THE SOURCE: Myths of British Ancestry by Stephen Oppenheimer, in Prospect Magazine, 21 October 2006, Issue 127, and Myths of British Ancestry Revisited, in Prospect Magazine, 30 June 2007, Issue 135.
"DNA testing may now have finished off the concept of the WASP, the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, in favor of the unpronounceable WBP, or White Basque Protestant. It turns out that the ancestors of most of the English are not Anglo-Saxons at all, but Basques, writes Stephen Oppenheimer, author of The Origins of the British: A Genetic Detective Story (Constable & Robinson Ltd, London hardcover 2006, paperback 2007), and at the time a Professor of Genetics at Oxford University, England. For the past few centuries, the Anglo-centric world has believed that the English are descended from the Angles and the Saxons, who supposedly took over southern England after the Romans decamped. As for the rest of the kingdom, the Scots, Welsh, and Irish have been thought to be the successors of the indigenous Celts, who had a glorious culture of spiral art forms and gold metalwork. Some Viking progeny were understood to have been sprinkled around the edges."(1)
"The genetic evidence is quite different. Three-quarters or 75% of the ancestors of the English arrived on what became the British Isles between 15,000 (13,000 B.C.) and 7,500 (5,500 B.C.) years ago, at the end of the last ice age, when England was still attached to the mainland of Europe, Oppenheimer writes. They were hunter-gatherers, and shared a genetic heritage with the Basques, who lived in the mountainous former ice-age redoubt their descendants still inhabit."(2) The Basques were once spread throughout what is now Spain, Portugal, and the Atlantic provinces of France all the way up to the Strait of Dover, which was, along with the English Channel and the North Sea, dry land until about 7,500 years ago (5,500 B.C), when the last of the ice sheets of the last ice age melted and flooded the plains. Gascony in southwest France was named for the Basques. Subsequent invasions by the Indo-European speaking Gaulish Celts, Latin-speaking Romans, and the Germanic Franks, Visigoths, Burgundians, and Ostrogoths saw the imposition of their respective languages and cultures on the non-Indo-European speaking but Caucasian Basques until the Basque language was confined to the mountainous area of the Pyrenees were it continues to exist to this day.
"Periodic invasions of the British Isles began in the Neolithic (New Stone Age) Period, when humans took to farming, about 6,500 years ago (4,500 B.C.). But these incursions had little effect on the basic Basque genetic heritage. That heritage is strongest in Ireland, where only 12 per cent of the population descends from migrants who came after the Basques. In southern and eastern England, nearer the European Continent, the figure is about 33 per cent."(3) These percentages for the Irish and English apply mainly to paternal ancestry, for in their maternal ancestry, the peoples of Britain and Ireland are nearly all of Basque descent." Oppenheimer studied DNA samples collected in small, long-established towns in the British Isles from residents whose grandparents had lived in the same place, and compared them with similar samples taken from the ancestral homes of Celts, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Belgians, Vikings, Normans, and other ancient peoples."(4) "The Anglo-Saxons and the Celts were small immigrant groups. Neither group had much more impact on the British Isles gene pool than the Vikings, the Normans or, indeed, immigrants of the past 50 years, he writes. After the Basques, no single migrant wave contributed more than about five per cent of todays genetic mix."(5) Bryan Sykes, another Professor of Genetics at Oxford University, came to somewhat similar conclusions as Stephen Oppenheimer, as set forth in his book Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland, (W.W. Norton & Company, New York and London, hardcover 2006, paperback 2007), published in The United Kingdom as Blood of the Isles: Exploring the Genetic Roots of Our Tribal History.
Oppenheimer believes that the Anglo-Saxons were not the first Germanic people to migrate to the British Isles. Before the Anglo-Saxon invasions of Britain during the 400's and 500's A.D., the Belgae had invaded Britain in the 300's and 200's B.C., and they too were a Germanic people, as implied by Julius Caesars history of his military campaigns in Britain in 55 and 54 B.C. The Belgae, who came from what is now Belgium and northeastern France, lived in southeast England. They had been preceded by the Celts, who had begun to invade what is now Britain and Ireland during the 500's B.C. (6), if not even earlier. Today, there are a few words in English which are of Celtic origin, although many place names in England come from the Celtic language, for example: Avon, Kent, London, Ouse, and Thames (7). Similarly, in modern French, only about 350 words can be traced to the Gaulish Celtic language (8). One of the reasons why the Germanic Anglo-Saxon invaders on the whole refused to learn the language of the conquered British Celts was because they looked down upon it as a low status peasant language. By contrast, the Germanic tribes who invaded Gaul, now France, during the 400's A.D., i.e. the Franks, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, and Burgundians, were willing to learn the Gallic or French Latin vernacular because they associated it with the grandeur of the Roman Empire, although they too contributed about 1000 Germanic words to it (9). Unlike Gaul, Britain was a far flung frontier province of the Roman Empire, and the Romans never imposed their language and culture on it as thoroughly as they did in what is now France, Spain, and Portugal (10). When the last Roman field armies left Britain in 407 A.D. to participate in a Roman civil war on the European Continent, many of the British peasantry were still speaking either Celtic or Belgic dialects, and many of them still believed in either the Roman or Celtic and Belgic pagan deities, although by this stage there was a large Christian minority (11). The one part of Gaul which the Romans never developed to its full economic potential was Armorica, which remained a largely Gaulish Celtic enclave until it was settled during the 400's and 500's A.D. by Celtic Britons, who renamed the region Brittany, or Little Britain. The probable reason why Armorica remained relatively undeveloped under Roman rule is because the region has largely thin, rocky soils (12). The central highlands or Massif Central of France also has poor soils, with the exception of some valleys, but it is much closer to Italy than Brittany is (13). Similar reasons explain why the Celtic dialects survived in Wales and Cornwall, areas which had been long under Roman rule. Another area of the Roman Empire neglected by the Romans was the mountainous Balkans, where in the hinterland much of its peasantry spoke the Illyrian branch of the Indo-European linguistic family. Albanian is the only Illyrian dialect which has survived to this day. When Slavic-speaking peoples invaded the Balkans during the early 600's A.D., they imposed their language and culture on the inhabitants of the region. The possible reason why a Latin vernacular survived in the partly mountainous Balkan nation of Romania, which once formed the Roman province of Dacia from 106-271 A.D., was because its valuable gold mines attracted many Roman colonists to settle there (Roman Dacia and Trajan's Dacian Wars) (14). The Indo-European speaking Greeks arrived in Greece around 2100-1900 B.C., while the Indo-European Thracians and Illyrians or Thraco-Illyrians arrived in the remainder of the Balkans between 1500-1200 B.C. The Greeks intermarried with the previous Caucasian but non-Indo-European people known as the Pelasgoi, Minoans, and Eteo-Cretans, while the Thracians and Illyrians intermarried with the also Caucasian but non-Indo-European Paleo-Balkan peoples. Turkey or ancient Anatolia, once part of the Greek-speaking East Roman or Byzantine Empire (395-1453 A.D.), was invaded by the Mongoloid Turks from the Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan beginning in the mid-1000's A.D., and the invaders managed to impose their language on the Byzantines, although only a minority of Turks today have Mongoloid physical characteristics. Like the Anglo-Saxons and Slavs, the Turks were an elite minority in their invaded lands. See Turkification. After the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1922, many of the Greek minority living in Turkey re-located to Greece, and many of the Turkish minority in Greece emigrated to Turkey. During the Byzantine era, the main areas of Turkey with Greek speakers were located in the west and south of the country, while the east and north of Turkey had Armenian, Georgian and Kurdish speakers. Greek, Armenian, and Kurdish are Indo-European languages, and the Greeks, Armenians and Georgians are members of the Eastern Orthodox denominations of Christianity. The Iranian speaking Kurds are Sunni Muslims, while the Iranians of Iran are Shiite Muslims. Most ethnic Turks in Turkey are Sunni Muslims, as are the large majority of Muslims in the world today. The Arab Islamic conquest of Syria, Mesopotamia (Iraq and Kuwait), Palestine, Egypt, and the rest of North Africa in the 600's and 700's A.D. saw the imposition of their Arabic language upon the native speakers of Aramaic, Syriac, Chaldean, Assyrian, Coptic, Berber, Greek, and Latin (15). See Arabization and Arabized Berber. The Mongoloid Magyars or Hungarians, who originally came from either where the Bashkir homeland is, i.e. Bashkiria in Russian Siberia, or from the Madjar tribal lands in Kazakhstan, invaded the Hungarian Plain in the 890's A.D, although only a minority of Hungarians today have Mongoloid physical features. The Hungarians or Magyars intermarried with the previous Indo-European inhabitants of Hungary, the Slavs (i.e. Croats and Serbs), and the Celts who had arrived in Hungary from Western Europe before the Slavs. The Magyars imposed their Hungarian language on the previous inhabitants of the Hungarian-Danubian Plain. See Magyarization. Originally the German lands east of the Elbe and Saale rivers were inhabited by Slavic speakers, who from around 1150 A.D. onwards were gradually conquered by German knights, and following them by German colonists. There is documentary evidence which shows that the Slavs of that area adopted the language and customs of the Germans (16). See Germanisation. However, the surviving contemporary documents for England from around 400-600 A.D. is very few and far between (17). "Peoples often adopt the languages of those who dominate them. That is how the Irish come to speak English, or for that matter how the French and Spaniards come to speak languages largely derived from Latin" (18).
