Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Ulster Iberian Connections

As participation grows in the Ulster Heritage DNA Project there is a corresponding growing interest in genetic and cultural connections to Iberia.
right, Spanish Celtic torc

Most people assume these links to be several millenniums distant and while this is true, it is also true that the Celtic people of Britain and Ireland continued to travel to the Iberian Peninsula well into the Christian era. Within the Atlantic Celtic population there was continual movement back and forth between the people of northwest Spain and Portugal and Britain and Ireland.

The on line E-Keltoi magazine has several scholarly articles covering many aspects of Celtic Iberia. These are found here:

Celtic hill fort in Spain

Dr Barry Cunliffe, the leading historian in the field of early Western European history, has basically told us that much of what we thought we knew about the Atlantic Celts was wrong.

The old pseudo history, the idea of continental Celts sweeping west and south into the Isles and into Iberia, continues to circulate despite DNA and archaeological proof that this did not happen. The new paradigm, one based upon what we now know from DNA testing and an open minded look at the archaeological evidence, is that the Atlantic Celts, those in Spain, Portugal, Breton, and the Isles, were indigenous to their Atlantic world. This Atlantic society is very old, thriving even before the pyramids of Egypt were built. The Atlantic Celts developed from the indigenous population in other words.

Dr Cunliffe's most extraordinary insight however is that it is very possible, that the Gaelic, Welsh, Cornish, Galician and Breton languages are not the last vestiges of a tongue carried by Celtic invaders from northern India, but were local languages which grew from the aboriginal population. The connections between Ulster and all of the Celtic Isles, to Iberia are very real.

Barry R McCain © 2008

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