Irish Scots Gaelic Egyptian Connection

Or: When is enough Circumstantial Evidence evidence of circumstances?

There are several lines of ‘evidence’ that I’ve been teasing at for a year or three now. They wander back and forth. They hint and tease, but refuse to come out and just say it.

There are some sites and links that assert, with great vigor, that The Irish Are A Lost Tribe Of Israel. Others assert it’s the Welsh. Or the Scots. Or… They trot out linguistic claims that a Welsh translation of the Old Testament Hebrew is hardly a translation at all, more a lexical substitution, with idiom and tone near perfectly matching.


Extracts from Chapter Seventeen of “Lost Israelite Identity” which is presently out of print:

Chapter Seventeen

Insular British Celtic tongues, especially colloquial Welsh, says W.H.Worrell, show certain peculiarities which are reminiscent of Hamitic and Semitic tongues and are unparalleled in Aryan languages. Similarly, according to H.Wagner:

“Irish..has as many features in common with non-Indo-European languages, especially with Hamito-Semitic languages, as with other Indo-European languages”.

“Insular Celtic languages.. the grammatical categories having many affinities with non-Indo-European languages, in particular Basque and Berber”.

“The comparative typology of insular Celtic initiated by Morris Jones and further developed by Pokorny, G.B.Adams, and myself has revealed that most of the many peculiar features of insular Celtic rarely traceable in other Indo-European languages have analogies in Basque, Berber, Egyptian, Semitic, and even in Negro languages”.

“Certain features [(of marginal influence only)] of Old Irish verb forms can be understood only in the light of Hittite, Vedic, Sanskrit, and Mycenean Greek”.

J.Morris Jones said that,

“The pre-Aryan idioms which still live in Welsh and Irish were derived from a language allied to Egyptian tongues”.

The above linguistic remarks show that Insular Celtic (i.e. of Britain and Ireland as distinct from the Continental forms which were somewhat different) is consistent with the claims proposed herein: i.e. The original tongue of the Insular Celts was Semitic (Hebrew) which marginally was influenced by Mycenean Greek, Hittite, Indo-European (Sanskrit), Syrian, Mitanni, and what not. Heavy Hamitic influences may be attributable to those of some of the neighboring peoples, such as the Canaanites, and Egyptians, and to having sojourned in a North African environment. In addition, the natives of Spain amongst whom the Insular Celts or a good portion of them once dwelt, traded with, and fought against, were also at least in part of North African Berber related Hamitic origin. This explanation may sound involved and complicated but it accords with the evidence when archaeological, anthropological, mythological, and linguistic findings are compared with each other. At all events the natives of Ireland and Wales must have used a Hamitic /Semitic tongue(s) before they came into contact with Continental Indo-European ones.


It was seen above that Irish and colloquial Welsh definitely have some type of underlying linguistic base that must only derive from Middle Eastern (Semitic) and/or North African Hamitic sources. This conclusion was derived from the quoted opinions of linguistic scientists still active in their field today.

It so happens that in the past there were others who held similar opinions but went further than their present-day continuers care to. They expressly related Celtic tongues to Hebrew!!!

A writer who signed his name “Glas” submitted a list of Welsh words with Hebrew origins in 1832. The writer remarked that, “But the best proof of the Eastern descent of the ancient British is the close resemblance and connection existing between the Welsh and Hebrew languages, even at this day. As a proof of this we have extracted the following vocabulary of words in both tongues, so closely resembling each other in sound and sense as to leave no doubt whatever on the subject. Many of these words, it will be found, have been transmitted from the Welsh, through the Anglo-Saxon into our modern English. It would be easy to swell their number..

Some of the examples adduced by the above writer were:

Aeth: He went, he is gone; hence Athah
Aml: Plentiful, ample =Hamale
Ydom: the earth = Adamah
Awye: air, sky = auor, or
bu: it came to pass = bo
boten, or potten : belly = beten.
brith: bright = barud
cas: hatred = caas (anger).
dafnu: to drop, or distill by drops = nataph, taph.

In 1675 Charles Edwards (“Hanes y Fydd”) published A number of Welsh Cambro-Brittanic Hebraisms in which he shows that whole phrases in Welsh can be closely paralleled by whole phrases in Hebrew.

From the list of Charles Edwards, L.G.A. Roberts (1919) made a selection and we have selected examples from Roberts after slightly modernising the Hebrew transliterations: It should be noted that when account is taken for likely and known dialectical changes of pronounciation the examples given in effect show identical Welsh parallel phrases for the Hebrew original.

It goes on from there at some length. There is even a place where it begins to claim that the flood of folks around the world from the British Empire are the Lost Tribes…


* The Hebrew Bible is the message of God.

* Out of the original 12 Tribes of Israel Ten were lost. Two remained. The present-day Jews are descended mainly from the two remaining Tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

* The Khazars were a Kingdom in southern Russia many of whose leaders converted to Judaism. The Khazars were descended from the Lost Ten Tribes. The Khazars were blood-relatives of the Picts who went to Scotland, and of the Anglo-Saxons, and of peoples in Scandinavia.

* In addition to the Khazars, many other converts to Judaism through the ages were descended from assimilated Jews or from members of the Lost Ten Tribes.

* Most of the Lost Ten Tribes migrated to Northwest and Western Europe and their descendants are now in those areas or in North America, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

* We do not claim that all residents of the said nations are descended from Israel. We do however affirm that most descendants of the Lost Ten Tribes are residents of those nations. On the whole they are unaware of their Israelite Identity. Even so in the course of history the Israelite origins of peoples in those areas have influenced national developments and national characteristics.

* The Tribe of Joseph was divided into two other Tribes: Ephraim and Menasseh. People from ALL of the Israelite Tribes congregated in North America but in general the U.S.A. is dominated by Menasseh. Britain has characteristics of Ephraim.

* Reuben was important in France, Issachar in Switzerland, Benjamin in Belgium, Zebulon in Holland, Dan in Denmark, Naphtali in Norway, Gad in Sweden, the country of Finland was influenced by the Tribes of Simeon, Issachar, and Gad; Simeon, Dan, and Ephraim were important in Ireland.

* There is a need for the present-day “Jews” of Judah and the Lost Ten Tribes to recognize each other, and to work towards re-unification and reconciliation.

My Goal

My ambitions are much more limited than reuniting the Ten Tribes and changing the ethnic history of half the world… I just want to find out if it is reasonable to think there is a Hamitic / Semitic thread in insular Celtic… Maybe I think too small ;-)

A fairly long and careful exploration. With an extensive bibliography. As it requires a ‘log in’ to download (but lets you read online) and has a very nice ‘click-grab to scroll’ but blocks ‘mark / copy / paste’; there are no quotes from it here. But it basically finds much in the thesis, along with some grammatical ‘issues’.

It also has some nice ‘check mark’ charts of which languages have what features.

One part in particular was nice to find in that it gives a plausible explanation for why the grammars have similarities, but many of the lexical items diverge. (Basically, the Indo-European rush swamped the lexicon, but at the far margin was not enough to change the grammar. There is some support for that, too, in the book I reviewed some months back “Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue” which found a kind of ‘pigeon’ or ‘creolization’ in the entire Germanic family prior to the formation of English and that it had indications of being a Hamitic / Semitic base largely converting to Indo-European; with various degrees of success.)

At any rate, the link is worth a read if you have the time and like linguistics.

