Saturday, September 23, 2006


Here's something I'll have to hear over and over again before it finally sinks in: We of British ancestry are *not* Celtic, and *not* Anglo-Saxon, but essentially Basque:

"The genetic evidence shows that three quarters of our ancestors came to this corner of Europe [i.e., Great Britain] as hunter-gatherers, between 15,000 and 7,500 years ago, after the melting of the ice caps but before the land broke away from the mainland and divided into islands. Our subsequent separation from Europe has preserved a genetic time capsule of southwestern Europe during the ice age, which we share most closely with the former ice-age refuge in the Basque country....

"Another wave of immigration arrived during the Neolithic period, when farming developed about 6,500 years ago. But the English still derive most of their current gene pool from the same early Basque source as the Irish, Welsh and Scots. These figures are at odds with the modern perceptions of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon ethnicity based on more recent invasions. There were many later invasions, as well as less violent immigrations, and each left a genetic signal, but no individual event contributed much more than 5 per cent to our modern genetic mix." MORE >>>

In my younger days, I hitchhiked around Europe and made a special foray into the mysterious Basque country of southern France. Unfortunately, the only thing I remember is a man in a bar balancing a spoon on his nose.
Thnx to the Basque Webpage for the foto


Morgaine said...

That's interesting - I didn't know about the Basque connection. I did know that there are theories that the Celts are of separate origin (some even speculate they're what's left of Atlantis) and that the Angles and Saxons are of Germanic extraction. The Picts are the oldest known inhabitants of Ireland, I think. As for England, I know that the ruling classes are mostly Norman and German descent. The real British royal line died out and was replaced with Mary of Hanover, who was German. Everyone who followed her, including the Windsors, are German, aren't they?

Do you know anything about the origins of the Basque language?

Athana said...

I think we're just finding out about this connection -- through new genetic studies.

As I understand it, no one knows where the Basque language came from. For hundreds of thousands of miles all around them, the little Basque area in the Pyrenees at the French/Spanish border is surrounded by nothing but speakers of Indo-European. In other words, patriarchal-thug Starvation Culture peoples conquered everyone but the Basques, eons ago, across the whole of Europe.

The fascinating thing about the BAsques, then, is that they are living evidence of what we Europeans might have been before the patriarchy.

A caution, however: the Basques too have been patriarchalized over the past millennia. So we need to tread with care when we look at them for evidence.

Athana said...

Here's what Wiki has to say about Basque religion. No surprise: like everyone else, before the Christiams stomped on them, they apparently worshiped a supreme Goddess:

"Pre-Christian religion and mythology

"There is strong evidence of a previous religion, reflected in countless legends and some enduring traditions. This pre-Christian religion was apparently centered on a superior female genie: Mari. Her consort Sugaar also seems to bear some importance. This chthonic couple seem to bear the superior ethical power and also the power of creation and destruction. It's said that when they gathered in the high caves of the sacred peaks, they engendered the storms. These meetings typically happened on Friday nights, the day of historical akelarre or coven. Mari was said to reside in mount Anboto, periodically she crossed the skies as a bright light to reach her other home at mount Txindoki.

"Another divinity seems to be Urtzi (also Ost, Ortzi: sky) but it seems to have been imported, as legends do not speak of him. Nevertheless his name appears in weekdays, months names and metereological events. In medieval times, Aymeric Picaud, a French pilgrim, wrote on the Basques, saying: et Deus vocant Urcia ("and they name God as Urci-a"; the -a being the Basque nominative or suffixed article).

"There is also Anbotoko Mari, a goddess whose movements affected the weather. According to one tradition, she travelled every seven years between a cave on mount Anboto and one on another mountain (the stories vary); the weather would be wet when she was in Anboto, dry when she was in AloƱa, or Supelegor, or Gorbea...."

Athana said...

It sounds as if this article is saying that 75% of the gene pool in the British Isles is Basque, and only 25% is Celtic, Anglo Saxon, or anything else.

Anne Johnson said...

The Celts didn't build Stonehenge. I've always felt my Brit Isles ancestry was something other than that. And BTW, the Celts have been traced back to India.

Amananta said...

What about Scotland, Picts, etc?

Athana said...

anne, all the languages in Europe are "Indo-European." That means they all came from the same people who dominated India back several thousand years ago -- war-god peoples who ran over India and Europe alike. The only exception is the Basque language. BAsque is the only language in Europe that isn't Indo-European. That's why it's always been so fascinating to me. Now new genetics research is establishing what we all thought before -- that the Basques were the original Europeans.

Amananta: the Scots and the Picts too spoke languages that are Indo-European.

pignut said...

Basque isn't the only non Indo European language in europe: Hungarian, Finnish and Estonian belong to the Finno Ugric family of languages which is non Indo-European. The Hungarian language (Magyar) reached Europe in the dark ages. There is some controversy about when the Finnish and Estonian languages reached Europe, some people think they are surviving pre-indo-European languages. Some people also think Pictish, Etruscan and other extinct languages may have been non-Indo European

History will often record that a huge army of X-ish people invaded Y-land, and wiped out all the indigenous people or drove them somewhere else when perhaps in reality the "X-ish people" were one warlord, his extended family and a lot of mercenaries and allied tribes many of them actually recently conquered Y-landers. The X-ish warlord puts members of his family into positions of power. The Y-landers find that they have to speak X-ish and follow the X-ish religion, if they are going to get anywhere in the new society.

The genetic science seems to be in its infancy. A study reported in the Daily Telegraph a few years ago had an even more extreme conclusion that invaders of the last 10,000 years made up only 3% of the UK population, whereas other studies have gone to the opposite extreme (Anglo Saxon apartheid etc.). All these studies look at a few small segments of DNA, which are assumed to be representative of a population, junk dna (no actual function) and therefore not selected. These are big assumptions

What the scientists think is "noisy data" might actually be the result of many centuries of steady immigration, from many different places which is often not dramatic enough to make the history books. There were African immigrants in London as early as Elizabethan times. Some people love to travel and others have a "thing" for foreign accents! There was an experiment on TV where 4 British men, one white, one black, one of Japanese origin and one of Indian origin. The tests showed that they all had a common male ancestor only a few thousand years ago. It would be interesting to compare the DNA of aristocrats, urban people and rural people. I suspect that urban people would be quite a mix of many different races, and aristocrats would have a lot of invader genes.

Also, what if the X-ish warlord invades with his Z-ish mercenaries, unaware that the Y-ish king was smart enough to make a better offer to the Z-ish mercenaries, to stab the X-ish warlord in the back. The Y-ish king announces it as a great Y-ish victory, and then quietly tells the Z-ish mercenaries that they can all settle in Y-land and bring their families over as long as they keep quiet about the whole sorry business and integrate. This kind of thing happened a lot in the dark ages

There is a legend about a Vandal invasion of East Anglia, that may have given Wandlebury it's name

Anonymous said...

the basques are from northern spain the small part that belongs to france just happens to be on french territory but the basques real land is northern spain.