Large-scale Migration into Britain.

No, this isn’t about the causes of Brexit, I’m abbreviating the title of Large-scale migration into Britain during the Middle to Late Bronze Age by Nick Patterson, Michael Isakov, and a long list of coauthors ending with David Reich, published in Nature last month. At that link you can only get the abstract unless you’re a subscriber, so a more useful one is Juan Siliezar’s Harvard Gazette story about it:

New research reveals a major migration to the island of Great Britain 3,000 years ago and offers fresh insights into the languages spoken at the time, the ancestry of present-day England and Wales, and even ancient habits of dairy consumption. The findings are described in Nature by a team of more than 200 international researchers led by Harvard geneticists David Reich and Nick Patterson. Michael Isakov, a Harvard undergraduate who discovered the existence of the migration, is one of the co-first authors.

The analysis is one of two Reich-led studies of DNA data from ancient Britain that Nature published on December 22. Both highlight technological advances in large-scale genomics and open new windows into the lives of ancient people. […] The researchers analyzed the DNA of 793 newly reported individuals in the largest genome-wide study involving ancient humans. Their findings reveal a large-scale migration likely from somewhere in France to the southern part of Great Britain, or modern-day England and Wales, that eventually replaced about 50 percent of the ancestry of the island during the Late Bronze Age (1200 to 800 B.C.).

The study supports a recent theory that early Celtic languages came to Great Britain from France during the Late Bronze Age. It challenges two prominent theories: that the languages arrived hundreds of years later, in the Iron Age, or 1,500 years earlier at the dawn of the Bronze Age. Previous research has shown that large-scale movement often accompanied language changes in pre-state societies. The Reich team argues that this untold migration event makes more sense for the spread of early Celtic languages into Britain.

“By using genetic data to document times when there were large-scale movements of people into a region, we can identify plausible times for a language shift,” Reich said. “Known Celtic languages are too similar in their vocabularies to plausibly descend from a common ancestor 4,500 years ago, which is the time of the earlier pulse of large-scale migration, and very little migration occurred in the Iron Age. If you’re a serious scholar, the genetic data should make you adjust your beliefs: downweighting the scenario of early Celtic language coming in the Iron Age [and early Bronze Age] and upweighting the Late Bronze Age.”

There’s other interesting stuff (“the researchers found that the ability to digest cow’s milk dramatically increased in Britain from 1200 to 200 B.C., which is about a millennium earlier than it did in central Europe”), and I’m sure there are plenty of Hatters who will want to dig into it. Thanks, Bonnie!


  1. John Emerson says

    While these results may be scientiically and historically interesting, we have to ask ourselves whether they are really worth it, given the way that the Celtic fantasists are sure to make use of these facts.

    At least this doesn’t bring the Celts much closer to Stonehenge.

  2. The Celtic fantasists were probably rooting for “1,500 years earlier at the dawn of the Bronze Age.”

  3. David Eddyshaw says

    Bah! My Celtic forebears were too busy levitating the stones for the Pyramids to bother with cheap knockoffs like Stonehenge.

  4. Knowing as I do nothing on the subject of genetics but a thing or two on the subject of historical linguistics, I will say that, assuming that this 1200-800 BC population movement did indeed trigger language shift in (at least parts of) the British Isles (which seems likely, but is not certain), then this new language is unlikely to be the direct ancestor of any of the Modern Celtic languages (Both those of the Goidelic and those of the Brythonic branch). Because of this we have no way of knowing whether it indeed was Celtic or not (but see below).

    The reason for my saying this is that it has proven well-nigh impossible to present even a single clear difference between reconstructed insular Celtic (spoken sometime between 100 BC and 100 AD) and its contemporary Celtic sister, Gaulish, attested (roughly) during the same time period. For this reason it is unclear, in fact, whether there are any solid grounds for treating Proto-insular Celtic and Gaulish as separate languages/dialects.