Meanwhile, back at the less academic:

Consider a curiosity: “That the ‘fair Kelts of an Irish Village’ are indeed Israelites is thus clear. Even their [Kelts’] language further confirms such identification, for it (Erse) is akin to both Gaelic and Welsh. The similarity of the last-mentioned [Welsh] to Hebrew is so great that it drew forth considerable research on the part of the noted [‘Jewish’] Hebrew Scholar of the last century, Dr. Moses Margoliouth, and the following comment:

” ‘A small remnant of [Solomon’s subjects] remained in Cornwall since that time (the time of the building of his Temple). I have traced that remnant by the paths of philology, and the byways of nomenclature. I might adduce an array of whole sentences, exactly alike in the languages of Hebrew and the ancient Cornish. I might adduce some of the proper names which prevailed among the aboriginal Britons long before they knew anything of Christianity, such as Adam, Abraham, Asaph,…Daniel, Solomon…(The Hebrews In East Anglia [1870], Margoliouth).’ “ [UNCOVERING THE MYSTERIES OF YOUR HIDDEN INHERITANCE, Robert Alan Balaicius, Appendix E, pp.177-78, citing C.F. Parker’s ISRAEL’S MIGRATIONS OR AN ATTACK ANSWERED, p.13]

That there were Hebrew colonies in Cornwall, England, is not surprising to those who realise that Yahshua’s uncle, Yosef of Arimathea, was a Roman Decurio, having supervision over the tin mining (and probably mining generally, whether iron , copper or tin). He is remembered in song by miners and residents of that area still in the song: “Joseph Was A Tin Man.”

Also, there seems to be every reason to suppose that Yahshua accompanied his uncle, especially after the death of his father, Joseph, on sailing trips to the British Isles (and perhaps others, such as Ireland). We are confident he also set foot on Iberia. This is not fantasy. Please recall the imagery of Yahshua in his parables, where he frequently referenced the sea, fish, fishing, sailors, fishermen, and wealthy merchants (such as his uncle) who went off on business far away. He spoke parables in imagery, which was impressed upon his mind during those exciting voyages westward with Yosef of Arimathea. He chose His first Apostles from the rank of fishermen. His miracles often involved fish, boats at sea, or on sea itself. His disciples’ symbol became the fish. He seemed to enjoy the company of ordinary–probably often “salty”–men. The Pharaisees even upbraided him for sharing the table with ordinary sorts–what with their common, vulgar ways. What the Pharaisees didn’t understand was that they heard His voice. And on His trips with his uncle to England, he undoubtedly was delighted to speak to the Britons and other locals, laughing with pleasure at each others’s dialect.

As further support for this Hebrew language migration, consider:

“William Tyndale (1492-1536), the English reformer (who was strangled to death and then burned for his translation of the Holy Scriptures into English), announced his remarkable discovery that because of the similarities between Hebrew and English, English was the most suitable language for a translation of the Scriptures. He said, ‘The properties of the Hebrew tongue agreeth one thousand times more with the English than with the Latin or the Greek. The manner of speaking is in both one, so that, in a thousand places, there needest not be but to translate the Hebrew word for word.’ “

“This is no mere coincidence, for God declared (Isaiah 28:11) that He would speak to his people in another language…” [UNCOVERING THE MYSTERIES OF YOUR HIDDEN INHERITANCE, Robert Alan Balaicius, Appendix E, p.178]

It continues on from there, continuing the same easy style, and with similar theme. That even Tyndale found a parallel is somewhat encouraging. And that it was to English, and not just to Celtic, also encourages. ( I’ve often felt something just a bit ‘alien’ about other Indo-European languages. As though the words had similar roots, but the spirit of the thing was just not quite full. There are some features of English and Irish that I love most; missing or scarce in other languages. So perhaps I’ll take a look once again at Coptic or Hebrew…)

This site, too, find a connection:

An Afro Asiatic connection to Celtic languages.
Posted on July 12, 2008 | Leave a comment

It seems that Celtic languages show some grammatical similarities to Afro Asiatic languages.

North Africans may have beaten Celts to Ireland
The Sunday Times – 28th May 2000

WHEN the Celts landed in Ireland 2,500 years ago, they may have been met by a population of North Africans, scientists now believe, writes Jan Battles.

Linguists say a study of Irish and other Celtic languages has produced possible evidence that when the Celts invaded Ireland and Britain there were already Afro-Asiatic speakers here. Celtic languages – Irish, Scots Gaelic and Welsh – incorporate grammatical traits found in Afro-Asiatic tongues that are otherwise unrelated, according to research published last week in Science magazine.

And from “Science Magazine” no less… But it looks like I’d have to use the dreaded “Afro-Asiatic” search term to find such new stuff… Perhaps tomorrow ;-)

This link:

Claims to tell the Celtic history up to 583 BC where a key person is name Zarah. Searching on that name doesn’t find much. But there is a wiki with a different vowel in it:

Meanwhile, back at the “” link…

The Voyage of Zarah: Revealing Gaelic History to 583 BCE.
May 27, 2009 06:56 PM EDT
The Voyage of Zarah is a historical research paper that re-examines the lost history and roots of western civilization. Zarah is a person and he is the father to the Gaelic tribes of Western Europe. Zarah’s voyage starts when he was born as a twin in 1883 BC to the tribe of Judah. Genesis 38:27-30

Zarah was the first born son of Judah but his brother Pharez would breach his birthright and come out of the mother’s womb first. Pharez becomes the bloodlines of the Jews and kings over Judah and the other tribes of Israel. Zarah on the other hand was the first born but has a whole other history timeline, but remember Zarah is connected right back to this main bloodline with Judah and right back through to Jacob-Isaac – and Abraham.

Zarah are the tribes that make-up all the Gaelic – Celtic – Saxon – Norsemen tribe’s that cultivated Europe’s first civilized people and nations.

And the sons of Ju’dah; Er, and O’nan, and She’lah, and Pha’rez, and Za’rah: . Er and O’nan died in the land of Ca’naan. Genesis 46:12.

The tribe of Judah will come back into the story with the Zarah tribes starting in 583BC and different times with the connection with the Irish, Scot, Welsh and English Saxon. Also, the other tribes of Israel come into the confused story in the British Islands from about 400 BC onward in different times to our present day.

It goes on like that for a while… There’s all sorts of interesting stuff, but no way to tell if it is true or just a nice fairy tail…

Crete / Egypt / Scythia 1680
Jacob & tribes go to Egypt

Milesian /Spain / Ireland

Moses / tribes know Zarah in Egypt

Milesian’s leave Egypt in ships

Moses & tribes put into slavery

Sailed the Med. & Black Sea

Israelites exodus out of Egypt

Spain 1280BC
Judges & King’s period

Portugal & France 1100 BC
David’s time period #

Solomon time period

Now there IS evidence for Celts wandering along the Mediterranean coastline, even reaching Iberia with some in Spain and some in Portugal (“Galicia” is in Spain, but they speak a language closer to Portuguese now). We also know that the Celts of Ireland got there from Iberia (and those of Scotland from Ireland). Parts “check out”. But the key links are speculative. It goes on to assert that the Stone of Destiny was the stone of Jacob. And more. There are several sites like that.

Yet a comparison of the Swadesh List for various Gaelic languages and a list of Hamitic / Semitic languages shows nearly nothing obviously in common… While whole phrases of less common words may be similar, the Swadesh list of core words is different.

So we have the curious point that Irish uses Verb Subject Object ( VSO ) order, like the “AfroAsiatic” languages ( I hate that term… just seems like doing a lot of work to avoid “Semitic / Hamitic” and drags in more of Africa and Asia than is needed for this piece, but it is the ‘modern’ term) but unlike pretty much all the non-Gaelic languages. Even more oddly, the (extinct, sad to say) old Celtic languages of the Italo-Celts and the Gauls had more normal Indo-European word order (typically SVO Subject Verb Object, but occasionally SOV Subject Object Verb).

