As some of you know, I have a rather strong interest in Anthropology and Ancient History. What I hadn't realized is the degree to which Geneticists have made inroads into history, thus questioning some of the cherished ideas of where people came from and where they travelled.
For me, this all started when I agreed to deliver a couple of lectures on the history of the Gaels and Scots for the Eureka Springs Celtic Festival and Robert Burns festivities. I had this brightly-colored map showing the locales of all these ancient peoples in various places with colored arrows showing treks of ethnic groups to other locales. I passed the map and a hand-out to attendees, then proceeded to discuss legendary history of the Gaels, thus leaving the anthropological discussion to the hand-outs.
It was during the process of creating the hand-outs that I began to realize the degree to which genetic analysis had occurred. What really knocked my socks off was the discovery that the Gaels and the Basques had strong genetic markers in common. I knew that the Irish legends claimed thay came from northern Spain to Ireland, but had never suspected that they may have interbred with the Basque population. It was then that I really began digging into the genetic distribution of Basque-related peoples.
As many of you know, the Basques appear to be one of the remaining races of the indiginous population of Europe since the Ice Ages, thus preceeding the influx of Indo-Europeans by many millenia. I'm posting a few Internet references to the Basque peoples here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Oppenheimerhttp://basque.unr.edu/16/16.1t/16.1.1.faqs1.htmhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/1256894.stmhttp://www.buber.net/Basque/History/
You may be surprised to see the genetic associations of the Basques with other Europeans and even Eastern races. Just for the heck of it, I'm going to post the little map I created to go with the hand-out. Remember, this is per legendary history rather than genetic history:
Just thought you might find this stuff as interesting as I did.