Basque roots found in Britain and Ireland

Mar 07, 2007

A British geneticist says the Irish, English, Scottish and Welsh may have more ancestors in common than current inhabitants would like to believe.

While historians have taught that the Irish are descended from the Celts and the English are descended from the Anglo-Saxons, University of Oxford medical geneticist Stephen Oppenheimer says it is likely that Britain and Ireland are inhabited by a single people, The New York Times reported.

Oppenheimer, in his book "The Origins of the British: A Genetic Detective Story," said DNA testing suggests the ancestors, who arrived about 16,000 years ago, were mostly from Spain. He said they spoke a language related to Basque.

Oppenheimer said DNA from later invaders accounts for 20 percent of the gene pool in Wales, 30 percent in Scotland, about a third in eastern and southern England and 12 percent in Ireland, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Graeco-Roman papyrus memoirs reveal ancient Egyptian treatment for hangover

Related Stories

'Map spam' puts Google in awkward place

7 hours ago

Google was re-evaluating its user-edited online map system Friday after the latest embarrassing incident—an image of an Android mascot urinating on an Apple logo.

Team develops faster, higher quality 3-D camera

7 hours ago

When Microsoft released the Kinect for Xbox in November 2010, it transformed the video game industry. The most inexpensive 3-D camera to date, the Kinect bypassed the need for joysticks and controllers by ...

Recommended for you

Deciphering the demise of Neandertals

Apr 24, 2015

Researchers from the University of Bologna, Italy, and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, analysed two deciduous teeth from the prehistoric sites of Grotta di Fumane ...

Human ancestors had tentacles

Apr 23, 2015

The famous Vitruvian Man drawn by Leonardo da Vinci pictures the canon of human proportions. However, humans didn't become bilaterally symmetric suddenly. There are two main points of view on the last common ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.