So there are a few features of Gaelic and the other insular Celtic languages ( Manx, Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, Cornish, Welsh and likely old Breton but I’ve not dug into it) that sure LOOK like syntax and usage patterns from a Hamitic / Semitic influence

The Genetics

Something of a mixed bag. This article tries to do a nice job of it, with a novel way to look at both Y and mDNA bits for Dad and Mom and look for trends. It claims to find that the folks on the Atlantic coast are mostly from the Atlantic coast…

Celtic languages are now spoken only on the Atlantic facade of Europe, mainly in Britain and Ireland, but were spoken more widely in western and central Europe until the collapse of the Roman Empire in the first millennium a.d. It has been common to couple archaeological evidence for the expansion of Iron Age elites in central Europe with the dispersal of these languages and of Celtic ethnicity and to posit a central European “homeland” for the Celtic peoples. More recently, however, archaeologists have questioned this “migrationist” view of Celtic ethnogenesis. The proposition of a central European ancestry should be testable by examining the distribution of genetic markers; however, although Y-chromosome patterns in Atlantic Europe show little evidence of central European influence, there has hitherto been insufficient data to confirm this by use of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Here, we present both new mtDNA data from Ireland and a novel analysis of a greatly enlarged European mtDNA database. We show that mtDNA lineages, when analyzed in sufficiently large numbers, display patterns significantly similar to a large fraction of both Y-chromosome and autosomal variation. These multiple genetic marker systems indicate a shared ancestry throughout the Atlantic zone, from northern Iberia to western Scandinavia, that dates back to the end of the last Ice Age.

I think they leave out the simple fact that the populations in other parts of Europe today may not be the same folks who were there a few thousand years ago, so reasoning from distributions today can be ‘risky business’. IMHO, what they DO show is that the folks along the Atlantic have a large shared genetic history and it wasn’t “run over” as much as the rest of the mainland Europeans.

Still, there are some useful bits. There is a

Celtic Mothers Genetic Homeland

Celtic Mothers Genetic Homeland

Figure 3
Estimated “dispersal points” (centers of gravity) for the 146 mtDNA haplotypes (positions 16093–16362) found in Ireland. Each circle represents a distinct haplotype. Circle size indicates the frequency of that type in Ireland, with the largest representing the CRS (n=56) and the smallest indicating a frequency of 1; intermediate frequencies are proportional to circle area. SDs are indicated as follows: black = 1,000 km. Eleven centers (ten in Asia and one in Africa) are outside the range of this map.

So right after saying there isn’t much proof of a central European genetic homeland, we have a map where the size of the circle is the amount of contribution with most of it in the center of Europe… Oh Well…

But of interest to me is the lone small black dot on top of Egypt…

So a story that starts with a man and wife; he from a Celtic area near “Schthia” and she from Egypt, where they and their sons cruise through much of Mediterranean Europe on their way to Iberia (and the boys pick up wives along the way) sure looks to me like it matches those dots…

IMHO, these folks do a much nicer job of integrating genetics and history:

But this one has a very nice set of graphics of haplogroup distributions:

Of particular interest here is that Celts have a very high percentage of R1b. There is a VERY closely related type of R1a that is found in much of Eastern Europe. An older I type is found in greater percentages in Iceland and Scandinavia. The R1b type is also found down toward Turkey and Scythia and all those places where Celts ran around. (Along with some of that Viking I type too).

The general impression is of some folks from a mixed area near Greece, moving out to the fringes (perhaps as the ice melted and things improved, or perhaps after one too many wars) where a small sample with lots of R1b comes to populate the area. Basically, a moderately homogeneous result from selection bias in who moved there.

IF I’m reading my graphs shades of pastel right, the mDNA map shows H dominate in the Atlantic Celts area, but with a pretty good mix of others around too. Egypt has a decent representation of H along with many others ( J, K and T too that are also in Atlantic Celtic areas). It looks to me like the genetics allow for the story to be true. (No, it doesn’t prove it, just doesn’t conflict with it). In comparison, America is dominated by mDNA type A that just doesn’t exist in Ireland of old. Similarly the Y type is a mismatch. So you can quickly see that native Americans have connections largely to Asia and any other type is in very small percentages.

There’s a simple intro and a genetic based migration map here:

From the wiki on Haplogroup R1b, we find the origin is over near Anatolia / Thrace (hmmmm…)

R1b Y Haplogroup Map

R1b Y Haplogroup Map

Now R1b and R1a separated relatively recently. Somewhere around 18,000 to 20,000 or so years ago. We were in the ice age glacial then, and as the ice melted, both groups (that are often found near each other in central Europe) spread out. Part going north and east to become Slavs, part going north and west to become Celts. Each related to an earlier R type (unadorned by variations).

At that wiki link there is also a ‘concentration’ map that shows a pocket of about 25% R1b type down toward where Anatolia runs into Iraq / Iran / Caucasus. So there’s even a bit of what is usually considered a ‘Celtic Marker’ down in those Muslim lands.

Oddly, it turns out that some of the Egyptian Pharaohs were R1b as well:

Pharaoh Tutankhamun, Akhenaten and Amenhotep III were R1b
The Egyptians have tested autosomal and Y-DNA markers of three Pharaohs of the 18th dynasty : Amenhotep III, his son Akhenaten and grandson Tutankhamun. The aim was to determine the cause of death of Tutankhamun, who died at age 19. It appears to have been malaria.

Although not yet published officially, the Y-DNA results were said to confirm the paternity between the Pharaohs. The video from Discovery Channel shows the Y-STR results*, which appear to be R1b and indeed the European R1b1b2 rather than the Levantine/Egyptian R1b1a. R1b1b2 is quite rare in modern Egypt (2% of the population) and was assumed to have come mostly through the Greek and Roman occupation. R1b1a makes up 4% of the Egyptian male lineages and dates from the Paleolithic.

The 18th dynasty (starting in 1570 BCE) follows the period of Indo-European expansion to Europe (4300-2000 BCE), India, Persia and the Middle-East (1700-1500 BCE). The Hittites took over central Anatolia from 1750 BCE, and the Mitanni (of Indo-Iranian origin) ruled Syria from circa 1500 BCE.

Egypt’s 18th dynasty inaugurated the New Kingdom after the Second Intermediate Period, when the Hyksos (“foreign rulers”) took over power between 1650 and 1570 BCE. It is very possible that the 18th Dynasty was of Hyksos origin, which could be Hittite or of other Indo-European origin. The Hyksos were described as bowmen and cavalrymen wearing the cloaks of many colors associated with the mercenary Mitanni. This strongly suggest an Indo-European origin indeed, as the steppe people were mounted archers, and the Mitanni are of proven IE origin.

So, aside from just the “snide remark” that “Boy, those Celts sure do get around…” and “they like rising to be top dog too…”

One of the more important things to note is that reference to the Hyksos. And the presence of indo-europeans in Egypt. It is not very much of a leap, at all, to saying someone with an R1b Y chromosome picked up a bride in Egypt. In the case of the Pharaoh it was a lot of them…

The History

“277 BC – 276 BC
4,000 Celts are employed in Egypt under Ptolemy II.”

The Celtic Warriors of Ancient Egypt
Today, Celtic languages and cultures are mostly restricted to Ireland, parts of Scotland, Wales, and Brittany. In the centuries immediately before the rise of the Roman Empire, however, Celtic-speaking tribes controlled much of Europe. Bands of Celtic mercenaries and adventurers made their presence felt as far afield as Thrace, Greece, Judea, and Africa.

