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Author Topic: R1b-P312 and the Celts  (Read 5289 times)
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« on: December 21, 2008, 09:39:47 PM »

Since some members of this forum are self imposed exiles from another forum, I thought you might be interested in a poll I helped start there concerning the connection of R1b-P312 and its subclades and the Celts. There are six choices:
1) the connection between the ancient Celts and P312 is so extensive, they are essentially one and the same.
2) P312 per se is not associated with the Celts, but one of its subclades such as L21 or P312 is.
3) while P312 may have beena major element of the Celts, a not insignificant portion of the subclade was located outside the Celtic sphere
4) the prehistoric movement and mixture of people in Europe makes it impossible to to identify the Celts with any particular haplogroup or subclade.
5) while the Celts may perhaps be identified with a particular genetic signature, there isn't yet sufficient evidence to do so.
6) other
So far 30 votes have been cast. Option 1, no votes. Option 2, 5 votes (17%). Option 3, 14 votes (47%). Option 4, 8 votes (27%). Option 5, 3 votes. Option 6, no votes. Total 30 votes.
I am astonished that no has as yet voted for option 1, which I expected to be the most popular. While apparently there is no provision on this forum for polls, people might like to comment on what option they think is most likely and why. My own vote is for number 3, though I think number 4 has a certain amount of validity.
Nolan Admin - Glenn Allen Nolen
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2008, 12:05:19 AM »

My belief is that R-P312 is Proto-Celtic with downstream parallel (brother) subclades intermingling, which then became Celtic.   
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2008, 10:56:07 AM »

I think there is some connection. The "fly in the ointment", as far as I can tell, is the presence of what appear to be probable non-Celtic subclades that are P312+, like M153, for example, which appears to prevail among the Basques.

I think a stronger case for "Celticity," if there is such a word, can be made for L21, its offshoot M222, and U152.

M167/SRY2627 is a question mark in my mind. It is P312+ and could be Celtic, but it also is prevalent among people who are not normally thought of as Celts, like the Catalans.

In Britain, the question remains as to what R-P312* (L21-) means. Some of it may represent the descendants of very early Iberian or Ligurian settlers in Britain. Some of it could be Celtic. Some of it could be of Anglo-Saxon or Scandinavian origin. Right now there is no way to tell which is which.

R-P312* needs a couple of downstream SNPs of its own to parse it out.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2008, 10:57:11 AM by rms2 » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2008, 12:59:43 PM »

Here is a recent Rootsweb post from archaeologist Alan Reilly that I think is reasonable:

There is little doubt in my mind that the vast majority of continental Celts were S116 and that a considerable chunk of these may have been L21. S28 seems to have been a marker of the Alpine Celts but not of the Celts as a whole. People tend to forget that the Alpine Celts lay at the southernmost fringe of the Celtic world albeit close to and more accessible for observation from the classical world but that the greater body of Celts or Gauls lay between the Alps and the British Isles (i.e. most of Gaul) and its likely that the majority of these non-Alpine Gauls were either L21 or S116*.

Genetics has therefore really contributed towards our understanding of the Celts. It had become common to say that the Irish and British were Celtic speakers but somehow not genetically Celtic or were pre-Celts who had learned the language. However, S116 and L21 now seem to indicate that the vast majority of the British Isles 'Celtic fringe' people share common ancestry in the not too distant past with a majority of the people residing in primary areas once occupied by the continental Celts. So, the rather silly pretence that British Isles Celts were somehow less Celtic than the Gauls has to be thrown out. This idea had its roots in racist Victorian antiquarian thinking and its good to see it now bites the dust. I am surprised this very important sea change in how we must now view the insular and continental Celts (i.e. they are the same) has not been commented on. So many papers even recently have tried to offset the Atlantic
Celts from the main body of continental ones but now that we know most are S116 people there seems no basis for this and quite the opposite conclusion should be reached. There are surely few now who could say that its valid to see the differences within S116 as being significant given the fact that the branches of S116 are so similar that its even impossible to distinguish most by STRs.

TMRCA dates suggest that all of the S116 clades diverged at about the same time and that they also diverged from S116-/S21+ about the same time, a clade that has a non-Celtic, more north Germanic, focus today. That suggests that when they split the common ancestor was probably just west Indo-European rather than specifically Celtic and that the difference between Celts and Germans only came subsequently or perhaps was just emerging at the split. Another thing worth noting is that L21 and S116* seem to have been together in mixed populations throughout France and England, a very substantial chunk of the old Celtic core. There seems to be a large area of mix suggesting early on mixed populations were formed before they migrated northwards in an already mixed state. The increase in L21 in Scotland and further still in Ireland is likely due to founder effects IMO, likewise the S116* predominance in Iberia. I think that is more about
chance than any sort of cultural or ethnic significance.



Please keep in mind that saying "the vast majority of continental Celts were S116" and "S116 and L21 now seem to indicate that the vast majority of the British Isles 'Celtic fringe' people share common ancestry in the not too distant past with a majority of the people residing in primary areas once occupied by the continental Celts" are not the same as saying that all P312 (S116) and even all L21 were Celtic.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2008, 01:04:14 PM by rms2 » Logged

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