    This is very unlike the situation when comparing Gaulish and its Southern Celtic sister language, Celtiberian: despite both being attested by very reduced/fragmentary corpora, there is a set of features setting Gaulish sharply apart from Celtiberian (The latter makes use of fully declined forms of the Indo-European relative pronoun *yo-, which in Gaulish + Insular Celtic is an undeclined verbal suffix (?clitic), for example).

    If Insular Celtic had indeed descended from the language brought to the British Isles by these invaders, no later than 800 BC, I would expect Insular Celtic to be as sharply differentiated from Gaulish as Celtiberian is. Since it is not, I can only assume that Insular Celtic must have arrived in the British Isles at a much later date.

    If my feet were held to the fire and I was forced to guess, I would say that the 1200-800 BC invaders probably spoke an Indo-european language and that this invasion was the first Indo-Europeanization of the British Isles (In whole or perhaps only in part): if this language was Celtic (which I think is extremely likely) it would have been far more archaic than Gaulish or Insular Celtic, indeed it might well have been quite Celtiberian-like (Actually, I would consider calling it Para-Celtiberian: PC). For these Early British Celtic/PC speakers Proto-Insular Celtic would probably have been an easily-learnt L2, so that we might think of the British Isles as having been Celticized in two waves: an Early British Celtic/PC wave associated with the 1200-800 BC invaders, and a much later wave (whether it left genetic traces or not will have to be determined by future research: mark you, since Proto-Insular Celtic would have been so easily learnable by Early British Celtic/PC speakers, a scenario whereby Insular Celtic spread via mechanisms of language spread other than demographic expansion is certainly possible), with the latter *and not the former* being directly ancestral to all Brythonic and Goidelic languages.

    Cue the outrage from the Celtic fantasists in three, two, one…

  5. Those sound like very reasonable ideas to me.

  6. Trond Engen says

    The immediate lesson is that Celtic probably came with the very front of Hallstatt-affiliated cultures rather than with later movements within Hallstatt. That will have implications also on the continent, but it may be too early to tell which.

    I’ve not been able to find a draft version online, so it’s not much more to say except what’s said by Reich and Isakov in the Harvard Gazette.


    The studies are not only important for Great Britain, where we now have far more ancient DNA data than in any other region, but also because of what they show about the promise of similar studies elsewhere in the world.


    “It’s sort of incredible that we have geneticists, we have statisticians, we have archaeologists, linguists, and even chemical analysis coming together. I think that the fact that we’re able to like merge all these fields and have an actual insight that’s culturally important is a great example of interdisciplinary science.”

  7. Trond Engen says

    … and now recalibrating for what Etienne says.


    It’s reasonable that Celtiberian spread with the front of Hallstatt, and that Core Celtic developed somewhere else in Hallstattia. Does this have to be a land-based region, or could it be centered around the Atlantic trade network and the Channel? And/or could there have been a back-migration into the European continent?

  8. David Marjanović says

    I’ll just caution against underestimating the diversity within “Gaulish”, i.e. Celtic within more-or-less-historical Gaul, which covers a lot of space and a noticeable amount of time.

    It also seems clear that robust linguistic contacts between Celtic languages across the Channel continued well into Roman times.

  9. Yes, that’s what I’m starting to wrap my head around. It’s so easy to assume that the insular Celts went off to the insulae and the continental Celts stayed on the continent and they never spoke to each other again. Brexit avant le mot!

  10. I haven’t read this latest evidence, but if indeed it restricts the Beaker Culture replacement of inhabitants of Britain to 50% rather than the 90% which, if I recall correctly, was the figure given by Reich himself (in “Who We Are and How We Got Here”) my prejudices suggest it is less unbelievable.

  11. Trond Engen says

    I don’t think this means a downward adjustment of the 90% replacement. This is a later and more gradual migration that brought peoples with a higher proportion of European Farmer ancestry.

