Galicia or Galizia (Polish: Galicja, Ukrainian: Галичина (Halychyna)

Things you learn…

This picture is of “Tocharians” from the 6th Century:

6th Century "Tocharian Donors"

6th Century "Tocharian Donors"

“Graphical analysis reveals that the third donor from left is performing a Buddhist Vitarka Mudra gesture. These frescoes are associated with annotations in Tocharian and Sanskrit made by their painters.”

Original Image

You will notice the red hair and light eye color…

So I was looking at one thing ( North East China) and that lead to a brief excursion in Tokarian A and B as two distinct languages spoken in the area back when it was not China…

The Tocharians were the Tocharian-speaking inhabitants of the Tarim Basin, making them the easternmost speakers of Indo-European languages in antiquity. After wars against the northern Xiongnu Empire, the Tocharians migrated out of the Tarim Basin, and the Indo-European language of the Tocharians became supplanted by the languages of the Xiongnu. The Takhar province of Afghanistan is named after Tocharians. Tocharian languages would remain in the region until replaced in 800 AD by the Altaic languages, with the arrival of Turkic migration from modern day Mongolia.

This is the place where they have found red headed mummies wearing tartan cloth…

The Tarim mummies suggest that precursors of these easternmost speakers of an Indo-European language may have lived in the region of the Tarim Basin from around 1800 BC until 2nd century BC, when they were largely driven out by the proto-Turkic Xiongnu Empire. Any Tocharian speakers that remained were assimilated by the arrival of the Uyghur Turks in the 9th century AD. This is evidenced by both the mummies and Chinese writings on the exodus.

A later group of Tocharians were the Kushans and maybe some Iranian tribes of the Hephthalites whose Iranian population also settled in modern Afghanistan, North-Eastern Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkestan, whereas the nomadic Turkic tribes were defeated by Bahram Gur and the Gokturks, who pushed them over the Hindukush mountains to Pakistan and North-West India.

OK, a whole lot of moving parts here… but the ‘bottom line’ of it is that there were a couple of lineages of Tocharians, some in what is now western China and some from Iran, and these folks were kind of all over the “ickystan” area and some may even have gotten pushed into bits of Pakistan and North-West India. They also seemed at home in the Buddhist religion…

9th Century Buddhist Monks

9th Century Buddhist Monks

Original Image

And other than the usual tendency for asian artists to make Europeans look a bit “overdone” this picture of some Buddhist Monks makes it pretty clear some were blue eyed redheads… Somehow I’m feeling a much deeper “taproot” to my Buddhist leanings…

The Tarim Basin mummies (1800 BC) and the Tocharian texts and frescoes from the Tarim Basin (AD 800) have been found in the same general geographical area, and are both connected to an Indo-European origin. The mummies and the frescoes both point to Caucasoid types with light eyes and hair color. However it is unknown if the frescos and mummies are directly connected.

I find that truthful, but awfully cautious. Like maybe it was some OTHER group of redheads who were wandering by to be painted…

From a later period, the genetics suggest that the slow transition to a mixed type was underway, with Asian mothers and “Eurasian” dads.

In 2008, the remains of another male were discovered near Turpan, China. Thought by researchers to be a member of the Gushi culture, the man was buried with a number of practical and ceremonial objects, including archery equipment and a harp, and 789 grams of marijuana. Through genetic analysis and carbon dating, the burial has been dated to roughly 700 BC. Only two of the 500 graves at the site contain marijuana, leading researchers to suggest shamanic roles for the two individuals.

In 2009, the remains of individuals found at a site in Xiaohe were analyzed for Y-DNA and mtDNA markers. They suggest that an admixed population of both west and east origin lived in the Tarim basin since the early Bronze Age. The maternal lineages were predominantly East Asian haplogroup C with smaller numbers of H and K, while the paternal lines were all West Eurasian R1a1a. The geographic location of where this admixing took place is unknown, although south Siberia is likely

Gee, sounds like a party to me ;-) I find the Harp interesting as it’s a pretty Celtic symbol, at least today. I also note that only an archaeologist could find marijuana and attribute it to religion (even if “shamanic” in character). How about they just liked to party?

At any rate, these were the people that domesticated the horse and invented the saddle. So, let me get this straight, you had Redhead Cowboys playing music and partying and with Asian Babes too? Golly, who knew being a Tocharian was so much fun? And they say things never change…

Moving On

We know that later a batch of darker Arabic types ran up this way as part of the Muslim invasions (and before that the Greeks wandered by with Alexander The Great) so there has been a fair amount of “mixing” going on. But this does raise the question of “Can some residual of these folks be found in the populations of the various ‘-istans’ of the area?” Were there, for example, red headed Kazaks?

Answering THAT led to this interesting graphic:

The Cumania Kipchak Federation circa 1200 AD

The Cumania Kipchak Federation circa 1200 AD

Original Image

And here I didn’t even know a “Cumania” existed…

Cumania is a name formerly used to designate several distinct lands in Central and Eastern Europe inhabited by and under the military dominance of the Cumans, a nomadic tribe who, with the Kipchaks, created a confederation. The Cumans were also known as the Polovtsians, or Folban. Besides this Latin term, Cumania was also known as Dasht-i Qipchaq (Kipchak Plain) in Muslim sources and Zemlja Poloveckaja (Polovtsian Land) or Pole Poloveckoe (Polovcian Plain) in Russian sources
By the 11th and 12th century, the nomadic confederacy of the Cumans and (Eastern) Kipchaks (who were a distinct tribe with whom the Cumans created a confederacy) were the dominant force over the vast territories stretching from the present-day Kazakhstan, southern Russia, Ukraine, to southern Moldavia and western Wallachia.
It is to no surprise that while the general view of the Cumans is that they are Turanid, many historic sources describe the Cumans as strikingly handsome physically, having blond or red hair, and blue eyes, thus possibly being an Iranian people.

Well, gee… Again with that Iranian root and that would drag in the Tocharians again…

If you look at the Kipchak part of it:

The Cumans of the confederation invaded the territory later known as Moldavia, Wallachia, and part of Transylvania in the 11th century. From there they continued their plundering of the Byzantine Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary.

In the late 11th and early 12th centuries, the Cumans and Kipchaks became involved in various conflicts with the Byzantines, Kievan Rus, the Hungarians (Cuman involvement only), and the Pechenegs(Cuman involvement only), allying themselves with one or the other side at different times. In 1089, they were defeated by Ladislaus I of Hungary, again by Knyaz Vladimir Monomakh of the Rus in the 12th century. They sacked Kiev in 1203. They were finally crushed by the Mongols in 1241. During the Mongol empire, Kipchaks constituted a majority of the khanate comprising present-day Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, called the Golden Horde, the westernmost division of the Mongol empire. After the fall of the Mongol Empire, the Golden Horde rulers continued to hold Saraj until 1502.

The Kuman fled to Hungary, and some of their warriors became mercenaries for the Latin crusaders and the Byzantines. Members of the Bahri dynasty, the first dynasty of Mamluks in Egypt, were Kipchaks/Cumans; one of the most prominent examples was Sultan Baybars, born in Solhat, Crimea. Some Kipchaks served in the Yuan dynasty and became the Kharchins.

So now I’m beginning to wonder how much of that “Golden” was skin color and how much was hair color…

His reign marked the start of an age of Mamluk dominance in the Eastern Mediterranean and solidified the durability of their military system. He managed to pave the way for the end of the Crusader presence in Syria and to unite Egypt and Syria into one powerful state that was able to fend off threats from both Crusaders and Mongols. As Sultan, Baibars also engaged in a combination of diplomacy and military action which allowed the Mamluks to greatly expand their empire
His first master, the Turkish emir (prince) of Hama, was suspicious of Baibars because of his unusual appearance (he was fair-skinned, very tall and had a cataract in one of his bluish eyes)

Makes you wanna say “hmmmm”…

But there is something about that “Wallachia”… like Wales and Wallis and…

Gaul and Welsh
Main article: Walha
Further information: Etymology of Vlach

The English name Gaul is unrelated to the Latin name Galli. It comes from the French Gaule and Gaulois, which is the traditional rendering of Latin Gallia and Gallus, -icus respectively. However, the diphthong au points to a different origin, namely a Romance adaptation of the Germanic *walha- (see Gaul: Name).

The word Welsh originates from word wælisc, which is Old English for “foreigner”, also from the Proto-Germanic *Walh- “foreigner of the Roman lands”.

The Germanic term may ultimately have a Celtic source: It is possibly the result of a loan of the Celtic tribal name Volcae into pre-Germanic, *wolk- changing according to Grimm’s Law to yield proto-Germanic *walh-. The Volcae were one of the Celtic peoples who for two centuries barred the southward expansion of the Germanic tribes (in what is now central Germany) on the line of the Harz mountains and into Saxony and Silesia.

In the Middle Ages, territories with primarily Romance-speaking populations, such as France and Italy, were known in German as Welschland as opposed to Deutschland, and the word is cognate with Vlach and Walloon as well as with the “-wall” in “Cornwall”. Other examples are the surnames “Wallace” and “Walsh”. During the early Germanic period, the term seems to have been applied to the peasant population of the Roman Empire, most of whom were in the areas immediately settled by the Germanic people.

well, I’m thinking, is there some chance that there was a clearly Celtic group somewhere near this Macedonia to Ukraine to China band?

Just above that text in the article is the description of another word for Celt:

Galli and Galatai

Latin Galli might be from an originally Celtic ethnic or tribal name, perhaps borrowed into Latin during the early 5th century BC Celtic expansions into Italy. Its root may be the Common Celtic *galno-, meaning “power” or “strength”. The Greek Γαλάται Galatai (cf. Galatia in Anatolia) seems to be based on the same root, borrowed directly from the same hypothetical Celtic source which gave us Galli (the suffix -atai is simply an ethnic name indicator).

The French term for “Welsh” is gallois, also derived from the Latin Galli.

So in addition to Gaul, we also have Galatia in Anotolia… Turkish Celts? Well, as I went off to find Celts in Turkey, I also stumbled upon:

Galicia or Galizia (Polish: Galicja, Ukrainian: Галичина (Halychyna), German: Galizien; Russian: Галиция (Galitsiya), Yiddish: גאליציע (Galitsie), Czech: Halič, Hungarian: Halics / Gácsország) is a historical region in Eastern Europe, currently divided between Poland and West Ukraine, named after the medieval city of Halych, currently the village of Krylos near the modern city of Halych (Ukraine). The nucleus of historic Galicia is formed of three regions of western Ukraine: Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk.
The region has a turbulent history. In Roman times the region was populated by various tribes of Celto-Germanic admixture, including Celtic-based tribes – like the Galice or “Gaulics” and Bolihinii or “Volhynians” – the Lugians and Cotini of Celtic, Vandals and Goths of Germanic origins (the Przeworsk and Púchov cultures). Several ethnographers consider the local boiko people part of the Celtic tribes.

OK, so now I’m looking at this and what I’m seeing is a range for Celts that goes up from just a wee bit above Mesopotamia / Sumer / Babylon thru Iran and on over to the edge of China in one direction, then expands up to the lower edge of Russia and heads West through the middle of present day Germany and the top of Italy (that was Celtic at one time) and right on through Gaul / France and the Iberian Peninsula out to sea…

Yes, over time they got over run, intermarried, assimilated, and generally just blended in. But there is a Celtic Thread through those cultures. No denying it. And all through that turf we find redheads as markers of the passage.