"Survival of Christianity [from late Roman times] in the lowland regions of central and southern Britain, which came under the domination of rulers of Anglo-Saxon origin, and where the bulk of the waves of new immigrants had settled, is an even more contentious issue than that of its northwards extension beyond Hadrian's Wall [into Scotland]. The simple view, derived from the great Ecclesiastical History of Bede (died.735), is that the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and all their inhabitants were pagan until the arrival of the mission sent to Kent by pope Gregory the Great in 597. Yet even Bede's own account, deriving from information he received from Canterbury, reveals certain anomalous features. The king of Kent, Aethelbert, to whom the mission led by the monk Augustine had been sent, had married the daughter of the Frankish king Charibert (reign 561-567). In so doing he had to agree that she should be permitted to continue the practice of her own religion, and she had been accompanied to Kent by the Frankish bishop Liudhard, who is usually described as her chaplain. However, when it is appreciated that in this period bishops are never to be found without an episcopal see and were never sent or consecrated other than to existing Christian communities, the fact that a Frankish bishop was exercising his ministry in Kent in the second half of the sixth century indicates the pre-existence there of a body of fellow believers. For them to need a bishop means that more than a kind of Frankish corps diplomatique was involved, and that several clergy of lesser rank would have already been functioning. However imprecise an indicator, the presence of Liudhard proves the existence of a Christian community in Kent before Augustine's arrival in 597" (19). There is also evidence for Anglo-Saxon speaking kings who had Celtic names, for example, " 'the first dynasty' of the kings of Wessex," from the "family from Cerdic to Cynewulf (d.786) had either pure or hybrid Celtic names" (20). The Celtic Briton or British name Caedbaed is found in the pedigree of the kings of Lindsey, which argues for the survival of British elites in this area also (21). In the royal pedigree of the Kingdom of Mercia, the name of King Penda and the names of other kings have more obvious Brythonic than German etymologies (22). Bede, in his major work, charts the careers of four upper-class brothers in the English Church, whom he refers to them as being Northumbrian, and therefore "Anglo-Saxon" (23). However, the names of Saint Chad of Mercia (a prominent bishop) and his brothers Cedd (also a bishop), Cynbil and Caelin (a variant of Ceawlin) are British rather than Anglo-Saxon (24). The Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria, which as the name implies was located north of the River Humber, had been formed out of the unification of the two smaller kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira, which were divided by the valley of the River Tees. Bernicia and Deira are both Celtic names (25).
One of the reasons why the western provinces of the Roman Empire fell to Germanic invaders in the 5th century A.D. was because of its disunited state, being embroiled in civil wars from 383-388 A.D., 392-394 A.D., 397-398 A.D., 407-411 A.D., 413 A.D., 409-417 A.D., (Bagaudae peasant rebellion in Gaul, i.e. Roman France), 421 A.D., 423-425 A.D., 427 A.D., 432 A.D., 435-437 A.D. (another Gaulish Bagaudae peasant rebellion), 454-457 A.D., 463-465 A.D., and 468-472 A.D. In times of civil war, the level of training, drill, and discipline sharply declined in the Roman military, and the soldiers, sailors, and marines of the last generations of the Roman military were paid in wages which were worth far less in purchasing power than that paid to earlier generations. During the many civil wars of the Late Western Roman Empire, experienced Roman veteran soldiers killed in battle were often replaced by inexperienced conscripts or untrustworthy barbarian mercenaries. In addition, the Mongolian speaking Huns, who were a serious threat to both the Roman and Germanic peoples alike, proved to be quite effective in their tactics as mounted archers, although horse archers were vulnerable to mounted infantry or foot archers armed with crossbows or longbows and protected by anti-cavalry wooden stakes driven into the ground (Mounted Archery). See Adrian Goldsworthy, The Fall of the West: The Slow Death of the Roman Superpower, first published in Great Britain in 2009 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, paperback edition published in 2010 by Phoenix, an imprint of Orion Books Ltd, London. Published in the U.S.A. as How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower; Adrian Goldsworthy, The Complete Roman Army, Thames & Hudson Ltd, London, first paperback edition 2011. See also Roger Collins, Early Medieval Europe: 300-1000, The Macmillan Press Ltd, London, The United Kingdom, 1991. The Turkish conquest of the officially Greek-speaking East Roman or Byzantine Empire (395-1453 A.D.), as opposed to the largely Latin-speaking West Roman Empire (395-476 A.D.), was assisted by four major protracted civil wars in the Byzantine Empire during the 1300's A.D, not to mention those civil wars which occurred in the Byzantine Empire between 1025-1300 A.D. Rival Byzantine factions during times of civil war often hired Turkish mercenaries to fight on their behalf alongside their own military forces. The Romans controlled German territory from the Rhine to the Elbe rivers from 12 B.C. to 9 A.D., until the Roman general Varus was defeated in an ambush in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest at the hands of a Germanic tribal coalition led by the chieftain Arminius (Battle of the Teutoburg Forest). The Romans avenged this defeat by their victories against Arminius' coalition at the Battles of Idistaviso or the Weser River and the Angrivarian Wall in 16 A.D., led by the Roman general Germanicus Caesar (Battle of the Weser River; Angrivarii). However, Germanicus was ordered to withdraw the Roman troops in the province of Germania to the Rhine and Danube rivers in 17 A.D. by the Emperor Tiberius. The Rhine was a much more practical boundary for the Roman Empire than any other river in Germania because logistically Roman armies on the Rhine could be supplied from the Mediterranean Sea via the Rhône, Saône, and Moselle (Mosel) rivers, with a brief stretch of portage. Armies on the Elbe river, on the other hand, would have to have been supplied either by extensive overland routes or ships travelling the hazardous Atlantic seas. Economically, the Rhine was already supporting towns and sizeable villages at the time of the Gallic (Roman French) conquest. Northern Germania, however, was far less developed, possessed fewer villages, and had little food surplus. Thus the Rhine was both significantly more accessible from Rome and better equipped to supply sizeable garrisons than the regions beyond. This analysis on why the Romans did not try to expand their boundaries in Germania was set forth by the historian Peter Heather in his book The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians (2006). Sometimes the Romans launched punitive military expeditions east of the Rhine and north of the Danube rivers into unoccupied German territory. One of them reached as far deep into Germany as the Harzhorn Hill, located in the German state of Lower Saxony, east of the Weser River, between the towns of Kalefeld and Bad Gandersheim, where the Romans won a victory over Germanic tribes at the Battle of the Harzhorn in 235 A.D. Archaeological remains of the battle were first discovered in December 2008, and excavation of the site has continued since then. The battle was fought during either the reigns of the Roman Emperors Severus Alexander or Maximinus Thrax (Battle at the Harzhorn). As the Roman Empire expanded outside of the Italian peninsula, more and more of its soldiers, sailors and marines came to be recruited from the provinces, and after the frontiers stabilized, many persons living outside the Roman imperial borders joined the Roman military. Roman senatorial aristocrats and emperors often feared their generals who won victories over foreign and internal enemies, since they could use their popularity with the Roman army to overthrow them. See Adrian Goldsworthy, In the Name of Rome: The Men Who Won the Roman Empire, first published in Great Britain in 2003 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, paperback edition published in 2004 by Phoenix, an imprint of Orion Books Ltd, London 2004; and Adrian Goldsworthy, Caesar: The Life of a Colossus, first published in Great Britain in 2006 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, paperback edition published in 2007 by Phoenix, an imprint of Orion Books Ltd, London.
