Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-08 > 1155650054

From: Alan R <>
Subject: RE: [DNA] EA Pict Haplotype
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2006 14:54:14 +0100 (BST)
In-Reply-To: <>

The article below suggests ancient Y-chromosome DNA
has been extracted from 'Pictish' bones. The dating
of 1000 years old is late to be anywhere near 100%
sure we are looking at Picts and the geographical
location (whatever that is) would also have a bearing
on the level of probability that we are dealing with
immediate descendants of Picts.

However, what astonishes me is that we are not talking
about mt DNA. Is this article inaccurate or is this
some sort of technological breakthrough/ unique
preservation conditions?

Also, I have to say that, offering tests to show you
are a true indigenous Scot (here defined as Pictish)
based on what I imagine is a tiny sample in few
localities is extremely premature to say the least. I
I think you would need a lot of samples from all over
Pictish and non-Pictish Scotland to make even
generalised comments. Remember that recent tests on
central European Neolithic mt DNA showed that the
patterns among the buried individuals bore little
resemblance to modern populations. This is not
surprising as we are the descendants of only a few of
the early lineages that survived the chasm of time
between then and now. The Pictish bones would be much
more recent and the effect just described would be
less marked but still there.

That said, if a significant sample of pre-850AD 'dark
age' or 'late iron age' burials from north-east
Scotland could be extracted, it would be very
interesting indeed. However, that goes without saying
as extraction of y-dna from ancient bones of all
periods is the Rosetta Stone of archaeogenetics. Can
this really be true? If it is, is this a one-off due
to freak preservation conditions?


> Another article (here:
> )
> mentions the analysis of 1,000-year-old bone
> fragments.
> 1,000 years takes us back only to A.D. 1006, though.
> Isn't that a bit late
> to enable one to say with any certainty that the
> bones in question were
> Pictish? By 1006 there was a lot of Norse,
> Anglo-Saxon, Briton, and Scot
> (Northern Irish) dna in what is now Scotland.
> Are we discussing y-dna or mt DNA?
> Which haplogroup?
> Rich
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