British history rules over DNA
THE distinction between the nations of Britain is more in the eye of the beholder than in our genes.
Over thousands of years the blood spilled in wars between the ruling classes “artificially” created Wales, Scotland, Ireland and England, not the DNA in our blood.
DNA studies show that anyone with a few generations of ancestors who lived in any part of the British Isles is descended from the original inhabitants of Britain.
These people arrived in small numbers from the Iberian peninsular (modern Spain and Portugal), some 8,000 to 9,000 years ago. They provided the bedrock of our modern genetic makeup from John O’Groats to Lands End and from Anglesey to Norwich. The infusions of DNA from Danish, Saxon, Norman and others over the last 2,000 years are now almost insignificant.
Whether we call ourselves English, Welsh, Irish or Scottish, the DNA of the invaders has been diluted by generations of breeding with the native stock, people directly descended from the pioneering Iberian settlers who arrived here after the last Ice Age.
Juan Cole commentary
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