Britannia was never a profitable province for the Roman Empire, and was in fact a provincial backwater, although it did produce a substantial surplus of grain to feed the Roman troops stationed in the Rhineland (26). Civic or town life was less developed in Britain than in other parts of the Roman Empire, and was at the very margins of the Roman Empire. It was not the wealthiest Roman province. Ireland was deemed by the Romans to be too unprofitable to conquer. The least developed parts of Roman Britain were Wales, Cornwall, and Cumbria (27). Because Britain is an island, it was physically harder for large armies to cross the sea. The distant Roman province of Britain was rarely urgent in the priorities of Roman emperors and this was one of the reasons why it created so many usurpers (28). The island geography of Britain also meant that it was harder to transport large armies by sea for the later Germanic Anglo-Saxon invaders, and therefore it was easier for the Germanic Franks, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Burgundians, Sueves and Vandals to invade in larger numbers on horseback by land the Roman provinces of Italy, France, and Spain. In 406 or 407 A.D. the rebel Roman military commander Constantine III took the Roman field army stationed in Britain into Gaul or Roman France in a bid to seize the imperial throne (29). By the late 300's A.D. there was a decline in the size of urban settlements and the economic prosperity of rural villas in Roman Britain, and by around 400 A.D. the majority of Britons were at least nominally Christian (30). After the last Roman troops left Britain in 406 or 407 A.D to become bogged down in a civil war in continental Europe, never to return, the Romano-British warlords descended into their own civil war, and in the process they employed the Germanic Anglo-Saxons and Jutes as allies or mercenaries in their fight against rivals (31). One of the reasons why so many poorer as opposed to wealthier Romano-Britons abandoned the Celtic language and learnt the language of their Anglo-Saxon masters was in order to improve their legal status in terms of the wergild, man price or blood money paid in compensation to the family of a murder victim, since Celts received only half as much in wergild as an Anglo-Saxon of the same socio-economic class. The wealthier Romano-Britons were bilingual, speaking both Celtic, or Belgic, and Latin. A similar reason explains why so many of the Christians, Jews and pagans of the Middle East and North Africa who were conquered by the Arab Muslims learnt the Arabic language and converted to Islam, since non-Muslims in the Islamic Empires or Caliphates were obliged to pay a heavy poll or head tax known as the jizya (32). The likely reason for the demise of the British vernacular or vulgar Latin in the face of Anglo-Saxon settlement is that in Sub-Roman Britain there was a greater collapse in Roman institutions and infrastructure when compared to that of Roman Gaul/France and Spain after the withdrawal of the last Roman field troops stationed there by the rebel Roman emperor Constantine III in 407 A.D. This withdrawal lead to a much greater reduction in the status and prestige of the romanized British culture, which meant that the Romano-British population was more likely to abandon their languages in favour of the higher status language of the Anglo-Saxons (33). British Latin in Roman Britain was the language of most of the townspeople, of administration and the ruling class, the military and, following the introduction of Christianity, the church. Brittonic or British Celtic remained the language of the peasantry, which included most Britons living under Roman rule; the rural elite were probably bilingual in both British Celtic and British Latin (34). Thomas Toon suggests that the population of Lowland Britain may have been bilingual in Brittonic and Latin, and that such a multilingual society might adapt to the use of a third language such as Germanic Anglo-Saxon in a language "shift scenario" more readily than a monoglot population (35). The Romano-British spoke Anglo-Saxon with a Celtic accent, pronunciation, and spelling, much as the Celts of Gaul/France, the Basque-Iberians of Spain/Portugal, and the Thraco-Illyrian Dacians of Romania spoke Latin. The semi-legendary King Arthur may be based in part on the Romano-British warlord Ambrosius Aurelianus, who for a while, at least during his lifetime and for some time after his death, managed to keep the Anglo-Saxons from conquering western Britain from around 490-550 A.D., although after his death the British Celts again descended into civil warfare, thereby making them an easy prey for the Anglo-Saxons. See Historicity of King Arthur. According to the Oxford University geneticist Stephen Oppenheimer, only about 5.5% of all Englishmen on average have Germanic Anglo-Saxon DNA, mainly in their paternal ancestry, with the figure for the Normans being from 1-2%, and perhaps as much as 3%, again mainly in paternal ancestry (36). About a fifth of the words used today in English are of Germanic Anglo-Saxon origin (37), more than half are from French and Latin, around 900 are of Scandinavian Viking origin, and as many as 2,500 are derived from Dutch (38). The Anglo-Saxons spoke the Low German or Plattdeutsch (Flat German) dialect of the lowlands of northern Germany, as opposed to the High German or Hochdeutsch dialect of the hilly and mountainous regions of central and southern Germany, the latter of which today makes up the standard or official dialect spoken in Germany. "Low German differs from High German chiefly in the sounds of its vowels and consonants. It sounds more like English and Dutch than High German does. For example, the Low German eten and twe are closer to the English eat and two than to the High German essen and zwei. Low German served as the spoken and literary language of northern Germany until the 1550's A.D., when it lost its importance as a written language. Martin Luther, the leader of the Protestant Reformation, greatly influenced the development of the German language. In the early 1500's A.D., he translated the Bible into German, using the dialect of east-central Germany, then called (Upper) Saxony. This dialect thus became important in the development of New High German spoken after 1600 A.D." (39). Today there are three Saxon states in Germany: Lower Saxony in northern Germany facing the North Sea, and Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony or Upper Saxony in east-central Germany. The Danish dialect spoken by the Jutes belonged to the Scandinavian branch of the Germanic language family, along with Swedish and Norwegian. The Scandinavian languages are also known as the Nordic, Norse, or Northmen languages/dialects. The Germanic Anglo-Saxon or English language was heavily influenced in pronunciation, spelling, accent, grammar, syntax or word order, prefixes, suffixes, inflections, place names and loan words by the Romano-British Celts they had conquered in stages between 450-580 A.D. English also has many words of French origin because of the Norman Conquest in 1066 A.D., and the French language is that of the vulgar or common Latin as spoken and pronounced with a Gaulish accent by the Gaulish Celts whom the Romans had conquered between 58-51 B.C., with many loan words from Celtic Gaulish, Basque Gascon, British Celtic or Breton, and the Germanic Frankish, Burgundian, Visigothic, and Viking-Scandinavian Normans. The Germanic peoples originally lived in the North German Plain, and over the course of many generations they gradually conquered and assimilated the Celts of southern and western Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Both the Germans and Celts belong to the Indo-European language family. From 1150 A.D. onwards German colonists, following in the wake of the crusading monk-warriors known as the Teutonic Knights, a Roman Catholic Christian order, conquered, converted and assimilated in gradual stages the pagan or polytheist Polabian Slavic tribes of eastern Germany living east of the Elbe and Saale Rivers. Before the Danish Vikings began in 865 A.D. in earnest their campaign of conquest against England, England had been divided into seven kingdoms known as The Heptarchy. The Anglians controlled Northumbria, Mercia, and East Anglia, the Saxons ruled Wessex (West Saxons), Sussex (South Saxons), and Essex (East Saxons), and the Jutes were in the ascendant in Kent. The Anglo-Saxons and Jutes had originally come from the lands of Denmark and Germany which border the North Sea (Jutes from the Danish peninsula of Jutland, Anglians from the area of Angeln in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, and Saxons from Lower Saxony and East Friesland in Germany). They had invaded Britain between 450-580 A.D. The last Roman field troops had left