  12. A 50% replacement after the 90% replacement? Blimey! DNA reconstructions of prehistory are fascinating and are gradually revealing some fascinating stuff. I will hang on to a bit of my scepticism, though. I think we are very much at the early stages of this research (the picture has changed dramatically since Bryan Sykes’ “The Blood of the Isles” just over 15 years ago, when we were told the bulk of our DNA was present here in the Neolithic at the latest) and it would not be surprising if there were vastly new pictures to come).

  13. Exactly. It’s quite a thrill to be able to watch a science being so thoroughly revolutionized in real time!

  14. Trond Engen says

    Not so much being revolutionized as being built up from scratch, which means that the dots are few and får between, and there are still major discoveries to be made in the gaps.

  15. Dmitry Pruss says

    It’s tough call to me. Yes, their sampled remains from Iron Age Britain have an unusual excess of old European Farmer ancestry (EEF) which has been reduced to lower levels in the British Isles during the earlier Bronze Age migrations. And the same kind of ancestry is also enriched in Urnfield remains they were able to sample.

    But these interesting British samples came from a small area on the Channel’s shore and may or may not be possible to generalize to a wider swath of Britain (one could argue that different peoples may have traveled in the Channel without necessarily impacting the inland areas). And Y-chromosomes in England, as they existed in the subsequent era, are distinct from anything known in the early continental Celts so far. And generally Europe was rather thoroughly homogenized in Bronze Age, making predictions based on broad ancestral components somewhat less exact. One might need to seek confirmation in more narrowly specific DNA phenomena, like Y-chromosomes and especially sharing of autosomal haplotypes.

  16. Substantial discussion also ongoing at Eurogenes, with similar reservations as Etienne how this is not at all necessarily the Insular Celtic spread event.

  17. Trond Engen says

    “793 newly reported individuals” sounds like a lot. You mean to say that only a few (late and local?) genomes actually show a shift towards European Farmer ancestry? I didn’t know that. But even so, the population level ⁷shift was already remarked upon in the previous study, so I understamd this to be more about being able to connect it to a timed wave of immigration rather than internal development. Not having read the paper, I may very well be wrong.

  18. Savalonôs says

    Etienne’s comments make a lot of sense. I’m still vaguely weirded out by the idea that Proto-Goidelic was the same language as gaulish / Brittonic as recently as ca. AD 1, just because Irish seems so distinctive. But, I gather that the Primitive Irish evidence indicates that Goidelic was undergoing very rapid changes in the first few centuries AD, so I guess that’s when it became distinctive. Perhaps the speakers of the gaulish dialect that became proto-goidelic had entered Ireland very recently prior to the primitive irish period. Perhaps their language underwent rapid changes at that point because of intensive contact with the earlier local language, which we just missed having direct evidence for. Who knows, perhaps that earlier local language was some kind of astounding Celtic-Afroasiatic creole that had developed after the late bronze age migrations of early Celtic speakers!

    P.S. naturally, I’m mostly goofing when I say Afro-Asiatic specifically—no Vennemannian, I—it would be whatever language EEFs spoke. Could be AA, or Hurro-Urartian, or Hattic, or Sumeroid, or maybe even Elamo-Dravidian. Most likely if, by some near miracle, we recover written evidence of the last pre-IE language spoken in Ireland, it would not be discernibly any of the above (Vasconic would not be out of the question).

  19. Savalonôs says

    P. S. Patterson et al’s findings extend only to England and Wales, correct? So, I suppose any inferences drawn about the genetic or linguistic history of Ireland or Scotland on this basis are limited to the speculative.

  20. But, I gather that the Primitive Irish evidence indicates that Goidelic was undergoing very rapid changes in the first few centuries AD, so I guess that’s when it became distinctive.

    Yes. As I said here, “Primitive Irish looks reassuringly like Latin.”

  21. David Marjanović says

    Perhaps the speakers of the gaulish dialect that became proto-goidelic had entered Ireland very recently prior to the primitive irish period.

    Check out the first half of this comment and the replies to it.

  22. >check out the first half

    So just the first 15,000 words?