Even, from the looks of the place names, Ukrainian and Polish Celts.

Galicia in later years

Galicia in later years

So now I’m going to be looking at some of those Redheaded Poles and Ukrainians and not thinking quite so much about the Vikings who wandered down the rivers in later years, but wondering just a bit about some of the folks who were already there.

Just for completion, here is a map of Iberia showing the Celts there, at one point in their history. The blue stuff is the Celtic language area:

Celtic Iberia 200 BC

Celtic Iberia 200 BC

Original Image

And while I’m tempted to go off to that Iranian Tocharian line and see just who THEY were (and how were they related to the Persian Empires of old and were there any Redheaded Persian Emperors…) I’m going to try to not worry that thread tonight… I’m also going to try very hard not to find out if that 12000 year old megalithic monument in Turkey / Anatolia has animal markings on it with meanings to Celts… and another thing I’m not going to to think about tonight… ;-)

Oh, but if you are wondering about Tocharian A and B, they have a striking similarity to Sanskrit and have many cognates with English and Gaelic…

malk to milk
ñom name Sanskrit nāman-
ko or keu cow
tre or trai three Sanskirt tri
mācar mother

See the chart near the bottom of the wiki page for more of the sanskrit. Tocharian has a about as many cases as Sanskrit (i.e. 8 or 9…), which leaves me wondering how many of those Vedas in Sanskrit might have come from an older group from “up north” headed south into India long long ago…

For now I’ll just leave you with a picture of a child from what is the old Tocharian area of China. A Uygur child of today. The photo is “all rights reserved” so you will need to click the link to see this “redhead child”. Then you decide if there is a certain Celtic Thread still there…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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42 Responses to Galicia or Galizia (Polish: Galicja, Ukrainian: Галичина (Halychyna)

  1. George says:

    Plenty of light eyes and red heads in asia.

  2. E.M.Smith says:


    Some of the folks in that second link look so Irish / Scots it’s unbelievable… others have clearly mixed in a bit.

    FWIW, there are also the Ainu who were the original indiginous people of Japan and parts of Russia / Asia

    for several generations they have tried to become ‘more Japanese’ so their genetics are more mixed now, but they are basically a “European” isolate group left over from before the Manchurian Asians invaded Japan and killed off most of them. (Though, IMHO, you can see a hint of the European look in some Japanese when compared to most Han Chinese, so I suspect that there was some ‘mixing’…)

    I suspect that if we really knew, we’d find that there was a “European type’ that had been pan-Asia from the Pacific on through to the Alantic at about the middle of China latitude. Then a cohort from down toward South East Asia started expanding north and outward and overran them. Korean has elements that link it to non-Chinese languages (that are more European in character, though a limited special mix…)

    There is also some evidence (Kennewick Man) that they were over the land bridge into N.America first, then followed by the Asians later (until the asteroid impact wiped most of them out about 12-13 ky BP…)

    At any rate, it’s an interesting bit of history / genetic map making that most folks don’t notice.

    Yet every so often those recessive Red Head Genes tunnel through ;-)

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    First, a picture of the Ainu showing blond through brownish-redheads:

    Dang it… failed… Tried to ignore it, but Nooo, just had to look:

    Seeing something of a Hellenized savage in the Galatians, Francis Bacon and other Renaissance writers called them “Gallo-Graeci”, “Gauls settled among the Greeks” and the country “Gallo-Graecia”, as had the 3rd century AD Latin historian Justin. The more usual term in Antiquity is Ἑλληνογαλάται (Hellēnogalátai) of Diodorus Siculus’ Biblioteca historica v.32.5, in a passage that is translated “…and were called Gallo-Graeci because of their connection with the Greeks”, identifying Galatia in the Greek East as opposed to Gallia in the West.

    The Galatians were in their origin a part of the great Celtic migration which invaded Macedon, led by Brennus. The original Celts who settled in Galatia came through Thrace under the leadership of Leotarios and Leonnorios circa 270 BC. Three tribes comprised these Celts, the Tectosages, the Trocmii, and the Tolistobogii.

    So with Thrace we get Celtic Bulgaria too, and Celts in Turkey…

    There’s an awful lot of the world that has Celtic roots yet today sees itself as something else…

  4. George says:

    Hey, I made butter last night! (just thought I would let the world know, it was my first time making my own butter … heavy whipping cream and the KitchenAid mixer). At least I now know how to make my own butter as long as I have access to some cream.

  5. E.M.Smith says:


    And that relates to Celts and redheads how?… No, don’t answer that …

    Stumbled on this snippet:

    Red hair can be sometimes found among those with Iranian decent such as the Lurs or Pashtuns. The birth rate of red heads is far lower then most areas of the world with Red hair appearing sporadically in Northern India and the Middle east. Darker of mixed tingers of red hair can be found in rare instances on the Island of Hirado, Japan and the South Pacific.

    That North India is interesting as it does argue for Sanskrit and the Veda coming in with a bit of ‘proto-Celt’ mix… and the Kirado, Japan is a confirm of the Ainu…

    I’ve also heard / read stories of “redheaded polynesians” and there were suposedly many accounts of them in the early contact with “the west”. I used to think they must have been some kind of “through S. America” thing, but now I’m more inclined to think they just made it to the Asian Pacific coast and kept on going ;-)

  6. oldtimer says:

    Interesting. Have you had your own mtDNA and yDNA tested yet? It might help answer a few of your questions! My wife and I did this a few years ago, prompted by a reading of Sykes The Seven Daughters of Eve. Sykes set up Oxford Ancestors to provide this service; see here,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

    He also does maps of migrations based on mtDNA and yDNA analyses. Based on our results we both trace mtDNA to what he calls the Helena clan, the most numerous in Europe. My yDNA was thought to predate Roman Britain. With the evolution of better techniques and accumulating knowledge they probably could be more precise these days – but I have not kept up with developments.

  7. Malaga View says:

    This has more threads than I have brain cells… the picture of the Uygur child is very striking… I am really gobsmacked… and it is so obvious once it has been pointed out… so thank you Mr E.M. Holmes…
    I can hear you saying: Elementary my dear Watson.

    This is also a thread that just keeps on giving… I have now discovered that I live in the dubiously named Turdetanos (modern day Andalusia)… thank you :-) … however I was born in Pais de Gales (Spanish for Wales)… so perhaps I have returned to my ginger haired roots… interesting.

    As I was reading I was also doing some Wiki lookups… such a tangled web of names and overlays… and one of those connections is:

    Tartessos or Tartessus was a harbor city and surrounding culture on the south coast of the Iberian peninsula , at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River. It appears in sources from Greece and the Near East starting in the middle of the first millennium BC, for example Herodotus, who describes it as beyond the Straits of Hercules (modern Gibraltar).

    So as the Celts had partied all the way from China to the Atlantic it seems almost impossible that someone didn’t make it across the Atlantic to the Americas… whether by accident or design… given the prevailing winds and currents in the Atlantic… and given a Siberian connection then the Bering Strait is a cake walk.

    The other interesting connection is golden… or more precisely: GOLD

    The Tartessians were rich in metal. In the 4th century BC the historian Ephorus describes “a very prosperous market called Tartessos, with much tin carried by river, as well as gold and copper from Celtic lands”. Trade in tin was very lucrative in the Bronze Age, since it is an essential component of true bronze, and comparatively rare. Herodotus refers to a king of Tartessos, Arganthonios, presumably named for his wealth in silver.

    The people from Tartessos became important trading partners of the Phoenicians, whose presence in Iberia dates from the 8th century BC, and who nearby built a harbor of their own, Gades (present-day Cádiz).

    So perhaps there is a thread that brings together Gold and Pyramids… just a thought… but the connection of Celtic and Gold bought me to Taijitu… now this is something I had never heard of… but it is something I know very well.

    Taijitu (Traditional Chinese: Rough English translation: “diagram of ultimate power”) is a term which refers to a Chinese symbol for the concept of yin and yang (Taiji). The taijitu consists of a symmetrical pattern inside a circle. One common pattern has an S-shaped line that divides the circle into two equal parts of different colors. The pattern may have one or more large dots. The classic Taoist taijitu, for example, is black and white with a black dot upon the white background, and a white dot upon the black background.

    Patterns similar to the taijitu also form part of Celtic, Etruscan and Roman iconography, where they are loosely referred to as yin yang symbol by modern scholars; no relationship between these and the Chinese symbol has been established.

    I think you have just established the relationship which Wiki says does not exist…

    So there are probably lots of Celtic markers to look for: red hair, tartan, pyramids, gold jewellery, harps, icons with two interlocking commas, expert star gazing and a good stash of dope :-)

  8. Perry says:

    It is astonishing what comes up when one starts clicking links. Is that how you discovered Tocharians?

    How about a proposition that autism assisted Neanderthals to concentrate on hunting, by the exclusion of other distractions and that these abilities were passed as genes into modern humans; along with red hair?

    Up until 2-3 years ago the “consensus” thought that there was interbreeding between the genotypes was not considered, now that is changed.

    I also do research on a whim. I have a copy of “A treasury of Jewish folklore”, in which there is a story of Pope Elhanan that I find is corroborated.

    How about the Khazar who adopted the Jewish faith?

    Or the Jews in China?

    Men have had many gods, now most worship only one;
    I choose to believe in one fewer than that. It makes it easier to consider the past in a more open minded fashion.

    The more I learn, the less I know.

    I hope you can find the time to read the links.



  9. Malaga View says:

    Please add HENGES to that list of markers… and I wonder whether alcohol comes into the equation…. given the iconic harp association with Guinness… the Aussie amber nectar… plus some religions involving alcohol in their ceremonies… while other religions totally taboo alcohol.

  10. boballab says:

    Since you brought the Tocharians you might want to take a look at the Kushans:

    Chinese sources describe the Guishuang (Ch: 貴霜), i.e. the “Kushans“, as one of the five aristocratic tribes of the Yuezhi, Yueh-chi or Yüeh-chih in other transcriptions,[7] (Ch: 月氏), a loose confederation of Indo-European peoples.[8] The Yuezhi are also generally considered the easternmost speakers of Indo-European languages, who had been living in the arid grasslands of eastern Central Asia, in modern-day Xinjiang and Gansu, possibly speaking versions of the Tocharian language, until they were driven west by the Xiongnu in 176–160 BC. The five tribes constituting the Yuezhi are known in Chinese history as Xiūmì (Ch: 休密), Guishuang (Ch: 貴霜), Shuangmi (Ch: 雙靡), Xidun (Ch: 肸頓), and Dūmì (Ch: 都密).

    Which in turn leads to two interesting groups: The Yuezhi and the Xiongnu who is one of the possible fore runners of the Huns.


    The Yuezhi, or Rouzhi (Chinese: 月支; pinyin: yuè zhī or ròu zhī; also Chinese: 月氏; pinyin: yuè shì or ròu shì; Old Chinese: Tokwar),[5] also known as the Da Yuezhi or Da Rouzhi (Chinese: 大月支, dà yuè zhī or dà ròu zhī, “Great Yuezhi”), were an ancient Central Asian people.
    They are believed by most scholars to have been an Indo-European people[6] and may have been the same as or closely related to the Tocharians[7] (Τοχάριοι) of Classical sources.[8] They were originally settled in the arid grasslands of the eastern Tarim Basin area, in what is today Xinjiang and western Gansu, in China, before they migrated to Transoxiana, Bactria and then northern South Asia, where they may have had a part in forming the Kushan Empire.


