Ground-breaking DNA study reveals diverse roots of ancient Britain inhabitants
#1
Quote:When you imagine life for ordinary people in ancient Britain, you’d be forgiven for picturing quaint villages where everyone looked and spoke the same way. But a recent study could change the way historians think about early medieval communities.

Most of what we know about English history after the fall of the Roman Empire is limited to archaeological finds. There are only two contemporary accounts of this post-Roman period. Gildas (sixth century) and Bede (eighth century) were both monks who give narrow descriptions of invasion by people from the continent, and neither provide an objective account.

My team’s study, published in Nature, changes that. We analyzed DNA from the remains of 460 people from sites across northern Europe and found evidence of mass migration from Europe to England and the movement of people from as far away as West Africa. Our study combined information from artifacts and human remains.

That meant we could dig deeper into the data to explore the human details of the migration.

Journey into England's past

This paper found that about 76 percent of the genetic ancestry in the early medieval English population we studied originated from what is today northern Germany and southern Scandinavia — continental northern European. This number is an average taken from 278 ancient skeletons sampled from the south and east coasts of England. It is strong evidence for mass migration into the British Isles after the end of the Roman administration.

One of the most surprising discoveries was the skeleton of a young girl who died at about ten or 11 years of age, found in Updown near Eastry in Kent. She was buried in typical early seventh-century style with a finely made pot, knife, spoon, and bone comb. Her DNA, however, tells a more complex story. As well as 67 percent continental northern European ancestry, she also had 33 percent West African ancestry. Her African ancestor was most closely related to the modern-day Esan and Yoruba population in southern Nigeria.

Evidence of far-reaching commercial connections with Kent at this time is known. The garnets in many brooches found in this region came from Afghanistan, for example. And the movement of the Updown girl’s ancestors was likely linked to these ancient trading routes.

Read the full article here:

DNA study debunks a long-held theory about how ancient Britons lived
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#2
Everyone came from Africa.
Don't insult the precious, my precious!:book:
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#3
Um, yeah, but pretty sure they were looking at slightly more recent migration. Wink

I love how headlines can seemingly "spin" things. A slightly more accurate headline might read "Study confirms successive waves of migration to England, which has been common knowledge since the time the waves were occurring."
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#4
For me, what's ground-breaking about the study is how they were able to study a local population through multiple generations and determine so many details about who came from where.
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#5
Now that gets cooler and cooler every year Smile
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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