In religion they are fanatic and bigoted, ready to swear in the words of their master rather than to exercise independent judgment.”According to the genetic research, the Irish are at the extreme end of a genetic wave that washed across Europe, a wave of migrants that swept westward from above the Black Sea across Europe about 2,500 B. That wave of migration had been documented in previous research led by David Reich at Harvard University, but it was unclear whether it had extended all the way to Ireland.
The Y chromosome and other aspects of the DNA in the bones found behind Mc Cuaig’s, however, link the Irish to that surge of population.“The way to think about genetic variation in Europe is that it is more of a gradient than it is of sharp boundaries," said Bradley, the DNA researcher.
Koch, the linguist at the University of Wales, for example, proposed in 2008 that “Celtic” languages were not imports to the region but instead were developed somewhere in the British Isles or the Iberian Peninsula — and then spread eastward into continental Europe. In a 2001 book, Cunliffe, the Oxford scholar, argued on the basis of archaeological evidence that the flow of Celtic culture was opposite that of the traditional view — it flowed from the western edge of Europe, what he calls “the Atlantic zone” — into the rest of the continent.
His doubts about the traditional view arose as he was studying inscriptions on artifacts from southern Portugal. “It just didn’t fit with the traditional theory of Celtic spreading west to Britain and Iberia.” Numerous digs, most notably in Austria and Switzerland, have traced the outlines of the Celts. In many places of the Atlantic zone, he notes, people were buried in passages aligned with the solstices, a sign that they shared a unified belief system.
"Sometimes, cultural features like language and natural borders can coincide with genetics, but most times not.
Genetics is fuzzy, and it doesn't follow political and cultural borders." Even so, some experts warned that the new findings will disappoint many who would prefer a simpler answer to the question Irish origins.
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The genetic roots of today's Irish, in other words, existed in Ireland before the Celts arrived.“The most striking feature” of the bones, according to the research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, is how much their DNA resembles that of contemporary Irish, Welsh and Scots.
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