    The original geographic location of Xiongnu is generally placed at the Ordos[citation needed]. A study based on mitochondrial DNA analysis of human remains interred in the Egyin Gol Valley of Mongolia concluded that the Turkic peoples originated from the same area and therefore are possibly related.[48]

    A majority (89%) of the Xiongnu mtDNA sequences can be classified as belonging to Asian haplogroups, and nearly 11% belong to European haplogroups. This finding indicates that the contacts between European and Asian populations were anterior to the Xiongnu culture, and it confirms results reported for two samples from an early 3rd century BC. Scytho-Siberian population (Clisson et al. 2002).

    The Ancients sure got around alot. Hmm I wonder what else might be buried under Glaciers in what might have been at one time mountain passes.

  11. Malaga View says:

    @ Cold Lynx
    So now we know Adam probably lived between 90,000 and 60,000 years ago in the African continent while Eve is generally estimated to have lived around 200,000 years ago, most likely in East Africa

    Which I can’t quite get my head around… surely Adam had a mother to iron his shirts… and I bet Eve had a father to twist round her little finger… mmmmm

    So we have the Eve incestuous family wandering around for (at least) 110, 000 years… then they bump into the Adam incestuous family group and the kids have a wild fiesta in the garden of eden….

    Sounds like a James Bond Event with a few martinis – shaken but not stirred and did the earth move for you earthquakes thrown in for good measure….

    I hope Mr E.M. Smith has some constructive ideas…

  12. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. Blast you E.M.! Too many very interesting thoughts to even keep up with, much less follow up on!

    You are probably aware of this, but some of the old sagas claim that the Swedes were originally from down around the Black Sea area. When the Romans (about 100BC) began sending troops into the area, some of the locals decided the wise course of action was to just go somewhere else. They hiked north, then followed the rivers farther north, turned west and ending in Scandinavia. Some centuries later, Vikings left Scandinavia, backtracked east then south (they had ancestral stories of their old homeland) and established the land of the “Russ”, named after their red hair, which became “Russia. Some of continued south to visit and trade at Constantinople.

    Speaking of Swedes, and Thracians…
    “Around the same time, about 90 BC, the Aesir began their exodus from the Black Sea/Caucasus region. Their arrival at the Baltic Sea in Scandinavia has been supported by several scholars and modern archaeological evidence. As told by Snorri Sturluson (a 13th century Nordic historiographer) and confirmed by other data, the Aesir felt compelled to leave their land to escape Roman invasions by Pompeius, and local tribal wars. Known as Thracian warrior tribes, the aggressive Indo-European nomadic Aesir came north, moving across Europe, bringing all their weapons and belongings in their boats on the rivers of Europe, in successive stages. Historians note that Odin, who was a very popular Thracian ruler, led a migration about 70 BC with thousands of followers from the Black Sea region to Scandinavia. It is also told that another Thracian tribe came along with them, a people called the Vanir (also Vaner or Vans). Odin’s first established settlement became known as Odense (Odin’s Sanctuary or Odin’s Shrine), inspiring religious pilgrimages to the city through the Middle Ages. These tribes first settled in present-day Denmark, and then created a power-center in what is now southern Sweden. About 800 years later during the Viking era, Odin, the Aesir and Vanir had become gods, and Asgard/Troy was the home of those gods?the foundation for Viking religion. The Aesir warrior gods, and the religious deities of Odin (also Odinn, Wodan, Woden, Wotan Vodin) and Thor, were an integral part of the warlike nature of the Vikings, even leading them back down the waterways of Europe to their tribal origins along the Black Sea and Asia Minor. ”
    Apparently Aesir is a name meaning “iron”. Darned red headed, iron weilding barbarians. Dope smoking too… :)

    Yes, there are, I think, echoes of a trans-Siberian culture that extended from Scandinavia. The Sami, the “Laplanders”, have linguistic ties with the Koreans. I wonder if the Ainu have linguistic markers for the same grouping. It would make sense. I suspect that the Ainu are the last remnants of the Joman culture, and that they extended up across the Bering Strait a few thousand years ago.

    Too many threads…thanks for unraveling!

  13. vukcevic says:

    During Roman warm period my tribe of Slavs happily lived, up to and around 500AD, in the northern parts of Galicia where they prospered, and the area most likely became overpopulated. The RWP ending and the sudden temperature change, falling agriculture and farming, could not sustain the large population, so many decided to move further south, looking for warmer lands. It was not an easy journey, fighting their way ‘en masse’ across Germanic and Saxon lands. Some 50 – 60 years later, they occupied the parts of the Balkan peninsula, where they took Greek/Roman alphabet and Christianity.
    John of Ephesus tells us in 581: ‘In 577 some 100,000 Slavs poured into Thrace and Illyricum, pillaging cities and settling down.

  14. Malaga View says:

    @ Jason Calley

    In The Two Babylons, compiled by Alexander Hislop, the author tells us that “from the researches of
    our own ancestors did. The ODIN OF SCANDINAVIA can be proven to be the SAME AS THE WODAN OF
    MEXICO…” Continues Hislop: “…the fact that that name had been borne by some illustrious hero among the
    supposed ANCESTORS OF THE MEXICAN RACE, is put BEYOND ALL DOUBT by the singular circumstance
    that THE MEXICANS HAD ONE OF THEIR DAYS CALLED WODANSDAY, exactly as we ourselves have”
    (Loizeaux Brothers, N.J. 1959. Pp. 133-134).

    The MAYAS claim that their kingdom was founded by a great EASTERN RULER NAMED ODEN OR VOTAN
    OR DAN by some of their tribes. And according to legend he was a WHITE MAN who CAME BY SEA FROM
    THE EAST, bringing an infusion of new people to their land – TEN CENTURIES BEFORE THE TIME OF
    CHRIST, notes the historian Ordonez!

    Mayan Legends: The Princess and the Beetle
    This is the legend of a beautiful princess whose hair resembled the wings of a swallow… she found her father accompanied by a handsome youth named Chalpol, which means red head, so named because of his flaming red hair….

  15. Pascvaks says:

    There’s a whole lot more to folks with red hair genes in their DNA than first meets the eye, the hair, or the skin color and the ability to get Vit D in low light environments. Though the article below from October 26, 2007, does not actually come out and say that we with the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R), which is found on chromosome 16, are Neanderthals, the sugestion is quite clear that we are, and that rather than the Neanders disappearing from the face of the Earth ~17K ago, it was very probable that we were responsible for doing away with the other human liveform invading our territory and making off with their children. (SarcOff)

    PS: Viking is just another name for a Neanderthal from another valley.

  16. pyromancer76 says:

    This archeological dig into history beginning with Galicia is one of the greatest reads I have had on this kind of topic in a long time. Thanks, E.M., and your commenters. Wow! Red heads everywhere telling us what!?! That no one can claim the PC @##@ about purity of any “ancestors”. If we gotta accept Neanderthals, then Celts everywhere, now Tocharians, do we have to accept the “only out of Africa” theory.? Or is that PC, too?

    The point here: There was such a variety of hominids everywhere, do we really narrow down to one Adam and Eve — and Esau? Are we reading the DNA properly? More for you to follow, leading us down another garden path, Chiefio.

    Post Script. I remember my fascination with Joseph Campbell many years ago, and the goddess theories and matriarchy from the early days of feminism (including the feminist movement of the 19th C). Their points included human groups (civilizations) borrowing from each other similar iconology, mythology, and technology. One of the ideas about “matriarchy” is that it was a more inclusive political organization. My interest is not one orientation or another, but whether or not any one of these more ancestral groups kept the flame burning for social and political inclusiveness in contrast to authoritarianism or totalitarianism.

    I have a life-long interest in understanding who (among peoples, plural) have developed/retained a commitment to something like representative democracy. My early interest in American history came from my marveling over this group of people(s) success (using British political oppositional traditions) at finding a vital alternative to monarchy, aristochracies, whether class, religious, or military, and being able to fight for a rough kind of “justice” — for themselves. (Of course, not Native Americans or Mexicans or former slaves or women at the beginning — and that this success was expansive. “RepDem” entailed a bloody war to end slavery (I don’t forget the economics). It fought a global war against totalitarian-type control. It was inclusive of include a vast number of immigrants from around the world in economic endeavors, arts, politics. Citizens largely the remarkable “freedom” movements from the 1950s on. This remarkable march of RepDem was accompanied by amazing technological achievements that were encouraged and released by its openness and inclusiveness. Then beginning in the 1970s, a new version of deadliness (authoritarian-type power) seemed to gain strength. Each movement for “freedom” took on an “exclusive” and “authoritarian” tone — with themes of resentment and revenge dominating.

    This PostScript train of thought was stimulated by a comment from an earlier post. “….Stupid oppression can beat intelligent bickering any day.” I see AGW, global crony corporations (like the “evil” Google and Microsoft and GE among many others), and the 2008 elections as the success of “stupid oppression”. From your research do you see any hope from “red-headed” leadership or from any traditions something like RepDem?

  17. Malaga View says:

    @ E.M. Smith
    Thinking back to maths, pendulums and pyramids….
    I came across a Grand Unification of Modern and Ancient Mathematics document… and I thought of you :-)

    If your calculator had uPi as the Universal Constant rather than modern Pi, the main thing changed is that your valid results will now be Universal Harmonic Code aligned with modern Phi, which has an equation to define it from pentagonal geometry.

    Your results with uPi will differ by {1.5 / 100,000} percentage wise to modern Pi, but uPi is now unified with the Golden Number of Phi to create a wonderful cohesive system of modern mathematics simplified into a fundamental common fraction:
    {uPi / by Phi squared} = [6 / 5] = [1.2], and [12] = 10uPi / by Phi squared.

    The conclusion in differences of this Universal Harmonic Code system between Modern Pi and Universal Harmonic Pi applications is basically this with modern Phi:

    {15 uPi / by Phi squared} = [18] = Sqrt Ancient Phi x Ancient Sqrt Two x 10.

    [15 modern Pi / by Phi squared] = [17 .999 72422] = totally non harmonic numbers as results whenever modern Pi is applied in mathematical equations.

    Click to access Vic%20Showell’s%20Thesis–The%20Universal%20Harmonic%20Codes,%20Ancient%20Pi,%20Ancient%20Phi,%20Universal%20Harmonic%20Pi,%20Modern%20Pi%20and%20Phi,%20%20Grand%20Unification%20of%20Ancient%20and%20Modern%20Mathematics.pdf

  18. E.M.Smith says:

    @Melaga View:

    Yeah, I ran into that connection (though didn’t take it as far as you did) but decided to leave it out and things were already sooo long by the time I reached Iberia in the posting ;-)

    FWIW, I like the way we have a written report of Celts “beyond the Gates of Heracles” in the Atlantic, then they “diss it” with a wave of the hand. It clearly says the Celts had wrapped around and headed out to Britain and Ireland…

    Oh, and if you remember the “Bastard Tongue” posting, they showed a language root in English that was the likely collision of Indo-European with a semitic type. Well, what was all over Iberia (and out the gate) at the time? Phoenicians and Celts. One Indo-European the other Semitic… So I think we can easily trace that history via the language through Iberia and “out the gate”…

    Now you have 2 seafaring traditions in close proximity for thousands of years that have traveled to the ends of the earth, and they DON’T try island hopping the north Atlantic? Yeah, right…

    BTW, when post Columbus Europeans first reached Virginia they found a “blue eyed tribe” of indians… I’ve personally met 2 folks who claim pure indian ancestry with blue eyes and very european “look”.