In the 4th Century BC, Celtic warriors gained the attention of the cities of Greece, Italy, and the Mediterranean islands. In 390 BC they pillaged Etruria, and even sacked a small city along the Tiber River, that went by the name of Roma…

Celtic warriors became famous for their courage, their indifference to wounds, and the quality of their weapons. Their nobles rode to battle on horses, blowing trumpets and wearing fine jewelry. Common warriors went on foot, wearing their hair long and shouting wild battle-cries. The Celts favored massive swords, javelins, and beautifully decorated shields. Chieftains and elite warriors wore tall helmets, sometimes decorated with horns or metal figurines, and wore chainmail shirts.

Throughout the 4th and early 3rd Centuries BC, Celtic mercenaries were employed in the Meditarranean region from Sparta to Syracuse. They formed a large part of the Carthaginian army in both the First and the Second Punic Wars, marching through the Alps with Hannibal and fighting at Trebia, Cannae, and Zama. At least one other African power took note of the Celts in the 3rd Century, however – Ptolemaic Egypt.

From the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC to the death of Cleopatra in 31 BC, Egypt was ruled by the descendants of Alexander’s general Ptolemaeos Lagos. Though the nucleus of the Ptolemaic army consisted of “native” Greek and Egyptian soldiers, like all of the Diadokhi the Ptolemies made great use of mercenaries. From as early as c. 260 BC, Celtic warriors from the Eastern European tribes were included in the Egyptian battle-order.

That part about Carthage is particularly interesting as they were the Phoenicians. That is, a closely related tribe to the Hebrews.

At this point the history makes it pretty clear that when looking at various Hamitic / Semitic peoples vs Celts “They’ve met”.

There is no barrier, at all, for a warrior of Celtic background, to have gone off to “Egypt” (that in ancient times was basically anywhere in North Africa) and met up with a Hamitic / Semitic lady. Picked up some coin and the favor of a patron, and left with same. And the lady. The genetic markers indicate a general tendency to migrate “out the gate” (of Gibraltar).

It is a very short step from that, to having a language that reflects some Hamitic / Semitic grammar and phrasing, but with largely Indo-European words in the lexicon.

The Mythology

Now, I’d not thought that maybe, being particularly prone to remembering nearly everything (the Celts had an educational system based on memorization, and error was discouraged…) the Celts just might have had a nice little story ‘telling the tale’ that summed it all up. Yet they do.

Looking at the mythology and stories of the Scots / Irish themselves. They say an Indo-European Celtic speaking man and his Hamitic – Semitic speaking wife moved across the Mediterranean with their family. Eventually reaching the Iberian coast (where even today we find Galicia and a Celtic heritage). Later they saw Ireland and moved once again (or one variation is that their kids did the moving). The legend says that they CHOSE to blend the best bits of both linguistic heritages. Sure seems to fit all the known facts… “Tell you what, dear, we’ll use my word list and your syntax and grammar…”

The Lebor Gabála (Book of Invasions — probably first written in the second half of the 11th century AD) describes the origin of the Gaelic people. They descended from Goídel Glas, a Scythian who was present at the fall of the Tower of Babel, and Scota, a daughter of a pharaoh of Egypt. Two branches of their descendants left Egypt and Scythia at the time of the Exodus of Moses, and after a period of wandering the shores of the Mediterranean (including sustained settlements at Miletus and Zancle) arrived in the Iberian Peninsula, where they settled after several battles. One of them, Breogán, built a tower at a place called Brigantia (probably in the coast of Galicia, near A Coruña (Corunna), which was then “Brigantia” (today Betanzos) and where a Celtic tribe called “Brigantes” is attested in ancient times — see Tower of Hercules) from the top of which he, or his son Íth, first saw Ireland.

Edward J. Cowan has traced the first appearance of Scota in literature to the 12th century. Scota appears in the Irish Book of Leinster (containing a redaction of the Lebor Gabála Érenn). However a recension found in a 11th century manuscript of the Historia Brittonum contains an earlier reference to Scota. The 12th century sources state that Scota was the daughter of an egyptian pharaoh, a contemporary of Moses, who married Geytholos (Goídel Glas) and became the eponymous founders of the Scots and Gaels after being exiled from Egypt. The earliest Scottish sources claim Geytholos was “a certain king of the countries of Greece, Neolus, or Heolaus, by name”, while the Lebor Gabála Érenn Leinster redaction in contrast describes him as a scythian. Other manuscripts of the Lebor Gabála Érenn contain a variant legend of Scota’s husband, not as Goídel Glas but instead Mil Espaine and connect him to ancient Iberia. Although these legends vary, they all agree that Scota was the eponymous founder of the Scots and that she also gave her name to Scotland.

At this point I ought to add that the Hyksos might also have been Hebrews. One reconstruction I watched on The History Channel claimed that to be the best ‘fit’ and had a well thought out rational. (Including the point that Tutmoses means ‘brother of Moses’…) so one ‘possible’ is that the “Daughter of a Pharaoh” might have simply been Hebrew as they were getting out of Egypt in a hurry ;-) The Egyptians then tried to erase the Hyksos from their history, leaving many parts a bit unclear.


SCOTIA (A name transferred to Alba about ten centuries after Christ) was one of the earliest names of Ireland – so named, it was said, from Scota, the daughter of Pharaoh, one of the ancient female ancestors of the Milesians – and the people were commonly called Scotti or Scots – both terms being frequently used by early Latin historians and poets. One of its ancient titles was Hibernia (used by Caesar) which some trace from Ivernia, the name, it is said, of a people located in the south of the Island. But most trace it from Eber or Heber, the first Milesian king of the southern half, just as the much later name, Ireland, is by some traced from Ir, whose family were in the northeastern corner of the island. Though it seems much more likely that this latter name was derived from the most common title given to the Island by its own inhabitants, Eire – hence Eireland, – Ireland. It was first Northmen and then the Saxons, who, in the ninth and tenth century began calling it Ir-land, or Ir-landa – Ireland.

In the oldest known foreign reference to Ireland, it was called Ierna. This was the title used by the poet Orpheus in the time of Cyrus of Persia, in the sixth century before Christ. Aristotle, in his Book of the World, also called Ierna. It was usually called either Hibernia or Scotia by the Latin writers. Tacitus, Caesar, and Pliny call it Hibernia.

“This Isle is sacred named by all the ancients,
From times remotest in the womb of Chronos,
This Isle which rises over the waves of ocean,
Is covered with a sod of rich luxuriance.
And peopled far and wide by the Hiberni”

By Rufus Festus Avienus, who wrote this at the beginning of the fourth century.

Note that the author, Rufus Festus Avienus is being called a redhead, thus “rufus”…

Given the tendency of my Irish kin to, um, “embellish”… I’d think the reality may have been just a bit more prosaic…

Perhaps just a Phoenician Princess and Thracian Gaul Prince…

Yes, the legend says Scythian or Greek… but we need to look just a bit at that. “Way back when” what WAS Scythia and who lived in what we now call “Greece”? In different parts, and at different times, it, um, varied.

Back To History

First a small reminder that Galacians were Celts:

And how did those Celts end up in the middle of what is now the Anatolian Peninsula of Turkey?

Ancient Galatia (Greek: Γαλατία) was an area in the highlands of central Anatolia in modern Turkey. Galatia was named for the immigrant Gauls from Thrace (cf. Tylis), who settled here and became its ruling caste in the 3rd century BC, following the Gallic invasion of the Balkans in 279 BC. It has been called the “Gallia” of the East, Roman writers calling its inhabitants Galli (Gaul or Celt). The Galateans themselves were not literate, and their name for themselves remains unknown.

OK, now we’ve got Celts running around the Balkans and taking over Turkey… It’s not THAT far from there to Egypt. Those areas have been part of the same empire on many occasions. (Ottoman-Turk, Byzantine, Roman, …)

Gallic groups, originating from the various La Tène chiefdoms, began a south-eastern movement into the Balkan peninsula from the 4th century BC. Although Celtic settlements were concentrated in the western half of the Carpathian basin, there were notable incursions, and settlements, within the Balkan peninsula itself.