Britain in 407 A.D. under the command of the rebel Roman general and self-appointed Emperor Constantine III for France or Gaul, Iberia (Spain and Portugal), and Italy, where they became involved in a series of Roman civil wars fought from 407-411 A.D. At the same time as civil wars were being fought in the western provinces of the Roman Empire from or in 383-388, 392-394, 397-398, 407-411, 413, 421, 423-425, 427, and 432 A.D., the Roman provinces in Gaul, Iberia, Northwest Africa, and Italy were invaded by such Germanic groups as the Visigoths, Franks, Burgundians, Sueves and Vandals, the Iranian Alans and Sarmatians, and the Mongolian Huns. The Germanic tribes were, in terms of material culture, little different from the Roman provincials (40). By 425 A.D. the surviving units of the Roman army were in appearance, including dress and weaponry, little different from the barbarians, who themselves had become increasingly Romanised in terms of material culture over the course of the previous decades. The loss of training and expertise of the Roman armies because of civil warfare in the western Roman provinces, the great cost of maintaining a standing army, and the political difficulties of having a standing army because of rival generals competing to seize the imperial throne, made it seem easier, cheaper, and safer to use barbarian federates. (41)
The Caucasian racial population of Europe in the last Ice Age was forced to retreat from northern Europe in the last glacial maximum which began around 30,000 B.C. into ice age refugia located in southern and eastern Europe. These refugia were (a) the Franco-Cantabrium refugium in the northern Iberian peninsula (i.e. Spain and Portugal) and southern France, (b) the Italian peninsula, (c) the Balkans, and (d) Ukraine and southern Russia located north of the Black Sea. See Genetic History of Europe. At the height of the last Ice Age sea levels around the world were about 130 meters lower than today because so much of the world's water was locked up in polar ice caps and mountain glaciers. Ireland and Britain were linked together by dry land and ice sheets, and the British Isles were in turn linked to continental Europe where the North Sea, the Strait of Dover, and the English Channel is now. The Strait of Gibraltar which separates Morocco from Spain was narrower with now submerged islands in between, as was also the case with the stretch of water between Tunisia and Italy. Sicily was connected by land to mainland Italy, and so was Sardinia and Corsica. The northwestern half of the Adriatic Sea was a dry plain lnking northern Italy with the Dalmatian region of Slovenia and Croatia. The Aegean Sea which separates Greece from Turkey was narrower, and the Straits of the Hellespont or Dardanelles and the Bosporus, linked by the Sea of Marmara, which today separates Bulgaria and Greece from Turkey, was also dry land. The Black Sea was smaller and was a freshwater lake at the time. During the height of the last ice age, the climactic and vegetation zones of the world, as well as world sea levels, were radically different from that of today, as the diagram below shows.
According to the Kurgan steppe theory hypothesis of Marija Gimbutas first published in 1956, the original homeland of the Indo-European language speakers was from the steppes and prairies located north of the Black and Caspian Seas in what is today southern Russia and eastern Ukraine. The Indo-European speakers began to migrate from there after around 2500 B.C. onwards into the rest of Europe, and to Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and the Indian subcontinent, in the process intermarrying or sexually intermingling with the previous inhabitants of these above mentioned lands. The Indo-Europeans imposed their languages on their conquered subjects. In their original homelands, the Indo-Europeans lived as semi-nomadic herders of cattle, sheep, and goats, and they fought on horseback as mounted archers, lancers, swordsmen, and axemen, much as the Mongolian-Hunnish-Turkic peoples of the non-Indo-European, Ural-Altaic language family fought millenia later in the future. The Mongols, Huns, and original Turks belonged to the Mongoloid human race, which also includes the Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Ainu, indigenous Siberians, and South-East Asians. The Anatolian hypothesis of Colin Renfrew, first published in 1987, states that the Indo-Europeans originally came from what is now the Anatolian peninsula, also known as Asia Minor or Turkey, where they lived as farmers and herders, and that they began to migrate into Europe, western Asia, and the Indian subcontinent after 7000 B.C. However, critics of Renfrew's theory point out that Anatolia in ancient times was inhabited by such Caucasian but non-Indo-European speaking peoples as the Hattians, the Georgian Chalybes of the Caucasus, and the Hurrians. Those languages of ancient Anatolia which are classified as Indo-European were introduced there by invaders from the southern steppes of Russia north of the Caucasus Mountain ranges and from the Balkan peninsula of south eastern Europe. See Proto-Indo-Europeans. Today there are surviving, indigenous non-Indo-European languages in the areas conquered by the Indo-Europeans, and they are as follows: (a) Southwest Europe or Spain and France: Basque, (b) The Caucasus: Kartvelian (for example Georgian), Northwest Caucasus (for example Abazgi, Circassian), and Northeast Caucasus (for example Chechen), (c) Northern Europe: Uralic languages, although in Finland there is also evidence of an Indo-European substrate preceding Finno-Ugric, and (d) South Asia: Dravidian language family, Nihali, Kusunda, and Burushaski. See Pre-Indo-European languages. The Indo-European languages are divided into a western branch called centum, and an eastern branch called satem. The centum branch includes Greek, Celtic, Italic, and Germanic, while the satem branch includes Indo-Iranian and Balto-Slavic. See Indo-European Languages. As the Indo-Europeans spread out of their homeland into new lands, their language began to diverge into separate branches because the people they conquered and intermarried with spoke different substrate languages which influenced the Indo-European language in terms of pronunciation, accent, spelling, syntax or grammatical word order, prefixes, suffixes, inflections, and loan words. The light skinned Caucasian race, before the great age of European exploration and colonialism began with the first voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1492-1493, lived in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East extending as far as northern India in South Asia. The non-Indo-European language speakers of the Caucasian race included members of the Afro-Asiatic or Hamito-Semitic linguistic group, which comprises such Semites as Arabs, the Hebrew speaking Jews, and Aramaeans, and such Hamites as the Berbers. The Cro-Magnon peoples of Europe were originally of a darker skin color, and the very light skin tone found in modern Northern Europeans was the result of a relatively recent genetic mutation which appeared in the European line sometime between 10,000 - 4,000 B.C.(42). See Maca-Meyer N et al Major Genomic Mitochondrial Lineages Delineate Early Human Expansions August 13, 2001, BMC Genet. 2001, v.2 : 13 and Norton H.L. et al. Genetic Evidence for the Convergent Evolution of the Very Light Skin Found in Northern Europeans and Some East Asians, Oxford Academic. Molecular Biology and Evolution. Volume 24, Issue 3, March 2007. Southern Europeans resemble somewhat the Caucasians of the Middle East and North Africa in skin colour tone. Those genetic mutations which are favourable to adapt to a given environment, i.e. that increase the chances of an individual surviving long enough to produce and raise offspring through the process of natural selection, and to pass on their advantageous genes, determine the physical characteristics of a race down the generations. "Dark skin and dark eyes are helpful adaptations for people who live in hot, sunny climates, protecting their skin from becoming sunburnt easily and improving their vision in bright sunlight, but in cloudy climates with long winter nights dark skin may interfere with the production of vitamin D" (43). Dark skin also helps to reduce the chances of acquiring skin cancer. All humans, with the exception of albinos, have a skin colour tone that is a shade of brown, and when we speak of human races as having a black, white, brown, red, or yellow skin colour, we really mean that their shade of brown has a tendency towards a specific colour. The diagram below shows the expansion of the Indo-European languages from their original homeland in southern Russia and the eastern Ukraine north of the Black and Caspian Seas from around 2500 - 1000 B.C.