    BTW, if you look on this map of circa 14 AD just north of Italy everything is pretty much a ‘Celtic’ named area other than a smidge of German that’s drifted down:

    and even INSIDE Italy on that NW corner it has Gallia … So some of those Italians are Celts too ;-)

    and if you ‘wrap around’ the edge toward “thrace” you find more… the names in blue are Celts:

    So we’ve got some Celts in the Baltics too… Welcome Yugoslavia to the Clan ;-)

    One other “sidebar”… There is a theme in some modern art and pornography of “Women with guns”… I suspect is too has an older root. Along with “Womens Lib” … From the wiki on Celts:

    The sexual freedom of women in Britain was noted by Cassius Dio:
    …a very witty remark is reported to have been made by the wife of Argentocoxus, a Caledonian, to Julia Augusta. When the empress was jesting with her, after the treaty, about the free intercourse of her sex with men in Britain, she replied: “We fulfill the demands of nature in a much better way than do you Roman women; for we consort openly with the best men, whereas you let yourselves be debauched in secret by the vilest.” Such was the retort of the British woman.
    —Cassius Dio

    There are instances recorded where women participated both in warfare and in kingship, although they were in the minority in these areas. Plutarch reports that Celtic women acted as ambassadors to avoid a war among Celts chiefdoms in the Po valley during the 4th century BC.

    Very few reliable sources exist regarding Celtic views towards gender divisions, though some archaeological evidence does suggest that their views towards gender roles may have been different from those of their contemporary classical counterparts. There are some general indications from Iron Age burial sites in the Champagne and Bourgogne regions of Northeastern France which suggest that women may have had roles in combat during the earlier portions of the La Tène period. However, the evidence is far from conclusive. Examples of individuals buried with both female jewellery and weaponry have been identified, such as the Vix Grave,

    “Babes with Weapons”, it’s not just a modern movie theme… ;-) Ah, that Hollywood Celtic Thread that keeps on giving, even today, and around the world…

    Oh, and that “Tribe of Dan” stuff is very intriguing too …


    Not tested yet, though we’ve got a pretty good family tree and all the roots go back to similar substrata. Mom’s side: Celts and Vikings. Even what WAS the outlier of “a bit of French” is now tied back to Celts. Dad’s side: Celts and Germans. (Now that’s a “peacefull” mix for you:

    German, Celtic, Vikings and some French.


    Thanks! I was looking at the name, but decided not to chase it as I was out of time… so they, too, ‘connect’…

    @Jason Calley:

    I knew of the Swedes and “Rus”, but not of the trek up north TO Sweden… Hmmmm….

    VWIW, my “Viking ancestors” come from the Denmark area, we think…

    So, some go overland via Iberia to Ireland and Britain, then some other go by boat up to Denmark (Norway / Sweden) and from there over to Britain and a bit of France… Then they get on big boats, and move to America, and head on over to California … and me… Married to a lady with “French, Irish, and British” ancestry… My, but Celts will go a long ways just to find each other again ;-)

    FWIW, the German line is Amish, who start on the coastal areas of Germany then head up into Switzerland before heading over to the USA (IIRC… or was it Switzerland to coastal Germany then over… )

    FWIW, the whole Germanic language family has the same marker for “Indo-European mushed with a bit of Semitic” so I suspect there is a Phoencian / Celt blend behind that whole tribe somewhere or other… but I’ve not traced it back… The other “possible” is that Esau / Edomite line of redheads could have run up (away from the Berbers invading from Saudi Arabia) and smack into some Celts… then off to Germania…

    So, you’ve added another “thread” to the unraveling to be done ;-)


    That’s ok, we’ll forgive you the occasional pillage… it’s not we’ve not done our own share ;-)

    One bit I’ve not been able to “chase down” was the whole Slavic history thing. The language families have similarities to things like Tocharian (i.e. lots of case endings, some cognates) and there are a fair number of blonds and redheads (though also a fair number of very dark haired folks… rather like the Scots and Irish mix of Black hair and Red…) But it will likely be a few months before I can get back to looking at them. From where they came, does the root “wrap arround” to something interesting…

    At the end of the last Glacial, the ice retreated. Folks ‘spread out’ into the whole of northern Europe and Asia. The genetic source of the Indo-European language family is thought to be somewhere near Ukraine or the Black Sea. Just about the centerpoint of that line connecting all the Celts.

    I just have to wonder if the Slavic group headed north when the ice melted, then ran back south as we’ve dropped from that 9000 yrs BP warmest point into the 7000 year later cold. Running smack into their ‘kin’ from thousands of years earlier and not realizing it…

    So, got any “red headed cousins” ;-)


    My thesis is that they (we?) simply did what all people do when they run into each other. We mixed. “Neanderthals” leave the record as they simply became the locals and their grave goods are more “modern” as they became modern and their distinguishing physical traits are seen diffused into moderns. Red Hair being but one of them…

    OK, just to add yet MORE to this thread:

    From the “things that make you go ‘hmmmm’ department”, while chasing down the Sanskrit / Tocharian similarities ( I almost got to bed before sun up…) I thought I’d take a look at some of the vedas ideas for ‘kinship’ to Celtic ideas, but then wondered off into The Buddha… There is a specified set of physical description / traits. While one included black hair (so sorry, no redhead…) another is very much at odds with the typical (much later) iconography and statues that show him as asian:

    He has very blue eyes (Pali: abhi nila netto). Note 1: “very (abhi) blue (nila) eyes (netto)” is the literal translation, although it has been interpreted variously as actually blue, or possibly blue-black. Nila is the word used to describe a sapphire and the color of the sea, but also the color of a rain cloud

    though how one can transform “very blue” into ‘blue-black’ I’ll leave as an exercise for a Chinese scholoar / puzzle-maker ;-)

    It also lists a ‘long face’ along with fine hair (listed for several specific hair locations) along with curly hair

    He has curled hair.
    His hair does not turn grey.
    He has fine hair
    His hair is untangled.
    His hair has long curls

    Then again, it also lists “40 teeth” and I’ve never known folks with more than 32… so I’d not hang too much on the precision of the description…

    Still, curly hair, long face, blue eyes? That’s not your stereotypical asian type…

    Elsewhere the history says that when he decided to head down the monk path he “shaved off his moustach and hair”, so the guy was of the ‘facial hair’ type too…

    If we go forward a few generations to Bodhidharma who brought Buddhism to China (and is often shown as Asian even though it’s pretty well established that he came over the hill from “India”… so he’s often shown very “Indian” looking as well) we have a very hairy guy!:

    (Though I have to say, he reminds me of what I’d think an older Sean Connery would look like with a beard and wrinkles ;-)


    Bodhidharma (Sanskrit:||बोधिधर्म, Tamil: போதிதர்மன், Persian:||بودی‌دارما) was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th/6th century and is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Zen (Chinese: Chán, Sanskrit: Dhyāna) to China. He is the patron saint of the Shaolin Monastery, and is attributed to, in Chinese legends, to have begun the physical training of the monks that later turned into Kung Fu.

    Little contemporary biographical information on Bodhidharma is extant, and subsequent accounts became layered with legend, but most accounts agree that he was Persian. After becoming a Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma traveled to the east via Silk road to North China. The accounts differ on the date of his arrival, with one early account claiming that he arrived during the Liú Sòng Dynasty (420–479) and later accounts dating his arrival to the Liáng Dynasty (502–557). Bodhidharma was primarily active in the lands of the Northern Wèi Dynasty (386–534). Modern scholarship dates him to about the early 5th century.

    Throughout Buddhist art, Bodhidharma is depicted as a rather ill-tempered, profusely bearded and wide-eyed barbarian. He is described as “The Blue-Eyed Barbarian” in Chinese texts.

    The Anthology of the Patriarchal Hall (952) identifies Bodhidharma as the 28th Patriarch of Buddhism in an uninterrupted line that extends all the way back to the Buddha himself.

    OK, we’ve already figured out that Iran / Persia has/had a chunk of residual Celts in it. I also note that date. 500 AD or so. Gee, just about Bond Event 1 …

    So in that top fresco, we’ve got Tocharians doing Buddhist symbology and in the 5 th century we’ve got a blue-eyed Persian headed over the hill into China founding not only thier Buddhist temple but Kung Fu… (and from it, Japanese Karate and from it… )

    It’s starting to look to me like that whole “Buddha” thing is not so much an Asian cultural bit as tied in with some Celtic guys… ( shades of “the wind spirit just is”…)

    Yeah, there were enough other ethnicities running around the area both these guys could have been some other clan, but the potential of a Celtic Thread is certainly there.

    BTW, back on Buddha:

    Gautama Buddha

    Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha

    Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher who founded Buddhism. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha (P. sammāsambuddha, S. samyaksaṃbuddha) of our age, “Buddha” meaning “awakened one” or “the enlightened one.” [note 1] The time of his birth and death are uncertain: most early 20th-century historians dated his lifetime as c. 563 BCE to 483 BCE, but more recent opinion dates his death to between 486 and 483 BCE or, according to some, between 411 and 400 BCE. By tradition, Gautama is said to have been born in the small state of Kapilavastu, in what is now Nepal, and later to have taught primarily throughout regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kośala.

    OK, a blue eyed guy born somewhere in the mountains of the area north of India, but “by tradition” placed in Nepal…

    Note, too, the date. Just as we come out of the Iron Age Cold Period.

    Gautama, also known as Śākyamuni (“Sage of the Śākyas”), is the primary figure in Buddhism, and accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarized after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition, and first committed to writing about 400 years later.

    Note the “oral tradition”. We also see that in the Veda where there is a claim that they were passed on for 6000 years in oral form prior to being written down. That’s a very Celtic thing… (The Celts could write, but reserved it for various markers and stones most of the time; holding that memorizing was a more important skill)

    He is also regarded as a god or prophet in other world religions or denominations, including Hinduism, Ahmadiyya Islam and the Bahá’í faith.

    Well, that’s a bit of influence…

    At the time, many small city-states existed in Ancient India, called Janapadas. Republics and chiefdoms with diffused political power and limited social stratification, were not uncommon amongst them, and were referred to as gana-sanghas. The Buddha’s community does not seem to have had a caste system. It was not a monarchy, and seems to have been structured either as an oligarchy, or as a form of republic. The more egalitarian gana-sangha form of government, as a political alternative to the strongly hierarchical kingdoms, may have influenced the development of the Shramana type Jain and Buddhist sanghas, where monarchies tended toward Vedic Brahmanism.