From their new bases in northern Illyria and Pannonia, the Gallic invasions climaxed in the early 3rd century BC, with the invasion of Greece. The 279 BC invasion of Greece proper was preceded by a series of other military campaigns waged toward southern Balkans and against the kingdom of Macedonia, favoured by the state of confusion ensuing from the intricated succession to Alexander. A part of the invasion crossed over to Anatolia and eventually settled in the area that came to be named after them, Galatia.
From the 4th century BC, Celtic groups pushed into the Carpathian region and the Danube basin, coinciding with their movement into Italy. The Boii and Volcae were two large Celtic confederacies who generally cooperated in their campaigns. Splinter groups moved south via two major routes: one following the Danube river, another eastward from Italy. According to legend, 300,000 Celts moved into Italy and Illyria. By the 3rd century, the native inhabitants of Pannonia were almost completely Celticized

So all you folks with Northern Italian and / or Greek ancestors may need to learn to ’embrace your inner Celt’ ;-) Check out that family tree and see if there are any ‘red headed cousins’ running around ;-) (Yes, I know, lots of Celts have dark hair… so the lack of a redhead doesn’t get you off the hook 8-0! )

OK, the point here is just that saying “Old Grampa came from Greece” doesn’t make him an ethnic Greek… He could easily have been a Celt, looking to ‘move on’. Now this particular Celtic invasion was a bit later than the likely arrival of Celts in Ireland. So it would likely have to be some earlier Celtic group. Still, it’s an existence proof…

Now, back at Thrace… ( I always wondered who the Thracians were…) Unfortunately, we won’t find out for the simple reason that nobody really knows. They were a relatively rural people who mostly just lived life and didn’t leave a lot of historical record.

Origins and ethnogenesis
See also: Prehistoric Balkans#Iron Age

The origins of the Thracians remain obscure, in absence of written historical records. Evidence of proto-Thracians in the prehistoric period depends on remains of material culture. It is generally proposed that a proto-Thracian people developed from a mixture of indigenous peoples and Indo-Europeans from the time of Proto-Indo-European expansion in the Early Bronze Age when the latter, around 1500 BC, conquered the indigenous peoples. We speak of proto-Thracians from which during the Iron Age (about 1000 BC) Dacians and Thracians begin developing.

Identity and distribution

Divided into separate tribes, the Thracians did not manage to form a lasting political organization until the Odrysian state was founded in the 5th century BC. Like the Illyrians, the mountainous regions were home to various warlike and ferocious Thracian tribes, while the plains peoples were apparently more peaceable.

Thracians inhabited parts of the ancient provinces: Thrace, Moesia, Macedonia, Dacia, Scythia Minor, Sarmatia, Bithynia, Mysia, Pannonia, and other regions on the Balkans and Anatolia. This area extends over most of the Balkans region, and the Getae north of the Danube as far as beyond the Bug.

Archaic period

These Indo-European peoples, while considered barbarian and rural by their refined and urbanized Greek neighbors, had developed advanced forms of music, poetry, industry, and artistic crafts. Aligning themselves in kingdoms and tribes, they never achieved any form of national unity beyond short, dynastic rules at the height of the Greek classical period. Similar to the Gauls and other Celtic tribes, most people are thought to have lived simply in small fortified villages, usually on hilltops. Although the concept of an urban center wasn’t developed until the Roman period, various larger fortifications which also served as regional market centers were numerous. Yet, in general, despite Greek colonization in such areas as Byzantium, Apollonia and other cities, the Thracians avoided urban life.

The first Greek colonies in Thrace were founded in the 8th century BC.

Sure sounds like a lot of Celts… but there just isn’t enough information to know. But they did have Redheads…

Several Thracian graves or tombstones have the name Rufus inscribed on them, meaning “redhead” – a common name given to people with red hair. Ancient Greek artwork often depicts Thracians as redheads. Rhesus of Thrace, a mythological Thracian King, derived his name because of his red hair and is depicted on Greek pottery as having red hair and beard. Ancient Greek writers also described the Thracians as red haired. A fragment by the Greek poet Xenophanes describes the Thracians as blue-eyed and red haired:

…Men make gods in their own image; those of the Ethiopians are black and snub-nosed, those of the Thracians have blue eyes and red hair.

Bacchylides described Theseus as wearing a hat with red hair, which classicists believe was Thracian in origin. Other ancient writers who described the hair of the Thracians as red include Hecataeus of Miletus, Galen, Clement of Alexandria, and Julius Firmicus Maternus.

So I’m left to wonder if those mid-Continental Celts who settled in Thrace found it rather a lot like home…

Fresco of a Thracian Woman from a tomb in modern Bulgaria

Fresco of a Thracian Woman from a tomb in modern Bulgaria

Original and Full Sized Image

At any rate, even that isn’t deterministic. There are genetic markers from some Thracian graves rather like other Greeks and there are random redheads scattered all over. At best it can hint, not answer directly. (But I note in passing that Spartacus was a Thracian… NEVER get a redhead pissed at you…)

Spartacus was a Thracian enslaved by the Romans, who led a large slave uprising in Southern Italy in 73–71 BC. Before being defeated, his army of escaped gladiators and slaves defeated several Roman legions in what is known as the Third Servile War.

Then their relatives might end up taking over the place.
From the list of famous Thracians:

Maximinus Thrax, Roman Emperor from 235 to 238.
Justin I, Eastern Roman Emperor and founder of the Justinian Dynasty.
Justinian the Great, Eastern Roman Emperor.
Leo I the Thracian, Eastern Roman emperor from 457 to 474.

That sure SOUNDS like Celts. Bring ’em in as slaves and pretty soon they’re running the whole show…

From that earlier link:

Some of the survivors of the Greek campaign, led by Comontoris (one of Brennus’ generals) settled in Thrace, founding a short-lived city-state named Tyle. Another group of Gauls, who split off from Brennus’ army in 281, were transported over to Asia Minor by Nicomedes I to help him defeat his brother and secure the throne of Bithynia. They eventually settled in the region that came to be named after them as Galatia. They were defeated by Antiochus I, and as a result, they were confined to barren highlands in the center of Anatolia.

Celtic groups were still the preeminent political units in the northern Balkans from the fourth to the 1st century BC. The Boii controlled most of northern Pannonia during the 2nd century BC, and are also mentioned to have occupied the territory of modern Slovakia.
We learn of other tribes inhabiting Pannonia, belonging to the Boian confederation. There were the Taurisci in the upper Sava valley, west of Sisak, as well as the Anarti, Osi and Cotini in the Carpathian basin. In the lower Sava valley, the Scordisci wielded much power over their neighbours for over a century.

OK, so now we know why the folks in the Balkans are always cranky and fighting… you can blame it on a Celtic influence ;-)

But the main ‘takeaway’ here is that there were A LOT of Celts running all over the middle of Europe then. A huge chunk of Europe has some “Celtic Roots” even if today they are speaking Italian, Greek, and even Slovakian…

Migrations of one Celtic Tribe, the Volcae

Migrations of one Celtic Tribe, the Volcae

Thrace is that bit just before you cross over into Turkey from Greece…


The historical boundaries of Thrace have varied. Noteworthy is the fact that, at an early date, the ancient Greeks employed the term “Thrace” to refer to all of the territory which lay north of Thessaly inhabited by the Thracians, a region which “had no definite boundaries” and to which other regions (like Macedonia and even Scythia) were added. In one ancient Greek source, the very Earth is divided into “Asia, Libya, Europa and Thracia”. As the knowledge of world geography of the Greeks broadened, the term came to be more restricted in its application: Thrace designated the lands bordered by the Danube on the north, by the Euxine Sea (Black Sea) on the east, by northern Macedonia in the south and by the Illyrian lands (i.e. Illyria) to the west. This largely coincided with the Thracian Odrysian kingdom, whose borders varied in time.

