As written history is only a small part of human history altogether, it’s quite impressive as it is that experts know so much about the origin of human cultures. In a very big breakthrough, scientists from Belfast and Dublin reveal the genetic origin of Irish settlers.
Researchers from Dublin and Belfast, working together, have found the remains of four very important farmers that lived between 3000 and 5000 years ago.
The remains were those of a woman, found in her tomb in Ballynahatty, close to Belfast, and those of three men, buried on the Rathlin Island in County Antrim.
Instead of analyzing each individual’s DNA in order to come up with a genetic history for each individual, the scientists used a relatively new technique called whole genome analysis, which allowed them to look at the wide genetic history of all four bodies, in order to get a much broader view on their lineages.
Following the investigations, the researchers discovered that the people that are known as Irish today didn’t, in fact, originate from the territory today known as Ireland.
Instead, they appear to be the descendants of a group of nomads that originated somewhere in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
From there, they kept moving, passing through southern Russia and picking up a number of workers for copper mining and goldsmithing.
The initial group had mostly black hair and brown eyes, while the groups they picked up on their way were much more similar to what the Irish are today.
First of all, the hemochromatosis disease, also known as the Celtic disease, originated in the groups they picked up in southern Russia.
Additionally, the gene that allows the human body to process milk past infancy, and also the genes for blue eyes and blonde hair were also present in the groups that joined along the way.
In order to further confirm the findings, all three analyzed buried men were found to possess the most frequent type of Y chromosome found in Irish men, passed down from father to son.
In the wake of the results, the researchers now have a much more elaborate image of what went down at the inception of the Irish people.
The migrating group settled down in the place now known as Ireland, and ran into the Celts. From there, the Celts being widely outnumbered by the outsider group, decided to share the lands, eventually ending up breeding, and starting a new culture, marked by the birth of agriculture and metallurgy in the area.
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