In 2015, a large-scale ancient DNA study published in Nature found evidence of a "massive migration" from the Black-Caspian Seas steppe to Central Europe (i.e. Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) that took place after 2500 B.C. It found that individuals from the Central European Corded Ware culture of the 2000's B.C. were genetically closely related to individuals from the Yamnaya culture. The authors concluded that this was evidence for a steppe origin of the Indo-European languages. See Proto-Indo-European Homeland, Massive Migration From the Steppe is a Source for Indo-European Languages in Europe by Wolfgang Haak et. al, February 10, 2015, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, February 10, 2015 and Genetic Study Revives Debate on Origin and Expansion of Indo-European Languages in Europe, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, March 4 2015. The Yamna or Yamnaya Culture was a late Copper Age to early Bronze Age culture of the region between the Southern Bug, Dniester and Ural rivers (the Pontic or Black Sea steppe), dating to 3500 - 2300 B.C. The Yamna culture is identified with the late Proto-Indo-Europeans, and is the strongest candidate for the original homeland of the Proto-Indo-European language. The genetic basis of a number of physical features of the Yamnaya people were ascertained by the ancient DNA study on their skeletal burial remains conducted by Haak et al. (2015), Wilde et al. (2014) and Mathiseon et al. (2015). They were genetically tall, overwhelmingly brown-eyed, dark-haired and had a skin colour that was moderately light, though somewhat darker than that of the average modern European. See Sandra Wilde et al Direct Evidence For Positive Selection of Skin, Hair, and Eye Pigmentation in Europeans During the Last 5,000 Years, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Volume 111, Number 13, pages 4832-4837, April 1, 2014 and Iain Mathieson et al. Eight Thousand Years of Natural Selection in Europe, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, March 14, 2015. Spencer Wells suggests in a (2002) study that the origin, distrbution and age of the R1a1 haplotype points to an ancient migration, possibly corresponding to the spread by the Kurgan people in their expansion across the Eurasian steppe around 3000 B.C. Wells wrote that "while we see substantial genetic and archaeological evidence for an Indo-European migration originating in the southern Russian steppes, there is little evidence for a similarly massive Indo-European migration from the Middle East to Europe. One possibility is that, as a much earlier migration (8,000 years old, as opposed to 4,000), the genetic signals carried by Indo-European speaking farmers may simply have dispersed over the years. There is clearly some genetic evidence for migration from the Middle East, as Cavalli-Sforza and his colleagues showed, but that signal is not strong enough for us to trace the distribution of Neolithic (New Stone Age) languages throughout the entirety of Indo-European speaking Europe" (44). According to three autosomal DNA studies (Massive Migration From the Steppe is a Source for Indo-European Languages in Europe by Wolfgang Haak et. al, February 10, 2015, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, February 10, 2015, Morten E. Allentoft et al. Population Genomics of Bronze Age Eurasia in Nature, Volume 522, Issue 7555, pages 167-172, 11 June 2015 and Iain Mathieson et al. Eight Thousand Years of Natural Selection in Europe, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, March 14, 2015), haplogroups R1b and R1a, now the most common in Europe (R1a is also very common in northern India) would have expanded from the Russian steppes, along with the Indo European languages; they also detected an autosomal component present in modern Europeans which is not present in Neolithic Europeans, which would have been introduced with paternal lineages R1b and R1a, as well as Indo-European languages.
The Indo-Iranian or Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family was introduced into what is now Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and the Indian subcontinent after 1500 B.C. by waves of invaders from what is now the steppes and prairies of the eastern Ukraine and southern Russia north of the Black and Caspian Seas. In the process of invading the above-mentioned lands, the Aryans intermarried or sexually intermingled with the previous inhabitants. The word "Arya" means "noble" in the Aryan languages, and the word "Iran" means "Land of the Aryans." The Aryans in their original homeland lived as semi-nomadic herders and mounted archers. According to DNA tests the upper Hindu castes of India have a larger minority of Eastern European paternal ancestry than the middle and lower castes of Hindus. See Michael Bamshad et al. Genetic Evidence on the Origins of Indian Caste Populations, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2001. The four major castes or varnas of Hindu India are as follows in the following order of rank: (a) Brahmans: Hindu priests and scholars, (b) Kshatriyas: rulers and warriors, (c) Vaisyas: merchants and professionals, and (d) Sudras: laborers and servants (45). The Aryans who stayed behind in the eastern Ukrainian and southern Russian steppes later on became linguistically assimilated by the Indo-European Slavs and the Ural-Altaic Turks. The Ossetians of the Caucasus Mountain range in what used to be the Soviet Union call themselves "Ironski," i.e. Iranians or Aryans, and are related to the Alans, an Iranian people, who along with the other Iranian tribes of the Scythians and Sarmatians formed part of the mostly Germanic invaders of the Roman Empire in the 300's and 400's A.D. See The Origin of the Pre-Imperial Iranian Peoples by Dr. Oric Basirov, 26 April 2001, in The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies (CAIS). According to Dr. Basirov, ancient Greek and Roman writers described the Iranian Scythians, Sarmatians, and Alans as tall, muscular, light skinned, blue eyed, and with blond or light to medium brown hair. The ancient Greeks and Romans had trading colonies in the Crimean Peninsula where they came into contact with Iranian tribes, and the Scythians sold some of their slaves to Greek traders. The police force of ancient Athens when it was an independent city state and empire was made up of Scythian slaves owned by the Athenian state. The reason why the vast majority of Iranians living in Iran today have black hair and an olive light-brown skin complexion, is due to the fact that when some of the Iranians left their original homeland in the steppes north of the Black Sea to invade and settle in Iran after around 1500 B.C., they formed a ruling, warrior-aristocratic, elite minority, and over the subsequent generations they intermarried with the indigenous Iranian majority who were known as the Elamites, whose physical characteristics were darker than those of the original Iranian invaders. When the Aryans began invading the Indian subcontinent after around 1500 B.C., they found living in northern Pakistan and northern India a Caucasian race with an olive, light brown skin complexion who probaby spoke a non-Indo-European language similar to Burushaski or Kusunda, and in southern India and southern Pakistan lived the non-Indo-European speaking Dravidian race with a darker brown skin complexion. The ancient religion of Persia or Iran known as Zoroastrianism had a great influence on Judaism when Palestine was a province of the Persian Empire from 539-332 B.C., and many of the books of the Old Testament were first written or re-edited during this period (see Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and Christianity by Hannah M.G. Shapero, 9/6/1997). Emperor or Shah Cyrus the Great allowed the Jews to return from their captivity during the period of the Babylonian Exile, after the Persians had conquered the Babylonian Empire, and the three wise men or magi who visited the Christ Child, i.e. Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar, were Zoroastrian priests. The Jews were influenced by the Persian Zoroastrians when they ruled Palestine from 539-332 B.C. with their concept of an all-good, supreme God called Ahura Mazda (compare with Yahweh), an all-evil god called Angra Mainyu or Ahriman (compare with the archangel Satan), the war-god Mithras (compare with the archangel Michael, Revelation 12), the Saoshyant (Messiah), and the sacred fire from heaven (compare with Revelation 8:5, Luke 3:16-17, Mark 9:49, Luke 12:49-50, I Corinthians 3:10-17, II Peter 3:10-13, and Revelation 20:9-15). In 332 B.C., the pagan or polytheist Greek southern Macedonians conquered Persian Palestine. Another group of Aryans or Iranians who lived in their original homeland of the Ukrainian-Russian steppes, instead of migrating east, migrated west to what is now Latvia and Lithuania by the time of Jesus Christ. The Latvian and Lithuanian languages, which form part of the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family, are related to the ancient Aryan or Iranian languages, including the Aryan Sanskrit language of ancient northern India. See Myths of Latvian History by A. Steinbergs. The Old Prussian language was closely related to Lithuanian and Latvian, before the Prussians became gradually assimilated linguistically by the Germans and Slavic Poles after 1150 A.D. as a result of conquest and intermarriage through colonization. See Baltic Languages. The Estonian Baltic language is related to Finnish, which belongs to the non-Indo-European Finno-Ugric language family. There is some evidence to suggest that the now Slavic speaking Croats and Serbs are, to a very limited extent, partly related to the Iranians. See Origin Hypotheses of the Croats, Origin Hypotheses of the Serbs and Genetic Studies on Serbs. The Iranian Croats and Serbs, related to the Iranian Scythians, Sarmatians, and Alans, became linguistically assimilated to the Slavs of southern Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, and eastern Germany, much as the Danish Viking settlers of Normandy became linguistically assimilated with the Romance or Latin vernacular speaking French. See White Croatia, White Croats, White Serbia, Sorbs, and Serbian-Sorb Relations. When the Serbs and Croats began to migrate to what is now Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Serbia and Montenegro in the early 600's A.D., they intermarried with the Thraco-Illyrians of the Balkans, some