Skip to comments.Our Celtic Roots Lie In Spain And Portugal
Posted on 05/06/2008 8:59:53 AM PDT by blam
Our Celtic roots lie in Spain and Portugal
May 5 2008 by Darren Devine, Western Mail
THE Welsh have more in common with sun-kissed glamour pusses like actress Penelope Cruz and footballer Christiano Ronaldo than pale- faced Germans like Helmet Kohl, according to an academic.
Professor John Koch suggests the Welsh can trace their ancestry back to Portugal and Spain, debunking the century-old received wisdom that our forebears came from Iron Age Germany and Austria.
His radical work on Celtic origins flatly contradicts the writing of Sir John Rhys, who in the late 19th century established the idea that we originally came from central Europe.
Sir John believed the Celts were the remnants of a great culture that extended here from modern-day eastern France, Switzerland, southern Germany and Austria.
But Professor Koch, of the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies, in Aberystwyth, says archaeological inscriptions on stones show we came from southern Portugal and south-west Spain.
He said: Celts are said to come from west central Europe Austria, southern Germany, eastern France and that part of the world.
Thats been the theory that everybody has grown up with for at least 100 years.
There is evidence that the Celtic languages were spoken there because of place names and peoples names.
But the assumption was that was where they came from. I think they got there later.
There is evidence in Spain and Portugal indicating they were there 500 or more years before.
Professor Koch says there are Celtic texts in Portugal and Spain way before they started springing up in central Europe during Roman times.
One key piece of evidence is the earliest written language of western Europe Tartessian, found on inscribed stones in Portugal and Spain dating back to between 800BC and 400BC. The professor maintains this language can be deciphered as Celtic.
Expert on Welsh history and archaeology Dr Raimund Karl, says there is also biological and genetic evidence to support professor Kochs theory.
He said: In the last couple of years there have been a number of genetic studies of human DNA indicating that the population of much of the western part of the British Isles is related to other communities along the Atlantic seafront. These include Brittany, northern Spain, Portugal and the French Atlantic coast. Thats their genetic origin.
But Dr Karl, of the University of Wales, Bangor, said there is also archaeological evidence suggesting a cultural link with central Europe.
There is evidence suggesting a link with central Europe from elite-material culture stuff associated with the upper parts of society. This includes weaponry, feasting equipment, artwork on jewellery and other prestigious items.
However the academic said attempts to identify a biological Celt or notions of cultures emanating from a particular spot are meaningless. He believes human cultures and populations are constantly in a state of flux, drawing their influences from far and wide.
Dr Karl, himself an Austrian, added: I personally think the question of where Celtic culture originated is by and large meaningless. Culture is constantly changing and never has a single point of origin.
The biological Celt is meaningless because human populations inter-mingle.
Professor Koch will speak at Bangor University tomorrow at the main arts theatre at 6pm
I noticed in two recent books that both authors (Both professors) have difficulty explaining exactly who are the Celts and their origins. The books are :
Origins Of The British Professor Stephan Oppenheimer...an excellent book.
Saxons, Vikings And Celts Professor Bryan Sykes...a very good read.
2. As this article indicates, the Iberic tribes migrated to Wales.
Look up “Milesians”
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Yes I have heard for as long as I can remember that the Scots are related to some people in Spain and even North Africa, (The Berbers).
I met a “Castillian” girl when I was in high school. That is what we called those Hispanics with blond hair and blue eyes, as I remember.
My Scottish ancestors won their independance in the Battle of Bannockburn. But I actually have more English in me. But hey who would't claim the Battle of Bannockburn even if it was just a drop of your blood?
Anyway there is quite a bit of archeological and geneological evidence that large groups of migrations from the twelve tribes of Israel in the Middle east emmigrated north during throughout Europe during the babylonian invasion. Secular scholare are blind to it. (Geee! when this group dissapears in the Middle East a new group that looks just like them archeologically migrates north across Europe and splits into groups that go all over Norway Sweden, Germany, England, Spain etc. There can;t be a connection!)
For example There is evidence that Jeremiah came to Ireland with Princess Tea Tephi who was a daughter of Zedekiah and married Eochaidh in Ireland. Her sister Scota married Gaythelos, son of the King of Greece, in Spain. Some claim they are just legends (usually atheist scholars trying to downplay Isreal's socio-political role in the history of Europe and the world) but the genological record and archeolgical record are pretty plain.