  23. David Eddyshaw says

    As I’ve remarked before, St Patrick (that famous Welshman) would probably have found Irish fairly easy to acquire. The changes that make Irish so very Irish largely postdate his time (and indeed, the sheer glorious irregularity of Old Irish itself shows that those changes hadn’t been around long enough for their effects to get smoothed out by analogy.)

  24. Savalonôs says

    Great comment, easily one of my top 500 favorite comments from that thread. Seriously, though, I’m fairly certain I read the first half of that comment before, half forgot about it, and had it in the back of my head. So I took this as an opportunity to read the next 25% or so. Fascinating stuff.

  25. David Marjanović says

    So just the first 15,000 words?

    Yes 🙂

  26. Nick Patterson says

    A clarification. 90% replacement and 50% Steppe are not in conflict.
    Northern European BB (and British BB) have about 50% Steppe, 50%
    European farmer (pre-Steppe or middle Neolithic) ancestry. The point is that there is little or no dilution of the Steppe ancestry in British BB compared with mainland European BB which means the replacement must be nearly complete.

  27. Adrian Martyn says

    Delighted to find this site – more like it are sorely needed.

    This is a wonderful genetic insight, but cannot prove what they propose. The earlier dates were not made by linguists but geneticists, right? More than a bit cheeky for geneticists to try the same approach to re-adjust the goalposts.

    If they are serious scholars, the linguistic data should make them adjust their beliefs and upweight the Iron Age. Fair’s fair …

  28. Trond Engen says

    I’ve got to stick this somewhere, so let this be the thread about the multiple peoplings of Britain,

    Gretzinger, J., Sayer, D., Justeau, P. et al. The Anglo-Saxon migration and the formation of the early English gene pool. Nature (2022). (Open access).


    The history of the British Isles and Ireland is characterized by multiple periods of major cultural change, including the influential transformation after the end of Roman rule, which precipitated shifts in language, settlement patterns and material culture. The extent to which migration from continental Europe mediated these transitions is a matter of long-standing debate. Here we study genome-wide ancient DNA from 460 medieval northwestern Europeans—including 278 individuals from England—alongside archaeological data, to infer contemporary population dynamics. We identify a substantial increase of continental northern European ancestry in early medieval England, which is closely related to the early medieval and present-day inhabitants of Germany and Denmark, implying large-scale substantial migration across the North Sea into Britain during the Early Middle Ages. As a result, the individuals who we analysed from eastern England derived up to 76% of their ancestry from the continental North Sea zone, albeit with substantial regional variation and heterogeneity within sites. We show that women with immigrant ancestry were more often furnished with grave goods than women with local ancestry, whereas men with weapons were as likely not to be of immigrant ancestry. A comparison with present-day Britain indicates that subsequent demographic events reduced the fraction of continental northern European ancestry while introducing further ancestry components into the English gene pool, including substantial southwestern European ancestry most closely related to that seen in Iron Age France.



    The ‘Anglo-Saxon settlement’ is among the most intensely debated topics in British history, but much of the discussion remains anchored to the contents of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. These early writings defined the settlement as a single event, or a series of events, tied to the immediate aftermath of the Roman administration in the fifth to sixth century. In the archaeological and historical debate, this has been described as happening to varying degrees; as the Adventus Saxonum (a folk migration of named Germanic tribes), an invasion or the movement of a limited number of elite male migrants. To this day, little agreement has been reached over the scale of migration, the mode of interaction between locals and newcomers, or how the transformation of the social, material, and linguistic or religious spheres was achieved. Here we provide strong evidence of large-scale early medieval migration across the North Sea zone and extend its temporal scope. In particular, we show that these migrations started earlier than previously assumed, as evidenced by individuals with CNE ancestry from later Roman contexts, and continued throughout the middle Anglo-Saxon period. Our results from middle Saxon sites such as Sedgeford push the estimated dates of arrival of CNE ancestry to as late as the eight century and merge these events with interpersonal mobility from Sweden and other Scandinavian regions during the later Viking invasion and settlement. Together, these migrations appear to be part of a continuous movement of people from across the North Sea to Britain from the later Roman period into the eleventh century CE.