    Shades of the Celtic political structure. They “elected a king” and if the king died, the next in line was NOT his eldest son, but another of the notables of the tribe… A “sort of a republic” with a “sort of an oligarchy”…

    BTW, Celts also had women as religious and political leaders and fighting in battle… Very un-Roman and un-Chinese-Empire…

    At any rate, we have a mountain dwelling group of folks, at least some of them with blue eyes, near the historical range of the Tocharians, and with a preceeding tradition of folks from another Celtic area (Iran) migrating by and bringing Sanskrit and the veda into northern India, along with ample evidence for Celtic types in Afghanistan and the valley areas on that approach to both India and China…

    While I think this is about the absolute limit of where this thread can be pulled, I think it’s also pretty clear that the image of Buddha as a pudgy Asian guy and of Kung Fu as something skinny Chinese guys do, and even the notion of the Veda as something indiginous to India studied by small dark men (which origin is IMHO probably more closely tied to the Dravidians…) is looking a little shakey.

    (And for the inevitable “Carping Commenter”: No, I’m not of the racist type. I just find recessive genes easy to use as markers of historical movements of people. I also like to use language clues and artifacts of cultural activites. And, FWIW, I’ve a fondness for Buddhism and had a crush on an Asian girl in my early years – though her family rejected the ‘white guy’… Oh, and I’ve got both Jewish and Hispanic relatives – along with a few dozen other ethnicities a couple of steps out; … so just can it.)

    One final point:

    This point of view (Celtic related folks in the area) also makes it much more understandable why there are those “Tribal Areas” in Pakistan and why the clan and tribe are so central to the folks throughout those mountain areas from Afganistan to Pakistan… That, too, is a very Celtic thing and was the foundation of their political structure…

    What I find facinating is that even though the areas have been overrun by dozens of OTHER tribes and often had a genetic mixing-in to where the originals are in some ways undiscoverable, often the Celtic influence remains. Like the present day plains dewellers in Eastern China (and perhaps even in Mongolia) who live a horse based life style of nomads that we have found was created by redheaded Tocharian types. The burrials and grave goods clearly show a gradual shift over hundreds of years from a European type, through mixed, to an Asian type. Yet the cultural aspects remain.

    It is that Celtic “blending in” and submergence that is their defining character, it would seem. So today we have a giant chunk of America of Celtic origin, yet most think of themselves as something else. All over Latin America are folks derrived from Iberian Celts, who think of themselves as something else, and even in Iran, Turkey, and perhaps even Asia; we have Celtic derived folks who think of themselves as something else.

    At the same time, we have a potential Celtic Root for a bunch of things thought of as “Characteristicaly Asian”; while there are also Celtic root people being Sultans and speaking Arabic in the Mosques of Iran…

    What a strange people, these Celts…

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    @Melaga View:

    Thanks! I’ll take a look at it (probably tonight)…


    There is always hope. The Celtic Thread is what I’ve taken to calling this. If you look at the Celtic traditions, it’s a “representative democracy”. The Clan Leader tends to be elected, and if he/she dies, power does not go to the sons, but to ‘relatives in the Clan’ based on ability. (The rest of the Clan has to agree… and everyone in the Clan is related, so the ‘passes to relatives’ is kind of anyone…)

    And most importantly, IMHO, for understanding the more northernly European traditions: Leaders could be, and often were, women.

    It was only when Rome came to dominate Europe that this ember got damped down by Roman Patriarchy. We’ve been fighting to toss off that shackle for generations… Finally in Britain and America it has happened.

    But that Roman Urge keeps getting shoved at us. Patriarchy, inheritance of power and authority, dominance of authority and might, centralized authoritarian governance instead of distributed decentralized local governance.

    In many ways we are still fighting the Celtic / Roman wars.

    Oh, and per Neanders:

    Neanderthal women may have hunted together with men
    April 25, 2007|By Faye Flam, The Philadelphia Inquirer

    PHILADELPHIA — Could it be that Neanderthal females achieved an equality that is rare even by today’s standards?

    Some anthropologists make a case that our extinct female cousins hunted alongside the males during an epoch when our own ancestral women were gathering plants and doing other (essential) work. They argue that the appearance of gender roles was critical to humans’ eventual domination of the globe — and that the importance of the women of the Pleistocene period has been vastly understated.

    These assertions, controversial to be sure, play into growing scientific interest in prehistoric sex roles: How did our male and female ancestors divvy up the tasks of getting food, clothing and shelter, and how did those roles shape the evolving species?

    Notice the obligatory Roman ideation of “modern” sex roles being essential? Women don’t do “men’s worK”?

    Then think about the Celts…

    Boudica: Celtic War Queen Who Challenged Rome

    She slaughtered a Roman army. She torched Londinium, leaving a charred layer almost half a meter thick that can still be traced under modern London. According to the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus, her army killed as many as 70,000 civilians in Londinium, Verulamium and Camulodunum, rushing ‘to cut throats, hang, burn, and crucify. Who was she? Why was she so angry?

    Most of Boudica’s life is shrouded in mystery. She was born around AD 25 to a royal family in Celtic Britain, and as a young woman she married Prasutagus, who later became king (a term adopted by the Celts, but as practiced by them, more of an elected chief) of the Iceni tribe. They had two daughters, probably born during the few years immediately after the Roman conquest in ad 43. She may have been Iceni herself, a cousin of Prasutagus, and she may have had druidic training. Even the color of her hair is mysterious. Another Roman historian, Cassius Dio — who wrote long after she died — described it with a word translators have rendered as fair, tawny, and even flaming red, though Dio probably intended his audience to picture it as golden-blonde with perhaps a reddish tinge. Her name meant victory.

    Yeah, I’d call that non-Roman…

    Flaming Red Head named Victory who goes to battle leading an army…

    Not exactly doing the laundry and gathering berries…

    UA researchers: Neanderthal women hunted alongside men

    By Matt Andazola
    Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2007
    Updated: Sunday, July 26, 2009 00:07

    […]according to husband-and-wife team Steven Kuhn and Mary Stiner, whose article “What’s a Mother to Do?” in the December issue of Current Anthropology argues that men and women took on many of the same roles more than 50,000 years ago.
    Prior to that time, most early cultures relied on big-game animals for food and had limited technology with which to hunt, Stiner said.
    This meant a social structure of small family groups scattered across large areas, roving with their food sources – such as half-ton wild cattle and prehistoric deer – and requiring every member of the group to take part in hunting.
    But the archaeological evidence points to a change about 50,000 years ago, Stiner said.
    “We’ve noticed, based on many years of research in the Mediterranean area, that there had been some pretty significant changes in diet,” Stiner said, adding that these shifts in diet toward smaller-game animals necessitated a change in how people obtained and prepared food. This is also the time period that contains the first evidence of art and small tools for skill-intensive activities like sewing.
    “We wondered if there was a connection there, in how cooperative labor is and how it’s divided among individuals,” Stiner said.
    After studying the archaeological record and other literature in the field, Kuhn and Stiner hypothesized that the change in food sources was part of a broad cultural shift that included increasingly different roles for prehistoric men and women.

    So the folks who “progressed” to eating rodents went into sexual dimorphic work roles… but the ones who kept on eating “big game”?

    But Stiner stressed that their work doesn’t claim a lack of distinct gender roles in Neanderthal culture, saying it only points to less complicated, more similar ones.
    “It seems that in the middle Paleolithic, in the time of the Neanderthals, that women and men’s camps and women and men’s land use was basically unified,”
    Stiner said. “They may have differently allocated tasks, but it’s all within this scheme of them all staying together and moving basically in response to their need for large game animals.”

    Kuhn and Stiner said in their article that because of this narrow focus on large-game hunting, Neanderthal women and children were not able to fill the more diverse roles they played in more recent hunter-gatherer societies. Women likely were part of the hunting activities, though probably by making noise or otherwise herding their targets into the clutches of the men.

    Though even here we have the obligatory nod to the Roman ideal of a subservient and weak woman… Not a redhead who can lead an army to slaughter thousands of Romans… nor even down a deer…

    The idea that Neanderthal women took part in hunts has spurred an intense amount of conversation, landing the pair’s hypothesis in The New York Times and several Web-based anthropology forums.

    Stiner said the cultural revolution that took place 50,000 years ago created a more stable environment for finding food and raising families, resulting in population growth among humans in Africa. She said an increasing population could have been the main factor in pushing the human population out of Africa and into direct ecological competition with the Neanderthals, helping to cause their extinction.

    Well, some of us don’t think we’ve gone extinct, nor taken our “primative” notions of a democratic republic with strong women and sexual equality to the grave just yet.

    Some of us even LIKED watching Sarah take down a moose (even if it did take her a couple of shots to do it…)

    Oh, and what galls (like the sound of that word ;-) the Taliban about as much as anything possible? That WE let women learn things (“druid” was a high priest / priestess of great learning in Celtic rank… so that Boudica was thought to have Druid traning is about like saying she had a MS or Ph.D today…) and THEN have the audacity to let them take guns and go kill men(!). The nerve! (To which I say: “Yeah, that’s kind of the whole point… the nerve…”)

    So “Babes with Guns”? Yeah, we’re “good with that”. Even better if they can down an Elk, dress it out, and invite a few guys over for a party. But don’t even think of getting “handy” until invited… she’ll pick who she likes… so better be on your best…

    So, my advice? Women of the world, embrace your inner Neanderthal! You’ve got nothing to lose but your oppression.

    Or as Sarah puts it, be a bit “mama bear” if you like ;-)

    And yes, IMHO we see this particular bit of Celt vs Roman culture continuing to be worked out all over the world today. (While I’m calling it “Roman”, the same ideas dominate over all of Africa and the Arabic / Muslim world too; along with most of the Asian cultural areas. But I think we’re slowly converting some of the Asians…)

    Sidebar: I also like it when some of the AmericanSocialLiberals call Sarah a “Neanderthal”… they have no idea how much it warms my heart ;-)


    Back on Galatia…. from the wiki

    Josephus related the Biblical figure Gomer to Galatia (or perhaps to Gaul in general). “For Gomer founded those whom the Greeks now call Galatians, [Galls,] but were then called Gomerites.” Antiquities of the Jews, I:6. Others have related Gomer to Cimmerians.

    The Galatians were still speaking the Galatian language (Gaulish) in the time of St. Jerome (347–420 AD), who wrote that the Galatians of Ancyra and the Treveri of Trier (in what is now the German Rhineland) spoke the same language (Comentarii in Epistolam ad Galatos, 2.3, composed c. 387).

    So, need to go back to that Biblical narrative and pay attention to Gomer ;-)
    I also find that connection of the German Rhineland as the same language group interesting. I wonder what fraction of population changed with the transition to German and how much they just changed language?

    The Celts have a very long history of being metal workers and making interesting tools and gadgets… and a love of fast horses ( fast cars?…)

    Oh, and per the “Celt’s and alcohol” question:

    Early Celtic rulers of a community in what’s now southwestern Germany liked to party, staging elaborate feasts in a ceremonial center. The business side of their revelries was located in a nearby brewery capable of turning out large quantities of a beer with a dark, smoky, slightly sour taste, new evidence suggests.

    So, we’ve got Celts making beer in the area 2.5 kyr ago… So who makes the best beer? People from, oh, where the Celts were making it before the Germans even came to the party…

    Six specially constructed ditches previously excavated at Eberdingen-Hochdorf a 2,550-year-old Celtic settlement, were used to make high-quality barley malt, a key beer ingredient, says archaeobotanist Hans-Peter Stika of the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart. Thousands of charred barley grains unearthed in the ditches about a decade ago came from a large malt-making enterprise, Stika reports in a paper published online Jan. 4 in Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences.