of whom were bilingual in the Latin of the Romans, and imposed their Slavic language upon them, although the Slavicised Croats and Serbs borrowed many words from Thraco-Illyrian and Latin. The Albanian language is the only surviving Thraco-Illyrian dialect now in existence as a spoken language. The Croats of southern Poland, centered around the city of Krakow, called themselves in Polish Bielochrovats, which means "White Croats," while the Serbs of eastern Germany referred to themselves as White Sorbs. The White Croats and Sorbs of southern Poland, Slovakia, and eastern Germany used to be physically connected with the Croats and Serbs of the Balkans via the Danubian plain of Hungary, before the link was severed by invading Hungarians or Magyar mounted archers in the late 800's and early 900's A.D. Many Magyars today have as their surname Horvath or Horvat, which comes from Hrvat, the Croatian word for Croat. Croatia in Croatian is called Hrvatska. It is believed that the Iranian Croats originally came from the imperial Persian province of Arachosia in what is now southern Afghanistan, known in Iranian as Harahvaiti or Harauvati, and its people known as Harahuvatiya. The Iranian Serbs belonged to a Pashtun tribe living in what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan known as Sarbans or Sarbani, and in the former Soviet Caucasus there is an ethnic group living there today who call themselves Sarban or Sarbani. In the medieval era, Croatia and Serbia formed separate, independent kingdoms, and between 60 to 80% of what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina was part of Croatia (46), while Montenegro formed part of Serbia. In Bosnia-Herzegovina many of the Catholic Croats and Eastern Orthodox Serbs converted to the dualistic Manichaean heresy known as Bogomilism, and after the Ottoman Turkish conquest of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1400's A.D., the Bogomils, along with some of the Catholic Croats and Orthodox Serbs, converted to Islam. The Ottoman Muslim Turks also encouraged many of the Catholic Croats to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy, because Catholicism was the religion of the Turks' chief rival in the Balkans, the Habsburg Austrian rulers of The Holy Roman Empire. See Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
"The discovery in western China of more than 100 mummified corpses with European features, some of them 4,000 years old, suggests that contact between China and the West began far earlier than had been thought, an American researcher reported in April 1994. Chinese archaeologists had begun unearthing the mummies in 1978 but did not report the finds outside China. Victor Mair, a professor of Chinese language and literature at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, noticed some of the mummies in a Chinese museum in 1987. He began studying them in collaboration with Chinese scientists in 1993. According to Mair, the mummies, which Chinese archaeologists date to between 2000 and 300 B.C, were found in four main sites in the Xinjiang region of northwstern China. The dry climate of this largely desert region naturally preserved the bodies after they were buried. With blond or light brown hair, long noses and skulls, and deep-set eyes, the mummies show features characteristic of Europeans. The mummies were clothed in garments of leather and wool, and some wore tall, peaked hats of felt. Studies of the garments suggest that the wool was spun from the coarse outer hair of sheep or goats, then dyed blue, green, and brown and woven into plaid designs. Scholars believe that such techniques are of European origin. Some of the burials also yielded evidence of the use of horses. Archaeologists found the remains of metal and wooden bits, leather whips and reins, a leather saddle, and a wooden wagon wheel. Most scholars believe that people began using horses for riding and drawing vehicles in Europe about 4000 B.C. To Mair and other archaeologists and linguists, the discovery of the mummies and the horse-related artifacts offers support for a theory that the spread of mobile, horse-riding peoples from Europe helped account for the spread of the Indo-European family of languages. These languages are spoken in Europe, western Asia, and India" (47). It is believed that the Caucasian mummies of China's Xinjiang Province belonged to the Tocharians, speakers of a now extinct Indo-European language. See Tocharian Language. It is believed that the Tocharians closest Indo-European cousins were the Hittites, who spoke the now extinct Indo-European Hittite Language. A language goes extinct when a conquered people abandon their native language for the language of their new masters. The Hittites arrived in Anatolia or Asia Minor, now part of the nation of Turkey, around 2000 B.C. after having migrated there from their original homeland in the steppe lands north of the Black Sea, and in the process they imposed their Hittite language on the Caucasian speakers of the non-Indo-European Hattian and Hurrian languages.
Anatomically modern human beings, i.e. members of the Homo Sapiens Sapiens species (Latin for "very wise man"), left their African homeland for Eurasia via the Sinai-Levant land bridge of the Middle East at a time when the Sahara and Arabian deserts were light woodland and grassland savannas, along with now dried up or greatly reduced in area lakes and rivers, supporting such big game animals as lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, giraffes, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, zebras, wildebeest, gnus, Cape Buffaloes, and etc. The Sahara and Arabian deserts have alternated between wet and dry conditions over the last few hundred thousand years because of a 41,000 year cycle in which the Earth tilts on its axis between 22 and 24.5 degrees. The Sahara and Arabia are expected to become green again in 17,000 A.D. See Sahara Pump Theory and Prehistoric North Africa. In the last 120,000 years the Sahara and Arabia have been savannas three times, the first during the Abbassia Pluvial era of 118,000-88,000 B.C., the second during the Mousterian Pluvial of 48,000-28,000 B.C., and the third during the Neolithic or New Stone Age Subpluvial of 7500/7000-3500/3000 B.C. The Atlas Mountains of North West Africa, the coastal Lebanon Mountains and hills of Syria, Lebanon, and Israel/Palestine, and the lands from Turkey to India used to have such species as the African elephant and lion before human hunting and farming forced them to extinction. In India's Gir Forest located in the state of Gujarat there is a relict population of lions. When the Ice Age was at its most severe, the Sahara and Arabian deserts were much larger in area than today, forcing humans to retreat into the scrublands of the Atlas Mountain ranges in Northwest Africa and the Lebanon mountain ranges of the Levant. The Nile river ceased to flow when the last Ice Age was at its coldest peak. Sea levels dropped by as much as 130 meters during the Last Glacial Maximum or LGM, and the waters in the Strait of Gibraltar and between Tunisia and Sicily were much narrower, with an archipelago of now submerged islands in between. Using primitive watercraft, humans could travel from northwest Africa to what is now Spain and Italy or in the reverse direction. See Genetic History of North Africa. The prehistoric peoples of North Africa near the Mediterranean Sea and of the Middle East physically resembled the Arabs and Berbers of today, with black hair, dark eyes, and an olive light brown skin complexion. Using primitive watercraft, the Melanesians during the Ice Age island hopped in the archipelago of islands known as Wallacea which lay between Sundaland (the Malay Peninsula Continental Shelf of Sumatra, Java and Borneo islands) and Sahul, the latter of which was the Ice Age Continent now made up of New Guinea, Australia and Tasmania. The Mongoloid Siberians followed the ice free coastal plains of Beringia, which was the ice age land bridge that linked Siberia with North America. However, most modern humans entered Europe from the Middle East through the narrow straits of the Dardanelles or Hellespont and Bosporus which separates Turkey from the Balkans or over the Caucasus Mountain ranges which divides Turkey from the lands of the former Soviet Union known as Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Modern humans sexually interbred with the previous earlier species of humans in Europe known as the Neanderthals who had left Africa much earlier, because genetic testing has revealed that modern Europeans have about 1-4% Neanderthal DNA in their genetic makeup. Nevertheless, most modern human and Neanderthal hybrid offspring were infertile, as are mules, the result of breeding between horses and donkeys. Genetic testing uses mitochondrial DNA to determine ancestry in the female line, which is passed down the generations from mother to daughter and son, the Y chromosome to determine ancestry in the male line, because the Y chromosome is passed down from father to son, and autosomal DNA which determines ancestry in the side collateral branches, because autosomes belong to the non-sexual chromosomes. See Archaeogenetics and Genealogical DNA Test. Human stone age prehistory ended with the invention of writing by the Sumerian and Babylonian civilizations located in the Tigris-Euphrates river valleys of what is now Syria, Iraq, and Kuwait around 3,500 B.C. The Paleolithic was the Old Stone Age in human history which lasted from around 2,000,00 to 8,000 B.C., a time when people lived by hunting, gathering, and fishing. When farming and herding began in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley about 8,000 B.C, the Neolithic or New Stone Age began, which lasted until 3000 B.C., at a time when the copper and bronze age began. The Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age were those humans who continued to live by hunting, gathering, and fishing after the first farmers and herders appeared and who continued to use stone tools and weapons, although some of them did a little farming (48). Before the Agricultural Revolution which began in the 1700's A.D., and especially during the Neolithic era, farming was nowhere near as advanced in productivity, technology and method as today, and the social gulf between farmers and hunter gatherers was much less wide as a result. Many Neolithic farmers and herders also engaged in hunting, gathering, and fishing in their spare time.