    Our results overwhelmingly support the view that the formation of early medieval society in England was not simply the result of a small elite migration, but that mass migration from afar must also have had a substantial role. We identified numerous individuals with only continental ancestry, suggesting that many of them were migrants themselves or were their unadmixed descendants. Both the lack of genetic evidence for male sex bias, and the correlation between ancestry and archaeological features, point to women being an important factor in this migration. Although men with migrant and local ancestry were buried in similar ways, women with migrant ancestries were more often found with grave goods than women with local ancestry. This could point to social stratification, or plausibly might simply reflect the degree to which women of local ancestry were integrated into the emerging CNE families. It is clear, however, that these social differences are subtle, given that we did not find evidence for this pattern in male burials, and that we found significant regional and site-level differences. Previous hypotheses about the social mechanisms in this migration have included partial social segregation, elite migration, substantial population replacement or no migration at all. Our combined genetic and archaeological analysis point to a complex, regionally contingent migration with partial integration that was probably dependent on the fortunes of specific families and their individual members.

    In present-day Britain, we saw substantial northern continental ancestry, albeit at a lower level than during the early medieval period, pointing to a lasting demographic impact of the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ migrations. Specifically, in early medieval western England, Wales and Scotland, and more generally in England during the Norman period, further aDNA sampling may clarify how CNE ancestry spread and was subsequently diluted. Beyond the substantial early medieval immigration of northwestern continental European people found here, we have also identified a second major source of continental ancestry in modern Britain from sources more to the European south and west. This second ancestry component is already evident in our early medieval samples. In Southeast England specifically, individuals at several sites show ancestry whose closest match is in modern-day western Germany, Belgium and/or France, which matches the Frankish connections seen in the archaeological record for these regions. Our data and analyses indicate that this second genetic introgression continued further into the Middle Ages and potentially beyond.


    There was not one Anglo-Saxon invation, but rather a long period of migrations across the North Sea, and even from Eastern Scandinavia, continuing into the Viking Era, This would seem to fit well with the (semi-)legendary accounts of the early Danish kings, and it would also give some context to the correspondences between Vendel and Sutton Hoo

    There was a movement into SE England of “Franks”. This is of similar age and impact as that of “Saxons”. I would have thought that to be due to Roman Era mobility, but it’s apparently definitely Post-Roman. It’s taken as evidence for a migration that’s been hypothesised from archaeological culture in Kent and Sussex, alhough genetically, at least with current data, it’s even stronger in East Anglia.

    The authors note with caution that most Scandinavian genomes in the set are from the Viking Era and thus potentially more admixed than the real source populations would have been centuries earlier. This would lead to misestimation of the Scandinacvian source relative to the Continental. I’ll add that there seem to be few genomes from north of Denmark in the set, and that there’s still probably a lack of ancient DNA from Western Norway that might otherwise have blurred the V-shape in the plot of ancient data even more.

  29. Very interesting, thanks!

  30. Would the study recognize any back-migration to northern Europe?

  31. Trond Engen says

    I usually hyperlink the title, but must have forgotten to add the link adress.

  32. Trond Engen says

    @Y: Back-migration was detected. Immediately before the Scandinavian caveat I paraphrased above it says.

    However, we also note the strong genetic homogeneity among most analysed sites in the northern Netherlands, northern Germany and Denmark (Supplementary Note 4), implying that, during the Early Middle Ages, the continental North Sea and adjacent western Baltic Sea area was a genetic continuum spanning most of the western North European plain without major geographical substructure (Supplementary Fig. 4.1,4.4). This, together with genetic backflow from the British–Irish Isles into continental Europe (Supplementary Table 4.2 and Supplementary Fig. 4.2,4.4), reflects the inferred linguistic history and precludes further identification of specific microregions that contributed gene flow to Britain. We note that, although our screening of plausible medieval continental sites is broad, it could overemphasize later developments of the genetic structure due to the increased replacement of cremation burials by inhumations on the continent.