    Stika bases that conclusion on a close resemblance of the ancient grains to barley malt that he made by reproducing several methods that Iron Age folk might have used. He also compared the ancient grains to malt produced in modern facilities. Upon confirming the presence of malt at the Celtic site, Stika reconstructed malt-making techniques there to determine how they must have affected beer taste.

    Ah, smoked barley malt… now where have I seen THAT before ;-)

    The oldest known beer residue and brewing facilities date to 5,500 years ago in the Middle East, but archaeological clues to beer’s history are rare (Science News: Oct, 2, 2004, p. 216).

    “The Middle East” … but we’ve just found out that “the middle east” had some Celts along the northern edge of it, up in Anatolia and over in Iran (though the timing varies). So, at this point, it’s looking to me like we’ve got a bit of a “who learned what from whom” and the date is more tied to what was preserved in the ground. The dry areas having more preserved, get the nod because 1) They wrote stuff down, on clay. and 2) Stuff found preserved where it’s easier to preserve it.

    Somehow that’s not compelling evidence to me…

    At the Celtic site, barley was soaked in the specially constructed ditches until it sprouted, Stika proposes. Grains were then dried by lighting fires at the ends of the ditches, giving the malt a smoky taste and a darkened color. Lactic acid bacteria stimulated by slow drying of soaked grains, a well-known phenomenon, added sourness to the brew.

    Unlike modern beers that are flavored with flowers of the hop plant, the Eberdingen-Hochdorf brew probably contained spices such as mugwort, carrot seeds or henbane, in Stika’s opinion. Beer makers are known to have used these additives by medieval times. Excavations at the Celtic site have yielded a few seeds of henbane, a plant that also makes beer more intoxicating.

    Well, I’ll have to go find out what henbane is now ;-)

    Celts consisted of Iron Age tribes, loosely tied by language and culture, that inhabited much of Western Europe from about the 11th to the first century B.C.

    In the same report Stika describes another tidbit for fans of malt-beverage history: A burned medieval structure from the 14th century A.D., recently unearthed in Berlin during a construction project, contains enough barley malt to have brewed 500 liters of beer, the equivalent of nearly 60 cases.

    Classics professor Max Nelson of the University of Windsor in Canada, an authority on ancient beer, largely agrees with Stika’s conclusions. Malt-making occurred at Eberdingen-Hochsdorf, and malt was probably stored in the medieval Berlin building, Nelson says.

    That “much of Western Europe” is a bit shy of the mark… and what about PRIOR to the 11th century? I think these folks did not just suddenly show up spread from the Altantic to China all of a sudden…

    And when one batch of 14th century barley malt would make 500 liters of beer, someone is planning a serious party! That’s not just your ‘weekend warrior’ making a bit of home brew in his yurt…

    Octoberfest anyone?

  20. E.M.Smith says:

    Tentative at the moment, and I just have to get some other stuff done know so I can’t follow it up just yet, but looking at the Slavic history leads back to the Kurgans:

    That are characterized by mounds for burrials… and what do we find in the Celtic British Isles? Large mounds… (Oddly, also found in the mid-west of the USA as part of a ‘mound culture’ that extends down into Mexico…).

    From that wiki we also find a peculiar “characteristic” that is a useful marker trait (IMHO):

    Females were buried in about 20% of graves of the lower and middle Volga river region during the Yamna and Poltavka cultures. Two thousand years later, females dressed as warriors were buried in the same region. David Anthony notes, “About 20% of Scythian-Sarmatian “warrior graves” on the lower Don and lower Volga contained females dressed for battle as if they were men, a phenomenon that probably inspired the Greek tales about the Amazons.” A near-equal ratio of male-to-female graves was found in the eastern Manych steppes and Kuban-Azov steppes during the Yamna culture.[10] In Ukraine, the ratio was intermediate between the other two regions.

    Shades of Russian women snipers in W.W.II …. among THE deadliest shots on the battlefield…

    So perhaps both the Slavs and the Celts trace back to a Kurgan proto-Indo-European root, near the Black Sea…

    While I don’t see this as making Slavs into Celts, I think it does make us “cousins”… Tie in that Swedish / Danish / Viking thread, and even the Germanic peoples become “cousins” in this mix. So now I’m wondering what the deal was with the Latins and Greeks that they went the cultural way they did… Maybe not enough redheads? ;-)

  21. Zeke the Sneak says:

    I have this news article I clipped about pre-colonial fair-haired people in South America:

    The remarkable mummy was found in a hidden burial vault in the Amazon.
    It is at least 600 years old and has survived thanks to the embalming skills of her tribe, the Chachapoyas or cloud warriors.
    Eleven further mummies were recovered from the massive cave complex 82ft down.
    The vault – which was also used for worship – was chanced upon three months ago by a farmer working at the edge of northern Peru’s rainforest. He tipped off scientists who uncovered ceramics, textiles and wall paintings.
    The Chachapoyas were a tall, fairhaired, light-skinned race that some researchers believe may have come from Europe.
    Little is known about them except that they were one of the more advanced ancient civilisations in the area. Adept at fighting, they commanded a large kingdom from the year 800 to 1500 that stretched across the Andes.
    It is not known what the Chachapoyas actually called themselves – they are identified by the name given to them by their rivals and eventual conquerors, the Incas.
    It comes from the Inca’s Quechua language and means ‘cloud people’, because of the high forests in the clouds that the Chachapoyas inhabited.
    Virtually all record of the tribe was lost when the Incas were themselves overrun by the

    I had also a news article about a light haired tribe of possibly women bow hunters, from the same continent. I can’t locate it at the moment. In Nevada I believe also there are some very old remains of mummified red-heds in a cave.

  22. kuhnkat says:

    In San Francisco there is a coffee shop 2 blocks south of Golden Gate Park on La Playa. It was run by an Irish couple with lots of friends and customers who were Irish and they hired Irish girls, and occasionally guys, who came over. One of these lovely Irish lasses turned out to be a Pakistani native!!! I was slightly surprised especially when she declared that her family had ALWAYS been Pakistani, but, that and the trade route red heads sent me off on a similar, but not as extensive or detailed look.

    Waiting for the future detailed gene analysis that is being worked on somewhere. Shoud be many interesting things found.

  23. E.M.Smith says:


    Hmmmm sounds like a fun place to go visit… have to stop by… (speaking of places where Celts and Chinese live side by side and enjoy the “mix” … sometimes I think that’s the defining characteristic of Celts… If the party is on, it’s “Y’all Come!” time… )

  24. Ed Forbes says:

    I moved and had to get rid of 40 running feet of library bookshelves, so no longer have what I want directly to hand :-(

    One item I am sure I kept but can not now find was a map book on Celtic migrations starting sometime several K yrs BC and going both east and west several different times and coming out of the Asian steps.

    Persia and Iran were invaded and conquered several times over the ages from these same Asian steps along with the European areas.

    So red headed and blonds went through and conquered these areas quite a few times over known history.

  25. E.M.Smith says:


    I’d first been interested in Tocharian about 20? 30? years ago when I got interested in languages “big time”… No, make that 36 years ago… my how time flies… though that means I’d actually noticed them 40 years ago with my first introduction to the indo-european language family concept when I saw them on the chart in the American Heritage Dictionary…

    But I put them on the “some day” list. Then the “red headed chinese mummies” came up and I put it on the “some day sooner” list… then the latest batch of things had me looking at China weather and there were those darned Red Head Tocharians again… and I decided it was time to scratch that itch. After all, 36 years is long enough in ‘the queue’… (and folks complain about a day in the moderation queue ;-)

    So I decided to look and see “Who were these folks and what were they doing there? and how does the language link them to whom?”

    Per Aspes and Neanders: There may be some connection. IMHO, it’s not as direct as that article “implies”, and not so much tied to “hunting focus” My case is, I think, illustrative. I’m “highly functional” and can even “pass” in strongly social situations. (I’ve functioned in the Exec level of companies, for example.) I can, if I try, “play the game”. BUT, in large part I just see it as stupid.

    It’s so OBVIOUS. Sort of like if you had x-ray eyes you would wonder why all these folks are so obsessive about nakedness and clothes… So you don’t “do the stupid lie that everyone would see” and don’t understand that everyone else is doing the lie because they DON’T see…

    So you get the social awkwardness…

    But once you learn to just “play the lie”, it goes “OK”.

    “How are you today?” [“Fine, and you?”] “Well, you are looking good!”

    When the person by appearance is shouting: “My husband and I had a fight, I didn’t sleep well last night. I’m unhappy in my job, but I’m pretending. I’d be interested in sleeping with you as ‘revenge sex’ if you were not so socially inept”.

    Once you learn to “hide what you know and see”, it works better…. Saying “Would you like to go to the bedroom?” at that moment (which OUGHT to be a reasonable thing, given the ‘revenge’ desire that you can see) doesn’t work out well… yet it’s just that kind of “disconnect” (though perhaps less flamboyant) that causes all the “issues”… There is this long pointless GAME that has to be played first. A mindless STUPID game. But if learn to live the lie, well, no problem…

    Basically, we don’t lie as well. We’re also not very violent at all (where neurotypicals are masters of mindless voilence and anger…) until pushed over the edge.

    (FWIW, it’s also possible that some Aspe’s don’t “see the game at all”. I can’t speak for all, and that may be the difference between me as a Very High Function, and those who can’t look at people at all and just sit in their room… But I don’t believe that…)

    BTW, I’ve gone hunting. Found that it didn’t take concentration so much as tolerance of boredom. It’s incredibly easy to do as long as you can “not think” for long periods of time or “enter the contempative Buddha zone”… no way this is an Aspe sport. BTW, the intense “oneness with them and with all” causes killing an animal to be a painful thing… it may be very Neander to do, but it’s NOT very Aspe… it just hurts to much as you feel what they are feeling and think what they are thinking…

    So, IMHO, the “Aspe thing” is orthogonal to the “Neander thing”. To the extent there is a connection, I would expect it to be that “something in the blend” breaks into being “something different than either parent”.

    Put another way: I’ve relatives of equal “Neander” percentage who just love to hunt and have great social skills…

    IMHO, it was the need to be VERY in touch with seasons, weather, subtile shifts of rain, snow, wind, animal behaviour, 1000 plants and their uses, 10 kinds of snow and cravasses, what stars are in the sky now, and do it all from memory that made the Neanders have larger brains. To simply see and KNOW what was happening. It’s running a real time full data all parameters model of the world on the right side of the brain that is “different”. The Cros are all linear symbol stuff (which I can also do) and that just does not give “the picture”…

    It’s forcing folks who can do all that and see all that to live a linear blind lie that breaks their spirit and their minds…

    Unfortunately, too much of “the gift” and you memorize phone books instead of encyclopedias… ( I’m really glad we had both and I found the dictionary and encyclopedea more interesting… )

    The links on a Jewish Pope and on Khzar were also interesting. Especially that the Khzar had some connection to both Turks and Celtic things…. FWIW, I’ve got to an intresting point in the history of Slavs and Germans that has an odd connection back to Semitic history… perhaps later though… I’m pretty sure that there is a connection to common ancestry in there, though long ago… and a long tradition of Jews in high places in many western societies. They are almost as ‘flexible’ as the Celts ;-) (who seem to change language and culture at the drop of an empire…)

    Toba I’m familiar with. The Bible link looks useful for research, but not tonight…

    Oh, one sidebar on Toba and, to a greater extent, on the Adam and Eve gentics thing:

    A “sex linked trait” will slowly be selected to only one value over time and that value will be the one held by the largest starting population.