According to Helen Briggs in Genetic History of Europeans Revealed, published online by BBC News on 23 November 2015, farming originated in Europe because of ancient people who migrated into Europe from what is now eastern Turkey around 8,500 years ago (6,500 B.C.). Another wave of migrants, part of the Yamnaya Culture, came to Europe from the steppes of present day Ukraine and southern Russia north of the Black Sea around 5,000 years ago (3,000 B.C.) as horse-riding herders of cattle, sheep, and goats. The first anatomically modern humans to enter Europe from Africa via the Middle East, i.e. the Cro-Magnons, were hunter-gatherers, who arrived before the height of the last Ice Age around 40,000 years ago (38,000 B.C.) during the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age era. Many modern Europeans are tall today because of the Neolithic (New Stone Age) farmers and Bronze Age horsemen. In an online BBC article published on 16 November 2015, called Europe's Fourth Ancestral 'Tribe' Uncovered, geneticists have shown that in addition to the three major ancestral populations of Europe, i.e. Paleolithic hunter-gatherers, Middle Eastern Neolithic farmers, and southern Russian-Ukrainian, Bronze Age horsemen-herders, there was a fourth wave of prehistoric migrants from the Caucasus mountains. The Yamnaya horsemen and herders may have introduced the Indo-European language family with them into Europe. The Yamnaya peoples themselves had mixed ancestry, with some of it derived from the Paleolithic Cro-Magnons, and others derived from Anatolian (Turkish peninsula) Neolithic farmers. The hunter-gatherers of the Ice Age Caucasus, who later on became farmers, were the source of the farmer-like DNA in the Yamnaya. "The discovery of plague DNA in Yamnaya burials and a population decline in Europe around the same time has led some researchers to wonder if their passage west [from the Russian-Ukrainian steppes or prairies] was facilitated by the spread of disease." The Yamnaya had a big impact on the gene pools of northern and central Europe, and the Norwegians for example owe around 50% of their ancestry to the steppe pastoralists. "The Caucasus hunter-gatherer genomes show a continued mixture with their Middle Eastern cousins to the south, who would go on to invent farming 10,000 years ago [8,000 B.C.]. However, this mixing ended about 25,000 years ago [23,000 B.C.] - just before the time of the last glacial maximum, or peak of the Ice Age." "Once the ice retreated, the Caucasus groups came into contact with a different group of hunter-gatherers living on the steppe and mixed with them, laying the genetic foundations of the Yamnaya people." In the online BBC article published on 7 September 2015 called Ancient DNA Cracks Puzzle of Basque Origins, the Basques, who are Caucasians but do not speak an Indo-European language, are descended from the Paleolithic Cro-Magnon hunter-gatherers who mixed later on with Middle Eastern Neolithic farmers, and to a more limited extent with Bronze Age pastoralists from the Russian-Ukrainian steppes who introduced the Indo-European language family to Europe. The Bronze Age horsemen and herders had a greater genetic impact on central and northern Europeans than on southern Europeans. However, because of migrations from surrounding areas after the early Neolithic times, the peoples of modern day Turkey and the Middle East are not completely related genetically to the Middle Eastern farmers who migrated into Europe during the prehistoric era. The proportion of Paleolithic hunter-gatherer ancestry varies throughout Europe, peaking at about 30% in Estonians and Lithuanians. A BBC online article published on 2 March 2015 called Genomes Document Ancient Mass Migration to Europe, has revealed a large-scale migration into central Europe from eastern Europe around 4,500 years ago (2,500 B.C.), a migration which may have been assisted by the invention of wheeled vehicles at the time. These eastern Europeans contributed up to about 50% of the ancestry in some modern north Europeans, but had a lesser impact on southern Europeans. These pastoralists from the grasslands north of the Black and Caspian seas probably introduced the early Indo-European languages into Europe, with the non-Indo-European languages of the Basques spoken in the Pyrenees Mountain ranges of northern Spain and south-west Europe being "the only surviving relic of earlier languages once spoken more widely" throughout prehistoric Europe. The early farmers who moved into Europe from modern day Turkey 7,000 to 8,000 years ago (5,000 to 6,000 B.C.), mixed with the indigenous European hunter-gatherers, so that by 5,000 to 6,000 years ago (3,000 to 4,000 B.C.), "the farmers' genetic signature had become melded with that of the indigenous Europeans." Paul Rincon, Science editor, published an online BBC article on 17 September 2014 called Europeans Drawn From Three Ancient 'Tribes', in which it is written that "blue-eyed, swarthy hunters mingled with brown-eyed, pale skinned farmers as the latter swept into Europe from the Near East." "Agriculture traces its origins to the Near or Middle East, i.e. modern Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt in the Fertile Crescent, before spreading into Europe 7,500 years ago (5,500 B.C.)." Anatomically modern human hunter-gatherers arrived in Europe from Africa via the Middle East around 45,000 years ago (43,000 B.C.) before agriculture existed, sought refuge in southern Europe during the Ice Age, and then expanded into central and northern Europe after the ice sheets retreated during the Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age. The genes of the hunter gatherers are more pronounced in north-eastern than in southern Europeans. The early European farmer migrants share genetic similarities with Middle Easterners, but "more recent migrations in the farmers' "homeland" may have diluted their genetic signal in that region today." The genes of the early European farmer migrants showed that they had dark hair, brown eyes and pale skin. The original European hunter-gatherers had dark skin and blue eyes. Light skin in Europe is biologically advantageous for farmers, because it helps to make vitamin D, which hunters and gatherers get through eating a lot of animals. Once you start getting most of your food from farming plants, skin needs to lighten in order to synthesise vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. In a BBC online article published on 27 January 2014 by Science reporter Rebecca Morelle, called Hunter-Gatherer European Had Blue Eyes and Dark Skin, genetic tests revealed that the skeleton of a hunter-gatherer who lived 7,000 years ago (5,000 B.C.) in north-west Spain had black or brown hair, dark skin, and blue eyes. He was most closely genetically related to people in Sweden and Finland. "The early European would have subsisted on a diet of mainly protein, and his DNA reveals that he was lactose-intolerant and unable to digest starch. The ability to ingest dairy products and starchy foods came after agriculture was adopted and people changed what they ate." The BBC online article called Ancient DNA From Siberian Boy Links Europe and America shows that about a third of Native American ancestry came from an ancient population related to Europeans, after