So way back when, saying you were from Thrace could also mean Scythia, at least to a Greek without a lot of travel time…



If you remember our last tour of Celtic exploits, we found that the ancient Tocharians way out toward China had a lot in common with the Celts and speculated on a possible relationship. So here we have Scythia stretching from about the area of the mid-European Celts over toward the Tocharians… Hmmm…

The Scythian state reached its greatest extent in the 4th century BC during the reign of Ateas. Isocrates believed that Scythians, and also Thracians and Persians, are “the most able to power, and are the peoples with the greatest might.” In the 4th century BC, under king Ateas, the tribune structure of the state was eliminated, and the ruling power became more centralized. The later sources do not mention three basileuses any more. Strabo tells that Ateas ruled over majority of the North Pontic barbarians.

Written sources tell that expansion of the Scythian state before the 4th century BC was mainly to the west. In this respect Ateas continued the policy of his predecessors in the 5th century BC. During western expansion, Ateas fought the Triballi. A part of Thracians was subjugated and levied with severe duties. During the 90-year life of Ateas, the Scythians settled firmly in Thrace and became an important factor in political games in the Balkans. At the same time, both the nomadic and agricultural Scythian populations increased along the Dniester. A war with the Bosporian Kingdom increased Scythian pressure on the Greek cities along the North Pontic littoral.

Materials from the site near Kamianka-Dniprovska, purportedly the capital of the Ateas’ state, show that metallurgists were free members of the society, even if burdened with imposed obligations. The metallurgy was the most advanced and the only distinct craft speciality among the Scythians.

Well, the Scythians were prone to subjugating lots of folks, so we don’t know who all was living in Scythia and which ethnicity did what. BUT, it is pretty well known that Celtic metalwork is some of the most advance on the planet for it’s time. These folks are occupying some of the same lands (though the timing of overlap is a bit hard to assess) and doing some of the same things. Add to that even a tiny bit of imprecision about ‘when’ and exactly ‘who’ and you get folks from the same place being from Thrace, Scythia, Greeks, or being Celts. I’m not seeing much difficulty in reconciling the various claims about “ethnicity” simply because they are actually claims about geography, not ethnicity.

The Scythians first appeared in the historical record in the 8th century BC. Herodotus reported three contradictory versions as to the origins of the Scythians, but placed greatest faith in this version:

There is also another different story, now to be related, in which I am more inclined to put faith than in any other. It is that the wandering Scythians once dwelt in Asia, and there warred with the Massagetae, but with ill success; they therefore quitted their homes, crossed the Araxes, and entered the land of Cimmeria.

Subsequently, the term Scythian, like Cimmerian, was used to refer to a variety of groups from the Black Sea to southern Siberia and central Asia. “They were not a specific people”, but rather variety of peoples “referred to at variety of times in history, and in several places, none of which was their original homeland” The Bible includes a single reference to Scythians in Colossians 3:11, immediately after mentioning barbarian, possibly as an extreme example of a barbarian.

So a fairly sloppy term, applied in a sloppier way. Basically “Barbarian nomad from somewhere up North to North East” out past Thrace (or sometimes incorporated into it). I don’t see that as excluding a mainland Celtic tribe that wandered through from “Up North”… Even today we are not sure. Some folks thinking them nearly Asiatic, then we dig up a blond guy:

Given that declared eastern origin, some scholars, before the 20th century, assumed that the Scythians were descended from the Turkic/Mongolic people. The Scythian community did inhabit western Mongolia in the 5th and 6th centuries, but were not Mongolian. The mummy of a Scythian warrior, which is believed to be about 2,500 years old, was a 30-to-40 year-old man with blond hair, and was found in the Altai, Mongolia

In addition, we find they shared something else with Celts. They liked their women to go armed and ready for battle:

Some Scythian-Sarmatian cultures may have given rise to Greek stories of Amazons. Graves of armed females have been found in southern Ukraine and Russia. 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 style that may have inspired the Greek tales about the Amazons.

At any rate, we can’t tell if there was a Celtic tribe mixed in with all the non-Celtic types, or if these were simply parallel cultural evolutions, or even if it is just that nobody really knew who was running around “out there” in the wilderness. Or even if it was just a catchall name with no real specificity.

What we can say is that there is nothing at all to prevent a Celtic Warrior Prince of some sort from being called a “Scythian”, a “Thracian” or even being “From Greece”.


All in all, I just don’t see anything to prevent the recorded “story” from being true. Where things can be ‘fact checked’, they seem to match the known facts. There are no visible ‘show stoppers’.

The language shows clear signs of mixed heritage. The genetics allows for a mixed heritage. We’ve got Celts consorting with Pharaohs (and maybe being them) down in Egypt. We’ve got them running around positively everywhere. Picking up a Hamitic / Semitic speaking wife and heading off to Spain just doesn’t seem like that much of a ‘leap’. Then the kids model their speech on her speech patterns and pick up Dad’s words later. Voilà! Gaelic.

So it looks to me like it’s most likely true.

Of course, everyone needs a wet blanket or two. The wiki does nicely:ála_Érenn

Early history of the Gaels

A pseudo-Biblical account of the origin of the Gaels as the descendants of the Scythian prince Fénius Farsaid, one of seventy-two chieftains who built the Tower of Babel. His grandson Goídel Glas, whose mother is Scota, daughter of a Pharaoh of Egypt, creates the Irish language from the original seventy-two languages that arose at the time of the dispersal of the nations. His descendants, the Gaels, undergo a series of trials and tribulations that are clearly modelled on those with which the Israelites are tried in the Old Testament. They flourish in Egypt at the time of Moses and leave during the Exodus; they wander the world for four hundred and forty years before eventually settling in the Iberian Peninsula. There, Goídel’s descendant Breogán founds a city called Brigantia, and builds a tower from the top of which his son Íth glimpses Ireland. Brigantia can probably be identified with A Coruña, north-west Galicia, known as Brigantium in Roman times; A Roman lighthouse there known as the Tower of Hercules has been claimed to have been built on the site of Breogán’s tower.

They need to be careful with that “pseudo” stuff or someone might have to go all Spartacus on that page… ;-)

Notes and Backing Material

But back at the history / mythology of Ireland:

This one has a geneology of what is supposed to be the linage starting from Noah:

This site has a much more detailed “Kings List” and a whole lot of links at the bottom of the page, including some to ancient books now on line at Irish University: ” three of the volumes of the ANNALS OF THE FOUR MASTERS are now online at University College of Cork (UCC).” so worth scrolling down to the bottom.

The wiki on the Annals Of The Four Masters:

has links at the bottom that claim to go to the originals and to English translations.

This next one is a bit “odd” in is a self claimed “big internet dig” ‘list of other pages’:

Presented a nice page in a strange kind of a ‘pop up’ format. So I’m going to copy more of it here than I otherwise might (as I don’t know if it will give the same text in the future…)

TRALEE, Queen Scotia and Slieve Mish, Scota. Mountain Grave. An Irish Big Dig

for Scota. Queen Scotia.

The Big Web Dig
for Irish Pre-History Tribal Origins

Scota as ancestor of the Milesians, see
This is our Web Dig, to find the origins and attributes of Queen Scotia, Scota, Sgota. There is a grave with that identification-indications of name, as she was buried in antiquity and with Egyptian hieroglyphs, they say, as befits the Pharaoh’s daughter that she apparently was. This is near Tralee, at the Slieve Mish Mountains, the range in the central area at the beginning of the Dingle Peninsula, western Ireland. Our interest then moves to other sources supporting the idea of this lady and her people peopling Ireland, at Plain Meaning, Origin Stories.

