<< News >> New research suggests Welsh Celtic roots lie in Spain and Portugal

Submitted by coldrum on Friday, 16 May 2008  Page Views: 43268

Other ArchaeologyCountry: Wales 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.

“That’s 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 people’s 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 Koch’s 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. That’s 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.”

Source; IC Wales.

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"New research suggests Welsh Celtic roots lie in Spain and Portugal" | Login/Create an Account | 20 News and Comments
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Re: New research suggests Welsh Celtic roots lie in Spain and Portugal by Anonymous on Thursday, 02 February 2017
The Welch had advanced military forces. When people from England came, the "bows and arrows" came from the Wales people --- many years ago---from a mountain range.

It seems to be that the Basque people did the same thing in northern Spain--to protect themselves.

I wonder about this also. Thirty years ago in England I found about five spellings of my grandfather's name---now I wonder if it is Spanish or Viking....
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Re: New research suggests Welsh Celtic roots lie in Spain and Portugal by Anonymous on Thursday, 18 August 2016
I am of Scottish, north east England and East midlands mix, but look nothing like a typical "white brit" i have olive skin, almost black, beady eyes, thick dark hair, athletic and strong build . both my parents have dark skinned family, mum''s are North eastern and look very Mediteranean , dad''s look like Romany Gypsy types. I love origins and can often tell a person''s ancestory from their features. my sir name is Browning which from the Norman to describe brown hair and skin. Reckon we are of Iberian Celtic ancestory as we''ve done family history and they are all from the British Isles.
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Re: New research suggests Welsh Celtic roots lie in Spain and Portugal by Anonymous on Wednesday, 27 July 2016
thank you so for this post. From a Lusitanian who cares about the truth.
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Re: New research suggests Welsh Celtic roots lie in Spain and Portugal by Anonymous on Saturday, 08 February 2014

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    Re: New research suggests Welsh Celtic roots lie in Spain and Portugal by Anonymous on Saturday, 09 August 2014
    Really. Then why does the Celtic fringe especially Wales have the highest amount of Red heads and Red hair genes in the world. Its true the Basques and most Iberians are not known for having Red Hair

    Germany and Scandinavia have less red heads than the Celtic fringe. Red heads don''t usually have brown eyes either.

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Re: New research suggests Welsh Celtic roots lie in Spain and Portugal by Anonymous on Tuesday, 26 March 2013
Interesting...people from Atlantic sea...Unmmm... That´s why we have green eyes! ;)
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Re: New research suggests Welsh Celtic roots lie in Spain and Portugal by Anonymous on Saturday, 02 June 2012
It's fascinating to me that the old Irish legends we learned in school tell of the 'invasions' of Ireland and especially that of 'The Sons of Mil' or Milesians, arriving in Ireland from Northern Spain to conquer the earlier people, the Tuatha De Danann who presumably came from the same area.

The DNA evidence seems to be lending support for the legend and discounting the idea of a 'Celtic' invasion from Central Europe. In effect the bulk of the population of Ireland is probably descended from a remnant people who emerged from Ice Age sanctuaries in the mountain valleys of the northern Iberian peninsula and gradually spread along the Atlantic seaboard as hunter-gatherers as the climate improved. This apparently sees them moving into Ireland along a now mostly submerged continental coastline and further north and east into what was to become the Western Isles and Scottish mainland. The origin of Old Irish language could now be the clincher if it turns out to have derived from Tartessian. Or is it still possible that the Irish language was brought to Ireland by a 'Celtic' elite which took over control and whose language displaced earlier languages?
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Re: New research suggests Welsh Celtic roots lie in Spain and Portugal by Anonymous on Saturday, 28 April 2012
Its an interesting theory, but how does anyone know the real truth. For Instant, how do we know that it was not the other way round and the Celtic people of the Isles weren't the ones who colonised the Iberian peninsula. There is evidence that Celtic Britons migrated to Galicia etc.
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Re: Experts trying to decipher ancient language by Anonymous on Sunday, 25 September 2011
Dear Sir,