    I haven’t looked at all the supplementary material yet.

  33. Trond Engen says

    An extremely interesting outlier from the supplementary information:

    We identify several individuals in the England_EMA population that harbour elevated amounts of the North African/Middle Eastern and Caucasus/South Asia component, although this ancestry accounts only for 3.4% and 2.4% in the mean England_EMA population (Supp. Fig. 5.2c). Similar high amounts of those ancetries were also found in the Alt-Inden population (where they represent 19.1% and 4.6% of the ancestry on average) as well as in outlier individuals from Anderten, Schleswig, and Groningen (Supp. Fig. 5.2b). However, those proportions are very similar to the ones measured in present-day French, Spanish, Italians, and Bulgarians, and do therefore probably not reflect recent admixture with a north African or Middle Easterns source. Rather, those outlier came from regions in Europe, where North African/Middle Eastern ancestry is elevated, e.g. the Southwest and Southeast. The only exception is the outlier individual I11570 from Worth Matravers. This individual exhibits 22.4% ancestry from the western African component maximised in present-day Yoruba, Mende, and Esan. Similar amounts are measured in present-day north Africans like Algerians and Mozabites, however, those populations also carry high amounts of the North Africa/Middle Eastern component, which is minimal in I11570. It is therefore more likely that I11570 is the product of recent admixture between a northern European and a west African source. While small amounts of sub-Saharan African ancestry might be the result of low-coverage and/or contamination, there is no reason to assume this for I11570.

    (My emboldening.)

    Worth Matravers:

    Worth Matravers, Football Field, Dorset

    Worth Matravers is a multi-period hilltop site with activity stretching back to the early Neolithic. Located close to Chapman’s Pool on the south-central coast of England. In 2011, a small inhumation cemetery of 21 graves, containing 26 individuals, was excavated by volunteers from the East Dorset Antiquarian Society prior to a community housing development.

    The rectangular cemetery was approximately 17m by 13m and underlay one of the proposed houses. The graves were laid out in six short rows and comprised one triple burial (1685), three double burials (1633, 1678 and 1722) and 17 single burials (of which nine were analysed here) all placed on their backs with heads to the west. There were eleven probable females, four probable males and seven of indeterminate sex. Ages ranged from 5 years to 45-49 years. Six grave types were identified, five of which incorporated local limestone as grave furniture, some of this derived from collapsed Roman buildings, and the sixth being a simple earth-cut type. There was no evidence for coffins and the bodies had probably been shrouded. There were only two grave goods – a stone anchor placed with a male from a double burial (grave 1633), and a small 7th century copper alloy buckle buried with a female (grave 1667).

    Bone samples from seven individuals were submitted to the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC) for radiocarbon dating. The results confirmed that the cemetery was in use from cal CE 540-675 (95% probability) to cal CE 665-790 (95% probability).

    So a person in Early Medieval Dorset who probably had a West (not North!) African grandparent.

  34. Trond Engen says

    (I hope they ruled out contamination from a volunteer excavator with a cold,)

  35. David Eddyshaw says

    So a person in Early Medieval Dorset who probably had a West (not North!) African grandparent

    I be Africa man original.
    (I no be gentleman at all o.)

  36. David Eddyshaw says

    For those unfamiliar with the oeuvre

  37. Thanks Trond,

    460 medieval northwestern Europeans—including 278 individuals from England

    … this ancestry accounts only for 3.4% and 2.4% in the mean England_EMA population

    a small inhumation cemetery of 21 graves, containing 26 individuals,

    I can’t help but feel that in any other discipline, these sample sizes would be considered too small to be statistically significant: ‘suggestive data, needs more research’. (I appreciate getting even this much DNA is amazing; I’m not sure whether any inferences are meaningful.)

    How do we know these particular grave sites are representative of the population at large at the time? Does the very fact of preservation of the sites, and the presence of grave goods, show these _aren’t_ representative?