Scholars and regular folk are interested. See this large site, and track the Milesian connection alleged,, a site also for vetting Scota tales. Scota, Scotia.
1. For a quick look at a folk-literature summary of the Scots connection, and information at those sites, see Caledonia, Queen Scotia, and Scotland. Queen Scotia’s husband had been killed while fighting Ireland’s famed Tuatha de Denaan, and Scotia, a warrior herself, led the troops against the Tuatha-de herself, with her sons, and prevailed. See her as a figurehead on a 19th Century Scots brig that was shipwrecked off Cornwall, The Caledonia. No wild woman, that. Fair use thumbnail from
We want to know Scota’s origins, her place in prehistory.

She and her husband and their group fought (both were warriors) the old Tuath de Denaan of prehistory; was there a connection between their heritage, and /or the mysterious Tuath-de, that tie into migrations from the ancient Middle East. As an individual Queen: We want to know her accomplishments. There are numerous tales, with variations, and we track some of those. What commonalities.

Was she merely a King’s wife, in the same kind of patriarchal system that smothers us, and the mother of six sons who went on to rule Ireland; who was an accomplished horsewoman who died trying to leap a stream-bank while pregnant on her horse and falling off. And so she died. See ://

If that is all there is, why do we find references to her and her Milesian people, that tie her people from ancient Palestine and the Old Testament (yes!) and a tribe of Hebrews (not “Jews” at that time) who migrated through Egypt (perhaps) to Spain (Iberia – Eber- Hebrew) and from there to Ireland, Hibernia. The “Scotti” of Ireland (roots of Scotia?) went to Scotland, gave it their name, and the groups went back and forth for millennia.

Sources include: “The histories of England, Wales, and Scotland, even Ireland also, were intertwined in ancient times such that the whole British Isles, due to the proximity of the islands, then shared a common British history, with common elements in the population of the islands, until the time of the Roman conquest of a large part of Britain ….” See the account at The British Chronicles Book 1, by David Hughes, 2007 :// at page 43. As to Picts: ” …Credne is remembered in Irish tradition as the leader of the migration of the majority of the Irish Picts from Ireland to Scotland (emphasis added) during the Gaelic Conquest of Ireland, whence their name.” See page 46. See portions at the google book

So, were Picts in Ireland first (having come from the Orkneys and Hebrides or some such earlier) and did they fight Scota’s group as Scota & Co. invaded; and then the pressured Picts headed (some) to Scotland; and then so did the Scotti or Scotii; and who was the Tuatha de Denaan that we understand that Scotia and group fought. The Picts?

What support is there for a migration route from the eastern Mediterranean to Ireland through Spain, and were they one of the Hebrew tribes; or counted instead (or in addition) from descendants of (here goes) Noah. A medieval source, Nennius 8th Century (look up Medieval Sourcebook), ties in groups from Spain to Ireland, and matches the moving groups with Old Testament timing – see FN 1 (open source).

2, For those of us new to this, it is confusing. Who? Which? Either? If the stories are irreconcilable, fine. Look at place names for history. This is ongoing – the Isle of Man, between the Irish Sea and Solway Firth, Scotland, and north England, would be a natural stop-off for people going back and forth and even arriving. There is a small wiry dark group there, with legends about them having Spanish origins, see :// Spanish origins, and even Middle Eastern before that, interest us here. Dating of legends is difficult. Was this merely the Spanish Armada shipwrecking in 1588? Scroll down to Kione Spainey, or Spanish Head – Spain was once visible from this spot, so it says.

If nothing is determinable, it is interesting, and we lay out what we have found here. We did find a discussion page with long dissertations on the tribes at :// and a map of Irish Celtic tribes. Is Celtic different from the differing migrations we read about? Is Scotia considered Celtic? How could that be? That site also finds, at a post by a mysteryinternetchatsource (like us) “mikescottnz”, two Scotias, each with a different history-connection to Ireland. We read and tried to make sense of it, and came up with four Scotas, each of whom is fine and to be remembered: Hello? Mike Scott in New Zealand, is that you? What did we get wrong?

3. The various Scotas so far.

Scota One: Scythian prince Fenius Farsaid, is her father-in-law. In a “pseudo-Biblical” account, a “Christianized myth” perhaps with Irish monastic glosses (Nennius?) she is an Egyptian princess, daughter of Nectanebus (there was Nectanebus I and Nectanebus II), married Mil. Mil would be the son of Fenius Farsaid. Their son is Goidal Glas and he devises the Irish language from the 72 that arose “from the dispersal of the nations”(?) Goidal Glas’ descendants are the Gaels and they wander for centuries (so clearly Scota One never got to Ireland to be buried) and finally settle in Iberia. Further descendant Breogan founds city Brigantia and builds tower. This may be at Coruna, NW Galicia. their sons

Scota Two: From early Irish chronicle, the Lebor Gabala (Book of Invasions, Book of Conqests). Scota is an Egytian princess, daughter of Cingris (name only in legend). Princess Scota. She married Niul, a son of Fenius Farsaid who was a Babylonian who traveled to Scythia after the Tower of Babel collapsed (more Christian glosses?).Niul was a “linguistic scholar” and the Pharaoh invited him and gave him Scota to marry. They had the son, Goidal Glas, who did the Irish language. The Israelites leave Egypt, and so must Goidal. His descendants settle in Iberia, where Mil Espaine was born. Two of his sons, Eber Finn and Eremon settle Ireland.

And Scota Three? The Story of the Irish Race, by Seumas McManus: Scota married Niul, but Niul is the grandson of Goidal Glas.
In the alternative, do we have Scota Four? Scota is the Egyptian princess who married Miled or Miletius. Queen Scota. He died, she went to Ireland with her 8 sons and their fams, big storm and many died, and Scota died fighting the Tuatha de Denaan. And so to Glenn Scoithinn, Vale of the Little Flower, and Scotia, perhaps.

4. For earlier origins back to the Middle East, and then in Spain, see Zaragoza: Zahar of the Red Hand. Look for the Scythians, language links to the Phoenician, Hebrew borrowing from the Phoenician word forms, and so on.

And Zahar himself. This part is not in the usual Chronicles, apparently, and that is understandable because in time it was not desirable to have a Hebrew background, is that so?

5. A Hebrew Speculative Connection, to be Woven In, Perhaps. Eighth Century Chronicler Nennius and the Rest: Prepare to Amend

Zahar was the grandson of Jacob, famed in Genesis by being identified as the firstborn of twins, thus entitled to the birthright, and the midwife tied a red cord around his wrist to identify him; but then he pulled his arm back in (precocious, but unwise for the inheritance) and his brother was fully born first, and got it all. See Genesis. Zahar, left out, left. His own Odyssey.

Is Zahar’s line a lost tribe of Israel, and is this their story. Great fun.

5.1 Origins as Gaelic or Scythian. Naming carries clues.

The traditional name for the grave area, a diminutive “Little Flower” is shown by the name of the area of the alleged gravesite, near Tralee, at Glen Scoithin (the Flower part) or Foley’s Glen.
To some, the Scoithin argues for her Gaelic origins, Scoithin as a synonym for traditional women’s Gaelic names, Flora or Rosa. To others, the Scoithin ties with the Scythian woman, as she is also known. Wikipedia at Scotia’s Grave adds that Scoithin information, that we had not had before.

However, there are far more possibilities, even though those do not help the Gaelic pride line, and do show many even more links to Scythian. See page 46 at ://
Identity and lineage.