In about 2005 I wrote to an establishment with information of my book called “Footprints In The Stone”, which is a perspective of the British residing in the British Isles from at least Boxgrove and the Red Man of Paviland from 500,000 and 30,000 BC, of which historical and archaeological evidence proves that this “British Nation” clearly progressed to found the first technologies, sciences and methods of calculation and time, from their study of the universe over eons. The Ancient Britons are called the “Lost Nation”, which becomes apparent in my book they are the “Hidden Nation”, by identifying a refined original Nation from BC to present day; who are the only viable candidates to have colonised the Americas and other lands at 20,000 BC. They were astronomers using mathematical (Pythagorean) principals BC, which are basically decoded at Stonehenge, whereby the monument is relative to the Celtic-Cross that was later used as a sextant and surveying and navigational instrument, (as is specified in my Patent application 0524006.4). The Britons were forefront in the sciences of metallurgy and mining on an industrial scale from at least 3,500 BC, for home and export. It is also evidenced that the British dispatched envoys abroad to teach people in Europe and the East these very same principals. The evidence reveals that the Britons defeated the Romans on at least two occasions, to highlight the bravery of British Kings and a Nation worshiping a British form of Christianity and a Jesus Christ from the beginning of AD, during the Jesus’ missing years; including the identification of a British King’s daughter converting Romans to Christianity early AD. It is revealed that Roman administration exists in one form or another, and identifies Roman depravity indicative of Nazi type war crimes, to disclose a Roman deception that has lasted for at least 2011 years.

After my publication programs were produced that are basically the same format as my book in archaeological and historical respect. Media programs are trying very hard to brainwash our “British Nation” into a belief they are descended from Roman, Saxon or German, which is a total misconception to try to destroy the identity of the true “British Nation”. In fact the Manx, Cornish, Irish, Scottish, English, Welsh and colonising ancestors are all of British lineage and are “True Britons” of our “British” lands.

I must also add that “Tax Payers Alliance” have done some good work to expose waste and greed in our governments and its time we all supported the like. If private taxpayers were not funding these government establishments (hogs in the trough) Roman principals, and then they would all have to get on a bus, as Duncan Smith advised.

Have a look on page 4 of my website http://www.aptwebsite.toucansurf.com or type - footprints in the stone - for evidence of the export and destruction of our industries (is another Roman slave stratagem along with plagiarism).

If you can face the truth then read the book!

Best Regards,

David J Jones
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Re: Experts trying to decipher ancient language by Anonymous on Sunday, 26 June 2011
why were british people lied to?
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    Re: Experts trying to decipher ancient language by golux on Sunday, 26 June 2011
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    Err . . what? I don't see anything in the "Experts trying to decipher ancient language" post which relates to Britain or could be construed as being addressed to "british people". "Anonymous", would you explain please?
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Experts trying to decipher ancient language by coldrum on Wednesday, 17 June 2009
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Experts trying to decipher ancient language

When archaeologists on a dig in southern Portugal last year flipped over a heavy chunk of slate and saw writing not used for more than 2,500 years, they were elated.

The enigmatic pattern of inscribed symbols curled symmetrically around the upper part of the rough-edged, yellowish stone tablet and coiled into the middle in a decorative style typical of an extinct Iberian language called Southwest Script.

"We didn't break into applause, but almost," says Amilcar Guerra, a University of Lisbon lecturer overseeing the excavation. "It's an extraordinary thing."

For more than two centuries, scientists have tried to decipher Southwest Script, believed to be the peninsula's oldest written tongue and, along with Etruscan from modern-day Italy, one of Europe's first. The stone tablet features 86 characters and provides the longest-running text of the Iron Age language ever found.

About 90 slate tablets bearing the ancient inscriptions have been recovered, most of them incomplete. Almost all were scattered across southern Portugal, though a handful turned up in the neighboring Spanish region of Andalucia.

Some of the letters look like squiggles. Others are like crossed sticks. One resembles the number four and another recalls a bow-tie. They were carefully scored into the slate. The text is always a running script, with unseparated words which usually read from right to left.

The first attempts to interpret this writing date from the 18th century. It aroused the curiosity of a bishop whose diocese encompassed this region where the earth keeps coughing up new fragments.

Almodovar, a rural town of some 3,500 people amid a gentle landscape of meadows punctuated by whitewashed towns, sits at the heart of the Southwest Script region. It created a museum two years ago where 20 of the engraved tablets are on show.

Though the evidence is gradually building as new tablets are found, researchers are handicapped because they are peering deep into a period of history about which they know little, says professor Pierre Swiggers, a Southwest Script specialist at the University of Leuven, Belgium. Scientists have few original documents and hardly any parallel texts from the same time and place in readable languages.

"We hardly know anything about (the people's) daily habits or religious beliefs," he says.

