The Longue Durée of Genetic Ancestry: Multiple Genetic Marker Systems and Celtic Origins on the Atlantic Facade of Europe

Brian McEvoy, Martin Richards, Peter Forster, Daniel G. Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Celtic languages are now spoken only on the Atlantic facade of Europe, mainly in Britain and Ireland, but were spoken more widely in western and central Europe until the collapse of the Roman Empire in the first millennium A.D. It has been common to couple archaeological evidence for the expansion of Iron Age elites in central Europe with the dispersal of these languages and of Celtic ethnicity and to posit a central European "homeland" for the Celtic peoples. More recently, however, archaeologists have questioned this "migrationist" view of Celtic ethnogenesis. The proposition of a central European ancestry should be testable by examining the distribution of genetic markers; however, although Y-chromosome patterns in Atlantic Europe show little evidence of central European influence, there has hitherto been insufficient data to confirm this by use of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Here, we present both new mtDNA data from Ireland and a novel analysis of a greatly enlarged European mtDNA database. We show that mtDNA lineages, when analyzed in sufficiently large numbers, display patterns significantly similar to a large fraction of both Y-chromosome and autosomal variation. These multiple genetic marker systems indicate a shared ancestry throughout the Atlantic zone, from northern Iberia to western Scandinavia, that dates back to the end of the last Ice Age.

LanguageEnglish
Pages693-702
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Volume75
Issue number4
Early online date12 Aug 2004
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Mitochondrial DNA
Genetic Markers
Y Chromosome
Ireland
Roman World
Language
Scandinavian and Nordic Countries
Nucleic Acid Databases
Ice
Iron

Cite this

@article{5cb5564ac0fc4b639aa9257e6d81fb95,
title = "The Longue Dur{\'e}e of Genetic Ancestry: Multiple Genetic Marker Systems and Celtic Origins on the Atlantic Facade of Europe",
abstract = "Celtic languages are now spoken only on the Atlantic facade of Europe, mainly in Britain and Ireland, but were spoken more widely in western and central Europe until the collapse of the Roman Empire in the first millennium A.D. It has been common to couple archaeological evidence for the expansion of Iron Age elites in central Europe with the dispersal of these languages and of Celtic ethnicity and to posit a central European {"}homeland{"} for the Celtic peoples. More recently, however, archaeologists have questioned this {"}migrationist{"} view of Celtic ethnogenesis. The proposition of a central European ancestry should be testable by examining the distribution of genetic markers; however, although Y-chromosome patterns in Atlantic Europe show little evidence of central European influence, there has hitherto been insufficient data to confirm this by use of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Here, we present both new mtDNA data from Ireland and a novel analysis of a greatly enlarged European mtDNA database. We show that mtDNA lineages, when analyzed in sufficiently large numbers, display patterns significantly similar to a large fraction of both Y-chromosome and autosomal variation. These multiple genetic marker systems indicate a shared ancestry throughout the Atlantic zone, from northern Iberia to western Scandinavia, that dates back to the end of the last Ice Age.",
author = "Brian McEvoy and Martin Richards and Peter Forster and Bradley, {Daniel G.}",
year = "2004",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1086/424697",
language = "English",
volume = "75",
pages = "693--702",
journal = "American Journal of Human Genetics",
issn = "0002-9297",
publisher = "Cell Press",
number = "4",

}

The Longue Durée of Genetic Ancestry : Multiple Genetic Marker Systems and Celtic Origins on the Atlantic Facade of Europe. / McEvoy, Brian; Richards, Martin; Forster, Peter; Bradley, Daniel G.

In: American Journal of Human Genetics, Vol. 75, No. 4, 10.2004, p. 693-702.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Longue Durée of Genetic Ancestry

T2 - American Journal of Human Genetics

AU - McEvoy, Brian

AU - Richards, Martin

AU - Forster, Peter

AU - Bradley, Daniel G.

PY - 2004/10

Y1 - 2004/10

N2 - Celtic languages are now spoken only on the Atlantic facade of Europe, mainly in Britain and Ireland, but were spoken more widely in western and central Europe until the collapse of the Roman Empire in the first millennium A.D. It has been common to couple archaeological evidence for the expansion of Iron Age elites in central Europe with the dispersal of these languages and of Celtic ethnicity and to posit a central European "homeland" for the Celtic peoples. More recently, however, archaeologists have questioned this "migrationist" view of Celtic ethnogenesis. The proposition of a central European ancestry should be testable by examining the distribution of genetic markers; however, although Y-chromosome patterns in Atlantic Europe show little evidence of central European influence, there has hitherto been insufficient data to confirm this by use of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Here, we present both new mtDNA data from Ireland and a novel analysis of a greatly enlarged European mtDNA database. We show that mtDNA lineages, when analyzed in sufficiently large numbers, display patterns significantly similar to a large fraction of both Y-chromosome and autosomal variation. These multiple genetic marker systems indicate a shared ancestry throughout the Atlantic zone, from northern Iberia to western Scandinavia, that dates back to the end of the last Ice Age.

AB - Celtic languages are now spoken only on the Atlantic facade of Europe, mainly in Britain and Ireland, but were spoken more widely in western and central Europe until the collapse of the Roman Empire in the first millennium A.D. It has been common to couple archaeological evidence for the expansion of Iron Age elites in central Europe with the dispersal of these languages and of Celtic ethnicity and to posit a central European "homeland" for the Celtic peoples. More recently, however, archaeologists have questioned this "migrationist" view of Celtic ethnogenesis. The proposition of a central European ancestry should be testable by examining the distribution of genetic markers; however, although Y-chromosome patterns in Atlantic Europe show little evidence of central European influence, there has hitherto been insufficient data to confirm this by use of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Here, we present both new mtDNA data from Ireland and a novel analysis of a greatly enlarged European mtDNA database. We show that mtDNA lineages, when analyzed in sufficiently large numbers, display patterns significantly similar to a large fraction of both Y-chromosome and autosomal variation. These multiple genetic marker systems indicate a shared ancestry throughout the Atlantic zone, from northern Iberia to western Scandinavia, that dates back to the end of the last Ice Age.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=4544225239&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1086/424697

DO - 10.1086/424697

M3 - Article

VL - 75

SP - 693

EP - 702

JO - American Journal of Human Genetics

JF - American Journal of Human Genetics

SN - 0002-9297

IS - 4

ER -