scientists examined the DNA of the skeleton of an Upper Paleolithic Siberian boy from the village of Mal'ta, along the Belaya river near Lake Baikal in Russia's central Siberian region. The boy died about 24,000 years ago (22,000 B.C.). About 14-38% of the ancestry of Native Americans traces to a population like the one living at Mal'ta 24,000 years ago. Today's Native Americans are most closely related to Asians from Far Eastern Siberia. It seems "that a population like the one living in south-central Siberia 24,000 years ago mixed with the ancestors of East Asians at some point after the boy died." This mixing could have happened in Siberia or in North America. During the Ice Age, sea levels around the world were much lower today because so much water was locked up in ice sheets, and therefore a land bridge called Beringia existed where the Bering Straits today separates Siberia from Alaska, with the narrow coastal plains of Beringia being ice free. Geneticists C Jeong, S Nakagome and A Di Rienzo published in the January 2016 journal Genetics, by the Genetics Society of America, a report called Deep History of East Asian Populations Revealed Through Genetic Analysis of the Ainu. Their findings show that the Ainu of the Japanese island of Hokkaido, and of Sakhalin and the Kuril islands, are related to the Asiatic Siberian peoples who surround the coastal plains of the Sea of Okhotsk, which is an arm of the North Pacific Ocean, and include the Gilyak, Koryak, Chuckchi, Nivkh, Yakut, Nganasan and Itelmen peoples. The Japanese people themselves are an admixture of the Ainu Jomon hunter-gatherer culture, who arrived in the Japanese home islands from Far Eastern Siberia via Sakhalin island around 16,500 years ago (14,500 B.C.), and the rice growing Yayoi culture who arrived from the Korean peninsula 2,300 years ago (300 B.C.). According to the anthropologist C. Loring Brace of the University of Michigan, based on the portraits of the Japanese samurai or knights as well as their skeletal remains, the samurai may be descended from the Ainu or Jomon culture. Japanese portraits of the samurai show more body hair, lighter skin and higher-bridged noses, slight swelling of the brow, pointed chins, and flat cheeks. When the Japanese Emperor of feudal Japan, based in the city of Kyoto, was obliged to subdue unruly inhabitants on the eastern frontier, the area around present-day Tokyo, his generals recruited from the very residents meant to be controlled, i.e. the Ainu. The Ainu - related samurai gained power and prestige in feudal Japan by intermarrying with the nobility and royal family. The martial arts of kendo, jujitsu, and ninjitsu were invented by the samurai. See Exalted Warriors, Humble Roots, by John Noble Wilford, The New York Times, June 6, 1989.
(1) The Wilson Quarterly, Washington D.C., U.S.A., January 2007, Vol.31, Issue 1, page.81.
(6) Vernon F. Snow, "England," The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume E, No.6, Chicago, U.S.A., 1987, page 246.
(7) Clarence L. Barnhart and Robert K. Barnhart, The World Book Dictionary, Volume 1 A-K, Doubleday and Company, Chicago, U.S.A., 1986, page 14.
(8) Frederick M. Jenkins, "French Language", The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume F, No.7, Chicago, U.S.A., 1987, page 443.
(9) Bryan Ward-Perkins, "Why did the Anglo-Saxons not become more British?", English Historical Review, Oxford University Press 2000, page 529, and Frederick M. Jenkins, page 443.
(10) Bryan Ward-Perkins, pages 521,528-530.
(11) Ibid, pages 524-525, 529, and James Campbell, editor, The Anglo-Saxons, Penguin Books, London, 1991, pages 11-13 and 149.
(12) Lawrence M. Sommers, "France," The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume F, No. 7, Chicago, U.S.A., 1987, page 404.
(13) Ibid, 404b.
(14) Adrian Goldsworthy, In the Name of Rome: The Men Who Won the Roman Empire, Paperback Edition published in 2004 by Phoenix, an imprint of Orion Books Ltd, London, pages 208, 364, 366, and 374.
(15) Bryan Ward-Perkins, page 525.
(16) Ibid, pages 530-531.
(17) Roger Collins, Early Medieval Europe 300-1000, The Macmillan Press Limited, London, 1991, pages 162-165, and James Campbell, chapter 2, "The Lost Centuries: 400-600."
(18) James Campbell, page 38.
(19) Roger Collins, op. cit., pages 169-170.
(20) Roger Collins, pages 165-166 and note 22, page 386.
(21) S. Basset, editor, The Origins of Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms, Leicester University Press, 1989.
(22) J.T. Koch, Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, 2006; Nicholas J. Higham and Martin J. Ryan, The Anglo-Saxon World, Yale University Press, 2013, pages 143 and 178.
(23) Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Book 3, chapter 23.
(24) J.T. Koch, page 360 and Higham and Ryan, page 143.
(25) Roger Collins, op. cit., page 168.
(26) Adrian Goldsworthy, The Fall of the West: The Slow Death of the Roman Superpower, Paperback Edition published in 2010 by Phoenix, an imprint of Orion Books Ltd, London, United Kingdom, page 338.
(27) Ibid, pages 339 and 347.
(28) Ibid, page 340.
(29) Ibid, pages 340-341.
(30) Ibid, pages 343-344.
(31) Ibid, page 347.
(32) Bryan Ward-Perkins, pages 523-525.
(33) Nicholas Higham and Martin Ryan, The Anglo-Saxon World, 2013, pages 109-111.
(34) P.H. Sawyer, From Roman Britain to Norman England, 1998, page 69.
(35) Thomas Toon, The Politics of Early Old English Sound Change, 1983.
(36) Stephen Oppenheimer, The Origins of the British, paperback edition published by Constable & Robinson Ltd, London, The United Kingdom, 2007, pages 438-443, 463-464, and 485.
(37) William c. Bark, "Anglo-Saxons," The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume A, No.1, Chicago, U.S.A., 1987, page 440.
(38) Clarence L. Barnhart and Robert K. Barnhart, The World Book Dictionary, Volume 1 A-K, Doubleday and Company, Chicago, U.S.A., 1986, page 15.
(39) Werner Hoffmeister, "German Language," in The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume 8, G, Chicago, U.S.A., 1987, page 138.
(40). Roger Collins, Early Medieval Europe 300-1000, The Macmillan Press Ltd, London, The United Kingdom, 1991, page 94.
(41). Roger Collins, Early Medieval Europe 300-1000, page 90.
(42) A. Gibbons, American Association of Physical Anthroplogists Meeting. European Skin Turned Pale Only Recently, Gene Suggests. Science. Vol.316.(5823): page 364.
(43) Stanley M. Gore, "Races, Human," in The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume Q.R, No.16, Chicago, U.S.A., 1987, page 56.
(44) Spencer Wells, The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey, 2002, Princeton University Press.
(45) Charles S.J. White, "Hinduism," in The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume H, Number 9, Chicago, 1987, U.S.A., page 225.
(46) Tomislav Raukar, Hrvatsko Srednjovjekovlje: Prostor Ljudi, Ideje, Zagreb, Croatia, 1997.
(47) Thomas R. Hester, "Archaeology," Caucasian Mummies in China, in Science Year 1995 (The World Book Annual Science Supplement): A Review of Science and Technology During the 1994 School Year, World Book, Inc. Chicago, U.S.A, pages 218-219.
(48) Karl W. Butzer, "Prehistoric People," in The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume P, Number 15, Chicago, U.S.A., 1987, pages 666-672.
By Ardent Seeker.