Southwest Script is one of just a handful of ancient languages about which little is known, according to Swiggers. The obscurity has provided fertile ground for competing theories about who wrote these words.

It is generally agreed the texts date from between 2,500 and 2,800 years ago. Most experts have concluded they were authored by a people called Tartessians, a tribe of Mediterranean traders who mined for metal in these parts — one of Europe's largest copper mines is nearby — but disappeared after a few centuries. Some scientists have proposed that the composers were other pre-Roman tribes, such as the Conii or Cynetes, or maybe even Celts who roamed this far south.

Another translation difficulty is that the writing is not standardized. It seems certain that it was adapted from the Phoenician and Greek alphabets because it copied some of their written conventions. However, it also tweaked some of those rules and invented new ones.

Experts have identified characters that represent 15 syllables, seven consonants and five vowels. But eight characters, including a kind of vertical three-pronged fork, have confounded attempts at comprehension.

There's also the problem of figuring out what messages the slate tablets are intended to convey. Even when they can read portions of text, scientists don't really understand what it is saying — like a child mouthing the words of a Shakespeare play.

"We have a lot of doubts," says Guerra, who has written scholarly article

Read the rest of this post...
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Re: New research suggests Welsh Celtic roots lie in Spain and Portugal by Anonymous on Tuesday, 09 September 2008
The red hair is a bit of a sterotype though, isn't it? Although the percentage of red hair is higher in Ireland/Scotland than other places , there are still far more dark haired people, especially in Ireland (known sometimes as the Black Irish). I am one of them actually-dark brown hair, dark hazel eyes, pale olive skin that never burns, while my grandmother was black-haired with very dark eyes/features. She really did look Spanish or Italian!
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    Re: New research suggests Welsh Celtic roots lie in Spain and Portugal by Anonymous on Friday, 03 February 2012
    Some "Black Irish" derive from the wrecked Spanish galleons of a part of Spanish Armada that attempted to return to Spain having sailed north around England's east coast and around Scotland, then back south into the Irish see. Some chose to remain in Ireland and were assimilated.

    Jeff Couch
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      Re: New research suggests Welsh Celtic roots lie in Spain and Portugal by Anonymous on Saturday, 14 April 2012
      Since Spaniards, specially Northern Spaniards, can be blond... it proves that old blond Irish descend from the sailors from the Spanish Armada. I'm trying to follow your logic here. I've been to Ireland and most people are dark. Those Spanish sailors really slept around.
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Re: New research suggests Welsh Celtic roots lie in Spain and Portugal by queenbeebear on Monday, 19 May 2008
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Indeed, it is old news, but interesting that the stereo-typical Welsh Celt is thought of as dark eyed, and dark haired, quite different from the quintessential Irish/scots redheads, and yet considered to be of the same origin. After all this time doubtless we are a real "mingelled" bunch, fascinating tho, so it is!
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Re: New research suggests Welsh Celtic roots lie in Spain and Portugal by imp on Monday, 19 May 2008
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This discussion of a common celtic origin of a group of people spreading across Europe is nonsense. But for some reason this old idea seems to be pop up again in and outside archaeological circles together with another old joke - the indo-europeans.
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Re: New research suggests Welsh Celtic roots lie in Spain and Portugal by Anonymous on Sunday, 18 May 2008
Absolutely! I was so interested by the work of Sykes & Oppenheimer that I had my own mtdna tested. I knew my gradmother was from Ireland and indeed turned out to be from 'clan Tara' which originated in Tuscany and spread all over Europe in the mesolithic, but with particularly high instances along the Western Seabord ( inc france/Spain/Portugal),and also in Cornwall and Ireland.
However, my dna is relatively rare compared to type H which is the 'Basque' area gene. This is the most common in Europe as this is the region many people sheleted in the Ice Age but of course there has been difference mutations in various clans as they spread across Europe. The Brits,Irish & Basques still have a very close match,however.
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Re: New research suggests Welsh Celtic roots lie in Spain and Portugal by Anonymous on Sunday, 18 May 2008
I'm somewhat bemused by this article, as it is already an established fact that the Ancient Britons originated from the Iberian Peninsula around 7000 yrs ago, as verified by the DNA research of Prof. Sykes of Oxford University, and were nothing to do with the later Central European Celts (or Kelts).
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Re: New research suggests Welsh Celtic roots lie in Spain and Portugal by VirtHist on Saturday, 17 May 2008
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Seems like old news travels slowly.
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