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From: (David Faux)
Subject: Re: [DNA] R1b in Norway - Role of British Slaves
Date: Thu, 09 Jun 2005 14:12:22 +0000


Adam:

Helgason never said that all Icelandic R1b was Celtic, just 20% to 25% of the 41.4% of the R1b which was observed in Scotland and Ireland but not Scandinavia.

Actully Helgason's numbers are badly skewed by the fact that 7% of his entire sample is haplogroup Q which he calls "Branch 1" but lumps in with Hg 1 - R1b. Thus the R1b drops to 33%. However Helgason was assuming that the R1b in Scandinavia which could not be found (based on 5 Y-STRs) in Iceland were Celtic. The motifs found in Scandinavia but not the Celtic countries were largely the DYS390 = 23 signatures. However you are correct in that he assumed that if a pattern was seen in Norway or Denmark as well as the Celtic countries then this motif was Celtic - which is a very shaky premise. However the Icelandic "Book of Settlements" and other documents make it clear that there was some male Celtic input to the settlement of Iceland - but only 4.8% according to this one source. BTW the founding of Iceland in 870 was in virgin territory - only perhaps a few Irish monks but no settlements of any kind (nothing in the historical or archaeoloical record).

Based on everything we know I think that it would be naieve to think that there were no British slaves in Norway due to the Viking invasions. What is unclear is whether what Helgason implied, and I am saying with an explanation (slavery), is valid - that the Germanic 23/11/13 pattern was predominant in Norway prior to the Viking era. If so it has lost its status to the AMH variety (about 55%) which is dominant in most of Norway but still with a solid showing of the Germanic type (about 45%). I based my original assessement on a flawed breakdown of the percentages of each haplotype in Eastern Norway. My thanks to Joan for providing the correct data.

I guess you are correct Adam, we really don't have enough clear evidence to sort this out. Both Helgason and I are making assumptions which may not have validity. Perhaps the "Book of Settlements" listing the known ancestry of 220 of Iceland's first male settlers should be taken at face value and if so then the number of Celtic men was more like 5% than 25%.

David F.



-------------- Original message --------------

> In my opinion Helgason's hypothesis is flawed by the equation of R1b
> with Celt or British. The fact is that the Vikings themselves may have
> been a mixed breed that included R1b. Just as the Saxons, the
> Frisians and god knows what other invaders of Britain may have had
> Atlantic R1b in their ranks.
>
> If I'm not mistaken, the date ranges associated with these varieties
> of R1b are too vast to allow any conclusions to be drawn about when
> they arrived in any particular location. They may have arrived 750 AD
> or they may have arrived 7500 BC. Our efforts at choosing among dates
> of arrival are guided by our prejudices, our predilections and the
> limits of our knowledge. An explanation can't overcome these
> limitations just by being the most parsimonious. And anyway isn't the
> most parsimonious explanation simply that the ancient population of
> Norway is naturally about 20% R1b?


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