It seems likely that the P change happened aerially at a late stage among people who were already speaking  common Celtic (i.e. it spread as a dialect change among people who were already Celts). I think people tend to think of the P-Q difference as a  difference at the roots of Gaelic and British.  Its apparently not a root difference.  Its a difference that was added later.  I think there is a theory that Etruscan influence on nearby Celts led to them dropping the Q and then that spreading out along the La Tene elites (probably reflected in material terms by the spread of La Tene influences.  
« Last Edit: October 03, 2010, 01:13:39 PM by alan trowel hands. » Logged
alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2010, 01:34:34 PM »

here is a very recent very interesting take on the P-Q-change.  As I posted before, it shows that the Q form is the norm among most Indo_Europeans and the P form is an oddity possibly associated with Etruscan influence.  That is interesting as one of the biggest external influences that created early La Tene culture out of the Hallstatt groups was Etruscan. 
http://www.soton.ac.uk/~counihan/etruscan.pdf
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2010, 01:42:54 PM »

incidentally one of the major problems with the Atlantic Q-Celtic theory is that Ireland becaem Q-Celtic and Britain P-Celtic.  One thing the attempts to create an Atlantic Q-Celtic zone ignore is that the similarities between Ireland and Britain in the Neolithic and Bronze Age is overwhelming compared to the evidence for direct continental contact. Indeed the various 'Atlantic Bronze Age' maps include Britain as well as Ireland and generally show the strongest similarity between the two islands.  So, clearly the Atlantic Bronze Age model for Q-Celtic is fatally flawed.   
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Jean M
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« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2010, 02:27:12 PM »

Alan - You have argued before that P-Celtic could have spread by elite contact, rather than mass migration. I take a position between the two. I doubt very much that Britain experienced complete population replacement during the Iron Age. There is no reason to suppose that. I agree that shifting from one form of Celtic to another is not a gigantic leap.   

But I do not buy the anti-migrationist position either. It stretched credulity to snapping point to claim (for example) that even though Caesar said the Belgae had settled in [southern] coastal Britain, and we have ample archaeological evidence of same, that this didn't involve more than a handful of actual immigrants.
 
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NealtheRed
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« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2010, 02:40:11 PM »

incidentally one of the major problems with the Atlantic Q-Celtic theory is that Ireland becaem Q-Celtic and Britain P-Celtic.  One thing the attempts to create an Atlantic Q-Celtic zone ignore is that the similarities between Ireland and Britain in the Neolithic and Bronze Age is overwhelming compared to the evidence for direct continental contact. Indeed the various 'Atlantic Bronze Age' maps include Britain as well as Ireland and generally show the strongest similarity between the two islands.  So, clearly the Atlantic Bronze Age model for Q-Celtic is fatally flawed.  

So, if Ireland and Britain are that similar during the Bronze Age, why don't they speak the same language? I don't understand how Ireland and Scotland speak Q-Celtic, yet England and Wales speak P-Celtic unless one comes after the other.

You don't think the first Celts to reach Britain are Q-Celtic speaking, moving into Ireland before P-Celts arrive?
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« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2010, 04:16:04 PM »

I think it was probably very easy for a Q-Celtic speaking population to switch over to P-Celtic, if that was the latest trend, especially among some elite newcomers bearing nice things to trade. Thus it's not hard for me to imagine Britain's move into P-Celtic, since Britain is less remote from the Continent than Ireland.

It just seems to me that when one looks at the distribution of L21 in the British Isles, he or she just has to notice how it aligns with the "Celtic fringe". Add to that the apparent dominance of L21 in Brittany (if the current trend holds).  In England and Wales what else could all that mean but Britons? And the Britons were speakers of Celtic languages, regardless of what their remote ancestors spoke or grunted in the stone ages.
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Jean M
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« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2010, 04:54:51 PM »

I think it was probably very easy for a Q-Celtic speaking population to switch over to P-Celtic..

The same argument applies in reverse i.e. that we don't need a mass invasion of the Highlands and Islands of Northern Britain from Ireland to explain the shift from P-Celtic to Gaelic there. The latest thinking seems to be that the migration was actually in the opposite direction - from  N Britain to N Ireland. And that these Britons (Cruithne) kept their contacts with kin across the water and so introduced Gaelic to what is now Scotland.  I'm following that idea in the latest version of Celtic Tribes.
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« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2010, 04:56:54 PM »

It just seems to me that when one looks at the distribution of L21 in the British Isles, he or she just has to notice how it aligns with the "Celtic fringe".

Indeed it is obvious. So much so that I thought most of us had been taking this for granted for years.
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2010, 04:59:30 PM »

Alan - You have argued before that P-Celtic could have spread by elite contact, rather than mass migration. I take a position between the two. I doubt very much that Britain experienced complete population replacement during the Iron Age. There is no reason to suppose that. I agree that shifting from one form of Celtic to another is not a gigantic leap.   

