A new ancestry discovery has left Brexiteers up in arms after it was revealed Britain got half its genes from France.
DNA analysis of 793 Bronze Age skeletons from all over Britain and mainland Europe has revealed genetic secrets about a mass human migration that occurred around 3,000 years ago.
The study, which has been publishedin the journal Nature, shows how during the Middle to Late Bronze Age ‘intense contacts’ occurred between communities in Britain and Europe.
It also suggests a Late Bronze Age arrival of Celtic languages from France, which supports what is called the ‘Celtic from the Centre’ historical narrative.
“Trade and shared ideologies”
Study author, Professor Ian Armit from the University of York, wrote in the paper that scientists have for a long time long suspected that migrants arrived in Britain during the Bronze Age.
This was based on ‘trade and shared ideologies.’
He said that “through the constant movement of traders, intermarriage, and small-scale movements of family groups, sustained intense contacts between people from mainland Britain and Europe, over many centuries, entirely altered the genetic destiny of Brits”.
He added that there wasn’t one big violent invasion, or a single migratory event, but he described the migration as a ‘homogenisation.’
Lara Cassidy, a geneticist at Trinity College Dublin who was not involved in the research, described the study as, “a triumph. It takes a step back and considers Bronze Age Britain on the macro scale, charting major movements of people over centuries that likely had profound cultural and linguistic consequences”.
Reich said the study demonstrated how, in the past few years, archaeologists and ancient DNA researchers have made great strides in coming together to address questions of interest.
“To a huge extent, this is due to the large ancient DNA sample sizes that it is now possible to generate economically,” he said. “These studies are also beginning to address questions that truly matter biologically and culturally.”