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They came from Europe and the prairies: Mass migration to Great Britain in the Bronze Age

  • Migration movements shape the entire history of mankind
  • The British Isles saw at least three waves of migration
  • About 3,000 years ago, the last wave brought about the Celtic language and milk tolerance

People have always migrated and migrated to other areas for various reasons. Migration is as ancient as human history. This Results of a study More than 200 international researchers under the guidance of geneticists David Reich and Nick Patterson at Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA. The results were published in the journal Nature.

The spread of Celtic languages ​​is desirable

According to researchers, mass migration to ancient Britain may have favored the spread of the early Celtic languages. The researchers found evidence of changes in milk consumption in DNA. “This suggests that dairy products were used differently in the Bronze Age, Britain and Europe,” the study’s authors explain.

It shows how much can be said about combining large data sets from genetics with other data from archeology and the past. It has the potential to provide a wealth of information about a time when Scripture did not exist.

David Reich
Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology and Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, USA

Migration of farmers and hunters from Europe

For the study, David Reich and colleagues examined the genetic data of 793 people who lived in the Bronze Age. According to him, this is “the largest DNA study ever announced”.

According to researchers, many farmers and hunters may have migrated from Europe to Britain during the Bronze Age. They are the ancestors of the later Neolithic farmers who lived in 3950-2450 BC. Lived. Genetic analysis showed 20 to 80 percent descent.

From the prairie to Britain

The second mass settlement in 2450 BC was associated with the arrival of Europeans on the continent of BC, who brought their ancestors from the Pontic-Caspian plains and lived there as shepherds. This meadow between the Black and Caspian seas is the western part of what is known as the Eurasian meadow. “The Great Migration Movement almost completely exchanged the descent of the population (about 90 per cent), so the proportions of grassland descent in England and Scotland do not differ from each other,” the authors write. “However, today, the proportion of grassland ancestors in the UK is significantly lower.” This change must have been caused by later events, however, it remains a mystery to this day. ”

Mass immigration from France

Great Britain also seemed to have the greatest attraction to the French. Thousands headed north during the Iron Age, which followed the Bronze Age. An international research team analyzed previously unknown mass settlements in ancient Britain that peaked between 1,000 and 875 BC. Reached. “We consider these immigrants to be from France and make up half of the Iron Age population in England and Wales,” it said.

Milk tolerance for survival benefit?

The results also support the hypothesis that Celtic languages ​​came to Britain from France in the late Bronze Age, as the language generally spread through population migration. “Through the genetic data of the large emigrant movements, we can identify reliable times for language change,” said Reich, the study’s head. The scientist and team also discovered that the ability to digest cow’s milk was discovered in Britain between 1200 and 200 BC. Chr. Increased dramatically. This happened a millennium earlier than in Central Europe.