    What estimates are there for the population of these parts of the country over the period? Would the burials of non-elites have been preserved so well? Are these the burials of dominant warriors/nobility, bringing their NorthWestern European wives and taking local concubines?

  38. David Eddyshaw says

    Does the very fact of preservation of the sites, and the presence of grave goods, show these _aren’t_ representative?

    Excellent point.

  39. Do any of these studies tell us much about the rest of mainland Britain at the time of immigration? They seem to be more focused on the south and east coast regions, fascinating though that is.

  40. Trond Engen says

    They probably represent a skewed sample, at least. That’s also evident from the rebound of indigenous ancestry later. We find the same effects with the First Farmers and the Yamnaya. An artifact of preservation, no doubt. But newcomers, even new elites, will not always and everywhere have burial rites that preserve their bones better. In those cases where indigenous cemeteries are over-represented, the intensity of the immigration event will be underestimated.

    But it’s not just incoming rulers, their wives from the old country, and their local concubines, They find men of local ancestry with elite gravegoods, and so they conclude that it was a complex pattern of local strategies, with some local families being integrated into the new system, probably with regional and temporal differences that can’t be extracted from current data.

    But I still haven’t read all the supplementaries.

  41. Trond Engen says

    AntC: How do we know these particular grave sites are representative of the population at large at the time? Does the very fact of preservation of the sites, and the presence of grave goods, show these _aren’t_ representative?

    One of the points of the study, of course, is the degree to which they are not representative: This plot shows this for genetics. We see that England BA & IA (blue, right) fills roughly the upper (“British”) half of England present-day (blue, left). Similarly, Netherlands/Germany/Denmark BA & IA (yellow, right) fills roughly the upper right (“Saxon”) half of Netherlands/Germany/Denmark present day. This would seem to mean that both are representative for their era.

    The IA graves studied here are all over the place from 100% “British” to 100% “Saxon” and to something else north and south. This is interesting, pretty self-explanatory, and also speaks to its own representativiity. Some few of the yellow “Saxon” dots fit in the mid-to-lower part of the “English” range and are likely back-migrations. Other outliers simply imply stray individual migrations in all directions. (I’d guess that the left wing extremist in the rightmost plot is our Dorset outlier.) Nobody asked the ancient specimens if all their grandparents grew up in the county.

    When modern populations in both England and N/G/D are shifted down towards the tip of the V, it’s undoubtedly because there’s a millennium of European gene flow between the two maps.

  42. Trond Engen says

    The IA graves studied here

    “The Early Medieval graves studied here”, obviously.

    (Could be contamination from Norwegian, where the Iron Age turns Medieval with christianization and the establishment of the Norwegian kingdom around 1000 CE.)

  43. Trond Engen says

    Me: There was a movement into SE England of “Franks”. This is of similar age and impact as that of “Saxons”. I would have thought that to be due to Roman Era mobility, but it’s apparently definitely Post-Roman. It’s taken as evidence for a migration that’s been hypothesised from archaeological culture in Kent and Sussex, alhough genetically, at least with current data, it’s even stronger in East Anglia.

    No, not exactly. Early Medieval “Frankish” admixture was strongest in Sussex and Kent. The “Frankish” contribution to the contemporary population is highest in East Anglia.

  44. Thank you Trond for your patient diligence.

    “Frankish” admixture was strongest in Sussex and Kent. … to the contemporary population is highest in East Anglia.

    And migration from Europe never ceased all through the early to Norman to late Middle Ages.

    I was debating what it is to be English/Anglian specifically — as opposed to British in general. I averred the English are European/their destiny is to re-unite with Europe. This seemingly caused horror amongst the xenophobia currently reeking havoc in UK.

    Hey ho — I’m inexpressibly relieved to be a ‘world citizen’ living in a cosmopolitan country.

  45. Trond Engen says

    AntC: Thank you Trond for your patient diligence.

    More like discontinuous reading and slow comprehension.

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