But I do not buy the anti-migrationist position either. It stretched credulity to snapping point to claim (for example) that even though Caesar said the Belgae had settled in [southern] coastal Britain, and we have ample archaeological evidence of same, that this didn't involve more than a handful of actual immigrants.
 

I agree re: the Belgae but the evidence for Iron Age or Late Bronze Age intrusion into Britain on a population replacement kind of scale is poor across Britain as a whole so I (as I think you do too) find the idea that Celtic spread into Britain and Ireland primarily in the Iron Age very unlikely.  I also take a middle position.  I think the spread was as follows

1. Some sort of population movement brought some form of proto-Celtic into the west.

2. A high level of similarity was then maintained through elite interaction on a pan-west-European basis.  This maintained a linguistic similarity across the Celtic world meaning that Celtic evolved in the same way across huge areas rather than the expected fragmentation into localised dialects.

3. Some areas became isolated and essentially ceased to evolve with the rest of the Celtic world i.e. Ireland and Iberia after the Hallsatt period.  

I suspect the P-shift (and that is all it is, not a branch as often implied) happened about 600BC and that its spread in most cases was interaction although clearly migration after 600BC from the P-Celtic area could also have spread it.  
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2010, 05:21:37 PM »

incidentally one of the major problems with the Atlantic Q-Celtic theory is that Ireland becaem Q-Celtic and Britain P-Celtic.  One thing the attempts to create an Atlantic Q-Celtic zone ignore is that the similarities between Ireland and Britain in the Neolithic and Bronze Age is overwhelming compared to the evidence for direct continental contact. Indeed the various 'Atlantic Bronze Age' maps include Britain as well as Ireland and generally show the strongest similarity between the two islands.  So, clearly the Atlantic Bronze Age model for Q-Celtic is fatally flawed.  

So, if Ireland and Britain are that similar during the Bronze Age, why don't they speak the same language? I don't understand how Ireland and Scotland speak Q-Celtic, yet England and Wales speak P-Celtic unless one comes after the other.

You don't think the first Celts to reach Britain are Q-Celtic speaking, moving into Ireland before P-Celts arrive?

The short answer is they probably did speak the same language from the point of the arrival of Celtic until perhaps 600BC.  Basically the P-Q thing has been blown out of all proportion and the idea of Q-Celtic wave and then a P-Celtic wage are very out of date ideas pretty well disowned by most modern academics.  Its just a tiny linguistic tweak against a backdrop of otherwise near-identical languages. When languages are nearly identical it usually means that the changes that separate them are recent and superficial.  Indeed British is much more similar to Gaelic than Gaulish other than the P-change, hence many modern linguists think the big division is between the Irish and British on the one hand and the continental Celts on the other.  It seems to me that Celtic probably arrived in the isles about the same time in an identical state but that Britain's isolation from Ireland (but not Gaul) and Ireland's isolation from everyone c. 600-300BC meant that Britain accrued the P-change but Ireland didnt.  There is no convincing evidence for any significant population movement into either island in that period so it seems likely that the P-change was to do with Iron Age elite interaction between Britain and Gaul and not invasion.  However please note that Gaelic and British remained closely related as the 'insular branch' despite the P-shift in British (and a couple of other changes) and in some ways despite the P-shift in British they remained structurally closer to each other than with Gaulish.  Basically the commonality between Gaelic and British is at the root and structural while the P-change may well be aerially transmitted fairly late on and of little significance. 
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NealtheRed
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« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2010, 05:22:11 PM »

I think it was probably very easy for a Q-Celtic speaking population to switch over to P-Celtic..

The same argument applies in reverse i.e. that we don't need a mass invasion of the Highlands and Islands of Northern Britain from Ireland to explain the shift from P-Celtic to Gaelic there. The latest thinking seems to be that the migration was actually in the opposite direction - from  N Britain to N Ireland. And that these Britons (Cruithne) kept their contacts with kin across the water and so introduced Gaelic to what is now Scotland.  I'm following that idea in the latest version of Celtic Tribes.

That makes sense, especially with the DNA since it looks older in Northern Britain than in Ireland. But did the first Celts in Ireland speak P-Celtic first?
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« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2010, 05:26:27 PM »


However please note that Gaelic and British remained closely related as the 'insular branch' despite the P-shift in British (and a couple of other changes) and in some ways despite the P-shift in British they remained structurally closer to each other than with Gaulish.  Basically the commonality between Gaelic and British is at the root and structural while the P-change may well be aerially transmitted fairly late on and of little significance. 

Ok, that makes perfect sense. I can see the similarities between Gaelic and Brythonic, and the patronymics are too besides the Mac/Map distinction.
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