A good book on the matter is "House of Israel" which is out of print but there are probably newer books about the topic that are good resources. Wikipedia has some decent articles but google the names and you'll get some better websites like one that lists Israeli geneology back to Adam.
During WWI all the royalty of the various countries were related and intermarried as well.
Celtic music fans should check out LLAN DE CUBEL. They do Asturian music. http://www.llandecubel.com/english.html
There was the wreck of the Spanish Armada in 1588 which left quite a few Spaniards in Ireland with no way to get home.
See Bill Cooper’s book, After the Flood. He traces their lineage back to Japheth, son of Noah. Very interesting study.
That’s why they were called Celt-Iberians.
Too many years ago, I read a historical fiction novel that was about the migration from Iberia to Ireland. Must have had some basis in fact to be published, as historical fiction.
Wish I could remember the book. Any help out there?
Or look for some old music from the group Celtas Cortas.
The folk music and dance from northern Spain is strikingly celtic, from the toe-dancing, to the bagpipes, and on. When they have a folk-festival they sometimes invite celt bands from the British Isles, who fit right in, its hard to know who is who.
You half-expect the Spaniards to start speaking gaelic at any moment.
Check out the R1b's in the Canary Islands.
I think Celtic invaders of Britain came both from northern Iberia and continental Europe.
Caesar noted that many tribes in Britain had names similar or identical to names of tribes in Gaul.
Around 8,000 years ago (Map 3), the Neolithic peoples of the Middle East that had developed the new technology of agriculture began moving into Europe. There were several haplogroups involved, mainly E3b, F, J2 and G2.
These Neolithic haplogroups came in several waves over time and are found predominantly along the Mediterranean coast. Around 20% of the present-day population are from these Neolithic haplogroups. What is interesting to note is that the agricultural technology spread much further than the people who first 'invented' it.
A little later, around 4,500 years ago, Haplogroup N3 began moving across from west of the Ural mountains. Haplogroup N3 follows closely the spread of the Finno-Ugric languages.
Celts, Germans, Latins and Slavs all speak Indo-European who are believed to have come from the East. Ancient peoples who first settled Europe probably spoke something akin to Basque. Europeans are a hybrid race. Why they chose Indo-European languages over their ancient tongues remains a mystery.
Cool article. Interesting to see what modern investigative techniques can do to dusty old theories put forth by bored Englishmen (or Welshmen as the case may be). :)
As an aside, after weathering the last ice age on the Iberian peninsula it would appear that the Celts took Europe by storm. Archaeological and literary evidence shows that the Celts made it all the way to modern-day Turkey and beyond. One of the Greek historians specifically mentioned tribes of Keltoi living in Anatolia.
I'll play along:
"The Tocharians were the easternmost speakers of an Indo-European language in antiquity, inhabiting the Tarim basin in what is now Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, northwestern People's Republic of China. "
My late father called us 'Black Irish' and our surname (begins w/ a 'J') was unique in that 'J' surnames came from the Spanish influence. I could never find anything to trully refute or substantiate his 'J' theory...but anecdotally we really don't (as a family unit) look 'Irish.'
What is the ‘J’ name? I may be able to tell you something about it.
Thanks Blam. Those Celts -- they got around.
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Although my *immediate* ancestry is heavily weighted towards Irish/Scots & Danish, there are a lot of Welsh in my genetic wood pile.
I do not have the coloration of my parents or even my grandparents.
The family branch which I most resemble are my Welsh cousins and aunts/uncles.
Though my parents are tall, fair-skinned, blonde people with blue eyes, I am shorter, auburn and green-eyed.
I don’t “look like” my parents very much at all, except for a passing resemblance to my dad who resembles to a much less extent, the Welsh side.
The hair and eyes aren’t the most different features...my skin color is.
It’s not “olive” and it’s not “sallow”.
It’s a strange, light golden tone that never goes completely “white”, even in winter.
I do not sunburn or “tan”.
I only turn the color of light toast, almost exactly, no matter how much sun I get.
My folks often made cracks about me being “left by the Gypsies”.
After going to your about page I can see why ;)
I was later kidnapped by bikers....;-D