    (As Surnames are now ‘sex linked’ eventually everyone on the Western World will be named “Smith” ;-)

    The reason is simple, but subtile. Take a distribution of traits (surname, or beard, or whatever) In each generation, there will be some families with all children of only one sex. At that point, ALL the “other sex” sex linked traits go extinct in that family… (So if you have “all boys”, when THEY have children the mtDNA will come only from their wives… their mothers mtDNA ends with them. If you have “all girls” they do not get Dads Y so the next generation Y will come only from their husbands).

    So for the Y Chromosome or for the Mitochondrial DNA, as they are ‘sex linked’, you will slowly converge on only ONE type of each. Why? If you have 0.01% of a trait, the percentage of THAT which is lost in a single “all one gender” batch is larger than for the 99.99% trait, that hardly notices at all… Over time this differential drives the rare sex linked trait out of existence).

    Now, realize that all the OTHER DNA is not sex linked. It’s just mixing away like CRAZY…. so get passed on to those ‘unisex’ group of kids…. Just like all the “fussing” over “The Last Goldendigavitch Male” to pass on “the name” who then has 6 daughters… The name may stop, but all the REST of the DNA goes on…

    So the “redhead named Goldendigavitch” may eventually have a “Smith” surname in their family future… but there will still be redhead kids….

    Why does this matter?

    Because a LOT of genetic studies are done on the Y Chromosome type and the mtDNA types. These result in things like the “One Adam” and “One Eve” stories. The reality is that there were 1000000 Adams and 1000000 Eves as it relates to all the OTHER genes you have, but the simple math of the process results in slow drift into a single Y and mtDNA type in any one population.

    mtDNA in particular is better preserved than the main nuclear DNA and easier to get a sample.

    So ANY time you see a Y Chromosom or a mtDNA study, you must remember that bias….

    In this article, in particular, there is the story of the Tocharians DNA that has “one European Dad” and “All Asian Moms”… based, undoubtedly, on mtDNA and Y Chromosomes. There were likely 1000 Dads and 1000 Moms, of BOTH races, but if it was 600 European Dads, 400 Asian Dads, and 600 Asian Moms with 400 European Moms; the math is pretty much inevitable (unless you have strong counter selection) that only the European Y and Asian mtDNA will be seen after many generations even though all the other DNA will be a 50/50 mix of European and Asian DNA and from both races in both genders of parents

    I do wish stories would explain this, but they don’t. They alway run with the “Dads were Euro and Moms were Asian” as it has more “juice”… Heck, even I did it and I care about the fact that its wrong…

    At any rate, I hope that answers the point from “Cold Lynx” and “Malaga View” as well…

  26. Malaga View says:

    @ E.M. Smith
    Stumbled across a map that tries to bring many of these threads together with some interesting ideas and quotes…

    A map of Indo-European migrations and the expansion of Indo-European languages

    Another plausible suggestion could be that Proto-Indo-European was spread on a broad territory that included all of the Ponto-Caspian steppe and even some areas in Kazakhstan which were uniformely covered by people speaking nearly one single language even during the late stages of expansion. This is corroborated by the evidence from Kazakhstan where the Kazakh language, originally spoken by horse-breeding nomads, does not show much dialectical differentiation and seems to be surprisingly uniform for the large territory it covers. Despite the 600-year long history of separation of Kazakh, its closest relatives, Karakalpak near the Aral Sea and Kyrgyz in the Tian Shan mountains, are mutually intelligible with Kazakh and can be regarded as nearly dialects of the same language

    The cemetery at Yanbulaq contained 29 mummies which date from 1100–500 BCE, 21 of which are Caucasoid—the earliest Caucasoid mummies found in the Tarim basin. Notable mummies are the tall, red-haired “Charchan man” or the “Ur-David” (1000 BCE); his son (1000 BCE), a small 1-year-old baby with blond hair protruding from under a red and blue felt cap, and blue stones in place of the eyes… DNA sequence data shows that the mummies happened to have haplotype characteristic of western Eurasia in the area of south Russia…The textiles found with the mummies are of an early European textile and weave type and are similar to textiles found on the bodies of salt miners in Austria of around 1300 BCE… Han Kangxin (as cited in Mallory & Mair 2000:236–237), who examined the skulls of 302 mummies, found the closest relatives of the earlier Tarim Basin population in the populations of the Afanasevo culture situated immediately north of the Tarim Basin and the Andronovo culture that spanned Kazakhstan and reached southwards into West Central Asia and the Altai

    A regional cultural discontinuity occurred during the second millennium BCE and many Indus Valley cities were abandoned during this period, while many new settlements began to appear in Gujarat and East Punjab and other settlements such as in the western Bahawalpur region increased in size. Shaffer & Lichtenstein (in Erdosy 1995:139) stated that: “This shift by Harappan and, perhaps, other Indus Valley cultural mosaic groups, is the only archaeologically documented west-to-east movement of human populations in South Asia before the first half of the first millennium B.C..” This could have been caused by ecological factors, such as the drying up of the Ghaggar-Hakra River and increased aridity in Rajasthan and other places. The Indus River also began to flow east and floodings occurred

  27. Malaga View says:

    Another very interesting thread: language

    What is Nostratic?
    The Nostratic macrofamily of languages is a scientifically proven genetic unity of a number of language families of the Old World, which descend from a common ancestor called the Nostratic proto-language which existed around 12,000 – 14,000 years ago. Traditionally the Nostratic macrofamily is described as consisting of the six families: Indo-European, Uralic, Altaic, Dravidian, Kartvelian and Afrasian.

    2100 BC Celtic tribes in Europe
    Among the first Indo-Europeans which penetrated in Central Europe, Celtic and Italic migrants are quite certain to be. It is known that the task to connect exact archaeological cultures with exact tribes at that time is not yet completed, but still according to the most widespread version, Celts were represented by the “cord pottery” culture. In the late 3rd millennium they began to migrate west from the Low Danube (where they lived together with Italics and Illyrians). Soon Celts appeared in France and in South Germany.

  28. Malaga View says:

    The Celtic return in Europe… amazing…

    1400 BC Celts arrive in Spain
    This date is the earliest in archaeology to mark the event, and usually scientists tend to think Celts appeared in Spain later. It depends on the exact archaeological culture which we connect with Celtic expansion. The most widespread opinion is to link Celts with the “urn culture” (German “Urnenfelderkultur”, Spanish “campos de urnas”) which spread from the Danube region to the west, to all Central Europe and later to Gaul and Iberia (Spain).

    But many believe than this culture unified all “Ancient European” ethnic groups of Indo-Europeans who came from Asia to Europe within one big migration wave. It probably included Celts, Italics, Illyrians and Venetic tribes, whose languages have much in common. But while Illyrians and Venetians remained on the Balkans, Italics penetrated into Italy, Celts were the only people who went farther to Gaul and Spain.

  29. oldtimer says:

    You mentioned brewing. That deserves a whole new thread! IIRC brewing emerged in Mesoptamia c5000 BC. Very early on, according the German researchers, they had developed some 20-30 different types of beer.

    Prodigious quantities of beer were brewed in Egypt. Ancient Egyptian grave goods often include models of people making bread and brewing beer – you can see them in the British Museum in London and the Met in NY.

    A prime attraction of beer was its mildly anti-septic qualities and its relative safety compared with water. It was the drink of choice in monasteries. Somewhere, in the compost heap of papers that passes for my filing system I have quite a few notes on the history of brewing. These were prepared for use in a micro-brewery, but sadly the brewery failed – a victim of cheap lager in cans.

  30. Jackie Healy Rae says:

    You are perhaps forgettng there are 2 living groups of Celtic languages alive that split over 3000 years ago and are mutually incomprehensible.

    Gaelic is one group and Welsh the main example of the other….look up P Celtic and Q Celtic some time

    “malk to milk = bainne in Gaelic
    ñom name Sanskrit nāman- ainm pron “annam” in Gaelic
    ko or keu cow Bó pron bow in Gaelic
    tre or trai three Sanskirt tri trí in Gaelic
    mācar mother” mathair pron mawharr in Gaelic

    Don’t ask me about Welsh but you will find it very very different, honest.

  31. Jason Calley says:

    Just a few remarks, and pardon my vagueness; I am mutitasking while I have a few moments at work, on break.

    @ E.M. Buddhism is slightly unusual in that women were allowed a much broader role than in most religions of the time. As I remember the story, Buddha had not originally planned to include nuns in the organized structures of Buddhism. Monks, yes, nuns, no. He was convinced to include convents and nuns by (I think) his mother-in-law, who made a strong argument for included women. Buddha remarked that doing so would shorten the effective life of Buddhism as a role in humanity, but so be it. Of course if one believes that “all compounded things fall apart”, then I guess it is just a matter of when things end, not if. :)

    @ Zeke the Sneak ” had also a news article about a light haired tribe of possibly women bow hunters, from the same continent. ”

    I seem to remember something very similar in the account (kept by one of his fellow travelers, a monk named Gaspar Something-or-other) of Francisco de Orellana’s first European travels along the Amazon back in the 16th Century. I seem to remember that he encountered them along the river though, not in the mountains. By the way, if Amazonia interests you, “Wizard of the Upper Amazon” is an excellent read.

    @ E.M. Like you, I am constantly amazed at the sheer observational and conceptual blindness of most people I meet. It is stunning how much they do NOT see, even when it is pointed out. Luckily — at least for me — I managed to marry a woman who is brilliant and “sees” at least as well as I do. :)

  32. Malaga View says:

    @ Jackie Healy Rae
    When I was a kid I was always told to mind and Ps and Qs…. and this is a Ps and Qs discussion that doesn’t seem very fruitful… especially as 1400 BC seems to qualify as over 3000 years ago :-)

    There are legitimate scholarly arguments in favour of both the Insular Celtic hypothesis and the P-Celtic/Q-Celtic hypothesis. Proponents of each schema dispute the accuracy and usefulness of the other’s categories.

  33. John F. Hultquist says:

    Then a cohort from down toward South East Asia started expanding north and outward and overran them.” E.M. @ 1:41

    I often thought there must be a connection to SE Asia for the Navajo because they use the water buffalo in their legends. If not already familiar with the Navajo legends, these are wonderful and you can spend hours with text and maps following their creation story.
    Mention of the female Water Buffalo is here:

  34. E.M.Smith says:

    @Malaga View:

    Nice map. I’ve seen it, or something like it, before, but had lost where it was…

    My “complaint” about it is simple:

    See that long empty stripe through the middle of Europe from the Gauls to the Tocharians? The one with slight references in it to “scythians” and not much else?

    That tends to run right along the line where we’ve see up top that the Celts were hanging out but not leaving a lot of “stuff” nor surviving culture behind. No Celts in Turkey, nor in Macedonia / Bulgaria, nor in North Italy and Southern Germany (though there is a white ‘proto-celt’ migration line), no Celts in Iran or the “ickystans” or…


    Because archeaology (at least until the genetics stuff showed up) was largely limited to what was left visible now as language and written history, and what was burried in the grounds and not distroyed, yet has been found.

    OK, the Celts didn’t like writting stuff down much. They could do it, but used it for very limited marker stones and specialized things. They prefered an oral tradition. That gets lost when you get conquored. They also had a “no empire please, local clan rule” preference. That meant nearby empires could overrun them once empire started to be “the thing”… They LOVED doing metal work. What happens to the metal in a society when they are overrun? It gets melted down to make more swords or shipped off to Rome / Byzantium / wherever.. While we have found some gold et. al. “grave goods” I expect much more was recycled (one way or another).

    Basically, the Celts were prone to just “blending in” with whoever said they were in charge now…. So the Celts of France were, variously, Gauls and Romans and French (that derives from a German Franks…) while the Celts of North Italy became Italians and the celts of Central Asia become who knows what else…

    If you scan that chart, looking at the first haplogroup type of R1b you find it VERY high in Celts. Then note the Baskirs at 86%. ( Irish are 81.5%…).

    But these folks are called “Turkic” (in the Altaic family) and speak a language that is called a Turkic language. Did they ALWAYS? or is this another Celtic isolate that just “swapped over” culturally? (BTW, they are now Muslims, too… as a clear example of a cultural, non-genetic, swap as the Arabs are almost zero on the R1b scale..)

    So, to my eye, these folks look like the result of a mix of Celts and Asians and the R1b argues for the Dads being Celts and the moms Asian (BUT as noted above, that “has issues”) and look at the guy at about 1:02 in the red shirt…

    So, do you just “blow off” that genetic marker as the language doesn’t line up and some of the ancestry is Asian too? Or do you say “something interesting happened here”…

    To my eye, it looks like “Celts and Asians mix”. To my ear, that music has siimilarities to some Celtic music I’ve heard…

    Now, here is a video of Mongolians. These folks are known to be strongly asian influenced, yet there has been mixing with non-Asians. In particular, notice the hair and nose profile. Asian hair is more coarse, many of the women have much finer hair. The nose often has a more European strait look and less Asian flattened. Also many more “pure” asians are a bit, er, “flat”. Not much in the way of bust nor ‘curves’… while Europeans are more, um, curvey… Well, these folks are not your typical Asian… (though there are a couple of more purely asian types in the video, too). Oh, and modern hair treatments make it impossible to know if the blonds and curls are real or “from a bottle” but the fineness of the hair has to be real, and that does show variation.

    Clearly a mixed people with some Euro-type genes in the mix (though looks like more Asian, to my eye).

    Celts? I’d guess more likely Slavs from Russian influence

    puts them at about 9% of R1a (that is in the 40-50% range for Slavs…) and unknown for R1b and many of the other markers… so it could be either way…

    Yet 100% of those folks get tagged as “non-Celt” and even “non-Indo-European”. And that hides information…


    I find that note about “west to east” at about the 2k BC marker another confirmation of the “cold drought” problem on B.Event markers…


    has an English description.

    FWIW, I think there is a connection between those languages, but it’s hard to tease out this far along and any results must remain highly speculative. Then again, look at those “Turkic” folks… and wonder if any Celtic language elements held on too…

    The hard part to to figure out what is a ‘started the same and drifted’ like Latin and Italian and what was ‘borrowed from someone else and added’ like the Swedish found in Finnish…

    Celts Migration

    The problem here is that we don’t really know when the people migrated, we only know when the POTTERY migrated…

    There is a perfectly valid alternative that a nomadic people living in something like a skin ‘yurt’ and herding animals would leave little evidence on the ground. Animal bones and hides tend to decay in damp climates on open ground. So we mostly know about folks who lived in caves or had ‘hard goods’. You find, for example, arrowheads all over North America. TeePees not so much…

    So now you are depending on someone to find an ‘erratic’ and date it…


    There were folks living there in 20,000 BC…

    So, do we just ignore them? Assume they all moved to North America in 12,000 BC when Clovis Points show up?

    Imagine they all died and were replaced with Celts who show up later (as nothing shows in the DNA)?

    Or is it much more likely that there was a pre-existing body of people here for, oh, 20,000 years, who spread up with the retreating ice face, and who presently speak the languages we call Celtic?

    BTW, the Basque have a VERY high level of R1b just like the Celts…

    IMHO, the Basque and Celts were the precursor people, and they have the genetic marker still in place where invasions were minimal, while the other variations are easily traced as overlays and mergers in the movements of people. Slavs via the R1a and Germans via the “I” marker (though they have a blend with others, too). FWIW, Jews tend to “J” as do the Arabs, except the Sephardic Jews have a 29% R1b marker blend from their time in Spain…

    IMHO, that kind of sinks the “British or Irish as lost tribe of Israel” theories… (though leaves open some earlier connection possibilities).

    That, imho, is why the two branches of surviving Celtic can be 3000 years separated, because they were there for that long (and likely much longer…)

    (It’s also possible they were separated in another place first and migrated side by side to their “new” locations, like Spanish and Portugues to South America).

    @Jackie Healy Rae:

    No, I’m not forgetting it. I’m just not weighting it as very trustworth or informative. Not only could they have separated elsewhere, but the TIMING of the separation is all based on guesses and handwaving. It’s a hard thing to tell a time line as:

    1) Things don’t change at the same rate. Russian (and all highly inflected languages) change more slowly, agglutinative more fast. As you start losing case endings, rates change. So rate of change in English accelerated as we lost case endings. WHEN did proto-Celtic drop from 8 cases to 4? Oh, don’t really know…

    2) Impact with other cultures can cause what looks like slow evolution but happens VERY fast. Blows your timeline. Look at “Spanglish”, for example… Or British “Law French”… or even just English after the Norman French invasion.

    3) Languages often take “leaps”. Timing rarely allows for that as it’s not seen in the history of languages for which there is no written record.

    and more…

    Of the Celtic examples you gave, most are shifts of sound value, only “milk” is dramaticaly different. But this leads to a point I’ve been avoiding (as it will be dozens of pages…)

    IMHO, there is fairly good evidence for a Semitic / British Isles language influence. Not only do you get the standard Germanic shift from the other Indo-E languages (fewer cases, more ‘vowel shifts to change meaning’) but there are also indications that, for example, Welsh has many cognates with old Hebrew.

    So there is the very real probability, IMHO, that the Celtic languages we have ‘left’ to examine are not that ‘pure’ nor that ‘close’ to the old Celtic languages (from middle Europe and on into Eastern Europe / West Asia).

    IMHO, this was not actually a Hebrew influence, but a Phoenician influence. We know the Celts and Phoenicians shared Iberia for a very long time. Long enough to “blend in” some language traits. It’s a theory I’m still ‘working on’, but not very fast…

    And that’s why I left it off the comparison list. The Germanic / English is closer to Tocharian / Sanskrit as it had less ‘contact time’ with Phoenicians. Even stronger would likely be (i.e. I’m making a guess) a Slavic language or Greek where they are very conservative of old forms and have not had the “semitic contact shift” I’m positing.

    So to “do the whole show” would involve a linguistic map / comparision of: Phoenician / Hebrew / Welsh / Gailic (s) / English / German / Russian / Greek / Sanskrit and maybe a couple of others… and I’m just not “up to that” yet…

    That would then show, or not show, the ‘blending / contact artifacts’ that ought to show up in Germanic (some) and Insular Celtic ( IMHO a lot) between Indo-European and Phoenician.

    So yeah, I “dodged” all that by not mentioning it. Doesn’t mean I missed it, though…

    @John F. Hultquist:

    The Navaho are just amazing…

    Their story that the end times would come “when man has a lodge in the sky” is chilling in the context of the space station… and there’s more…

  35. Jackie Healy Rae says:

    The c.100A.D. Colingy Calendar from (then)Celtic France would probably interest you

  36. tckev says:

    Red hair, woman, and Chinese?

    “The most famous mummy unearthed in the Taklimakan desert is that of woman with long reddish blonde hair. Discovered near Loulan in 1979 and nicknamed the “Loulan Beauty,” she was five feet tall, possessed a high nose, and was buried wearing a goatskin wrap, woolen cape, leather shoes and a hat trimmed with goose feathers. Carbon-dating indicates that her body is 3,800 years old but similar tests of the wood of the coffin of mummy found nearby suggest that she could be 6,000 years old.”

  37. Zeke the Sneak says:

    Red-Haired Giants of Lovelock Cave, Nevada

    “In 1911, miners excavating vast deposits of bat guano in Lovelock Cave, northwestern Nevada, discovered a trove of ancient artifacts – baskets; moccasins; fishing nets; shell, horn and bead jewelry; and remarkably lifelike duck decoys. The items belonged to a fishing culture that lived about two thousand years ago, when the receding Pleistocene Lake Lahontan created a lush wetlands environment. Naturally mummified human remains, with reddish hair, were also found. In 1911, some enterprising whites claimed that mummified “giants” with reddish hair from Lovelock Cave confirmed an old Paiute mythe about a race of red-haired cannibals called Si-Te-Cahs.” Adrienne Mayor

    @Jason: Thanks for the tip on that title, I’d like to look at that.

    I had almost completely forgotten about my fair- and red-heads in the New World obsession. The red hair and the quipu knots (h/t Adolfo) might be a tie in to China.

  38. Jason Calley says:

    Hey Zeke: “Naturally mummified human remains, with reddish hair, were also found. ”

    For what it is worth, there have been some cases of confusion over the years by people finding remains of now extinct giant ground sloths in the caves of Nevada and Utah. The sloths had reddish hair in relative abundance and for some reason it is a fairly common find in association with their bones. Like you, I find the reports of various mummies intriguing, but watch out for sloth hair! :)

    By the way, some of the mummies discovered in Mammoth Cave in Kentucky during the 19th Century were reported to have red hair, and, while not giants, one of the females was reported as six feet tall. Almost all of the actual mummies are now lost, though there are still some photos that remain. The mummy “Lost John”, long on display at Mammoth, is not a real mummy per se, but just the naturally preserved body of a Native American miner accidentally killed.

  39. Zeke the Sneak says:

    If a sloth is a red-head, is he still a sloth? :D

    Will watch for that. Natural mummification is another thing. The mummy found in the Alps began to decompose when brought to the labs. So how did he go from conditions which mummified him, to his being frozen at high altitudes, without ever having had an opportunity to decompose?

    Also there was a mummified forest found up in the Arctic recently, and of course it yields clues to…wait for it…global warming.

  40. E.M.Smith says:

    In addition to the above video of Mongolian adults, this video (really a collection of still pictures) has mostly kids:

    Unlike the adults (who were mostly women) the kids will not have ‘styled’ their hair nor died / bleached it. Fair number of blondish kids here, and quite a few with ‘fine’ hair. That tends to argue that the various blondish and redtinged hair colors on the women were not from a bottle…

    Also note the frequency of “Eurasian” look to the pictures.

    Mongolia really is a place where the two types just “got along” with each other. A frequent theme around the non-Han edges of China… and it may also explain some of the “mixed look” of North American Indians (especially those in the East) if both came over the land bridge together.

    At any rate, where the “Blond / Redhead Tocharians” and or northern Slavs ran into the north migrating Asians it sure looks like everybody just didn’t care.

    To some extent, IMHO, this gives a peek into the future of places like California where we have a significant Asian population and folks generally do “just get along’…

  41. Bruce Ryan says:

    Sorry for suggesting this and sounding like a shill but its a neat feature for the person wondering about their heritage.
    Its a genome /chromosome definition of you. Shows where your ancestors “developed”,(maternal and paternal), and runs through a lot of other interesting bits for a person to know.

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