5.2 The Red Hand took hold in Ireland in various ways, and not necessarily directly connected to Zahar.

There is also the Red Hand of Ulster, that we looked at in American politics — the use of the red hand in political advertising, to rally political supporters. See Red Hand, “Family”, JPMorgan Chase, Code. Scroll down to the Ulster section. A modern exploitation of the red hand, a diminution of a core symbol for Ireland, with its pros and cons, uses in violence. A trivializing of The Red Hand to use it in America.

Ui Niall was a Milesian, as was Scotia. If the Milesians were Hebrew by extraction, then the red hand has a double meaning – Ulster and the Old Testament. And if it became unfashionable as centuries passed, to be known as Hebrews, then the red hand idea could move easily from Story 1, about the birth of Zahar and his descendants wandering; to Story 2, update when Ui Niall hacks his off and hurls it to the beach in time to claim the Ulster coast. But if Ui Niall himself is a descendant of the wandering tribe, we are back at square one, and happily so.


FN 1 Medieval Sourcebook, Nennis -Historia Brittonum, 8th Century, at :// Note the main introduction, that this early source relies on oral and other traditions. This is not entirely to be discounted, however, see the modern The British Chronicles, Heritage Books, by David Hughes (2007) (incorporation of this and similar source material but with discussion and choices)

Meet Nennius and his account:
11. AEneas reigned over the Latins three years; Ascanius thirty-three years; after whom Silvius reigned twelve yeaars, and Posthumus thirty-nine years: the latter, from whom the kings of Alba are called Silvan, was brother to Brutus, who governed Britain at the time Eli the high-priest judged Israel, and when the Ark of the covenant was taken by a foreign people. But Posthumus his brother reigned among the Latins.

12. After an interval of not less than eight hundred years, came the Picts, and occupied the Orkney Islands: whence they laid waste many regions, and seized those on the left hand side of Britain, where they still remain, keeping possession of a third part of Britain to this day.

13. Long after this, the Scots arrived in Ireland from Spain (emphasis added) The first that came was Partholomus, with a thousand men and women, these increased to four thousand; but a mortality coming suddenly upon them, they all perished in one week. The second was Nimech, the son of …..who, according to report, after having his ships shattered, arrived at a port in Ireland, and continuing there several years, returned at length with his followers to Spain. After these came three sons of a Spanish soldier with thirty ships, each of which contained thirty wives; and having remained there during the space of a year, there appeared to them, in the middle of the sea, a tower of glass, the summit of which seemed covered with men, to whom they often spoke, but received no answer. At length they determined to besiege the tower; and after a year’s preparation, advanced towards it, with the whole number of their ships, and all the women, one ship only excepted, which had been wrecked, and in which were thirty men, and as many women; but when all had disembarked on the shore which surrounded the tower, the sea opened and swallowed them up. Ireland, however, was peopled, to the present period, from the family remaining in the vessel which was wrecked. Afterwards, others came from Spain, and possessed themselves of various parts of Britain.

Egyptian Princess become Queen. Milesian King. A group arriving in Spain, and the Queen leading the band after the death of the king from there to Ireland?

Not out of the question after all. Ancient Carthage and ancient Egypt were great empires before Rome, and took over Spain as well as the Mediterranean coastal areas, and tips of other places. Travel was not unusual, and would have been facilitated by the conquests. From Spain to Ireland: short sail. See legends from the time of the Flood, through the Old Testament, at After the Flood: Irish Biblical Roots and Egypt.

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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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45 Responses to Irish Scots Gaelic Egyptian Connection

  1. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: What about the lost cultures; some say that Egypt culture comes from Atlantis:
    According to Herodotus, ancient Egyptians tracked stars more than 10,000 years ago. This statement of the “father of history” is supposed to be esoteric and, therefore, not true.Tracking of the stars is important because there position is used for navigation. The Reis map should have originated in 4000BC somewhere near Cairo. The discovery of large boats and barges in use by the Pharaohs of the first Dynasty.

    Critias claims that his accounts of ancient Athens and Atlantis stem from a visit to Egypt by the Athenian lawgiver Solon in the 6th century BC. In Egypt, Solon met a priest of Sais, who translated the history of ancient Athens and Atlantis, recorded on papyri in Egyptian hieroglyphs, into Greek. According to Plutarch, Solon met with “Psenophis of Heliopolis, and Sonchis the Saite, the most learned of all the priests” (Life of Solon). Picture on site including drawings picturing the battle between an Atlantean and Egyptian soldier.
    The “Red headed” men could come from deep in the past…however there is no written history but only those forgotten memories in the “collective conscious”
    Perhaps observatories like Stonehenge which were built around the world, perhaps during an epoch of drastic changes, to find out what was happening, could tell us something, and if those changes are cyclical, we will soon know what happened back then that erased all memory.

  2. adolfogiurfa says:

    The QUESTION is: What do I NEED to know from the past?, a tale? or …
    Do we really want to know much more important things from the past?
    What knowledge do we unconsciously miss from such distant past?, Where can we find such a knowledge? which we, implicitly, recognize is lacking in our culture and which could equilibrate our lives.
    We know that the “science” we have, the thousand of “names” through which we use to describe reality, leave us the same as at the start.
    Is it that knowledge out there somewhere?, which are those lost “Symbols of the Sacred Science”(*) which may answer this burning question?
    (*)Book by Rene Guenon.

  3. adolfogiurfa says:

    What environmental conditions would have existed as to cause the appearance of red hair?
    Perhaps when Kronos was the Sun?

  4. Pascvaks says:

    Random Thoughts –

    Western Europe is very sparcely populated as Celts move in. Their gene pool is bigger than that of the locals, they don’t mix with locals, they kill most locals, they breed faster than locals. They dominate.

    When the Celts move into Western Europe they carry a “Celtic” set of diseases like Columbus’ Crew in 1492 AD and decimate the locals. They dominate.

    When Celts move into Western Europe, after picking up rather dark haired girls along the way and diminishing their original “light brown hair” gene pool, they find a lot of locals with red and very light hair, etc. The guys fall for the local gals and the gals fall for the local guys and there’s no big gig with “disease” and everyone gets along just fine. More and more kids born with light skin, freckles, and red or light hair.
    Pretty random and doesn’t make much sense, I know. You know what, for some rather strange reason I can’t get it out of my head that during the last glacial different gene pools huddled in different Edens, and as numbers grew as things warmed and folks were tossed out of the local Eden for various reasons (sin?) and the cold winds once again blew, etc, etc, for 50,000 years, off and on, and the “races” resulting got more distinct and different; when the “gods” said get out of this once nice garden and scram, and later the “flood” came and the the Towers of Babel all fell, etc., etc., then people wandered further afield and started bumping into folks from other Glacial Edens who were scattered by floods and who once spoke the same language before their tower fell but didn’t anymore. I know. Stupid story. Don’t know where I got it.
    I still have a feeling that one Eden was on the shores of the Caspian Sea;-)

  5. Andrew says:

    This post could really mess up my weekend plans…

    Pretty cools stuff E.M.

    Last year I read some of Thomas Cahill’s work, including;

    I think I am going to have to pull that one off the shelf, along with my copies of The History of the English Speaking Peoples and get lost for a day or two and get back to you…

    Thanks a lot! I had plans to get some gardening done…


  6. Dave says:

    Heading to Ireland in June. Will be visiting ancestral home in Cavan. Can’t wait to see New Grange also. I participated in The Genographic project and I’m (like most others) (Y-chromosome) R1b (M343). Father is Irish/English and mother is Norwegian/English. The thing I have always found interesting is that my last name; which is not very common, is associated with Roman Coins or the bag that held them. The name is also in northern Italy, England, and France.

  7. Andrew says:


    “The thing I have always found interesting is that my last name….”

    My paternal great grandfather came from Lillihammer…and changed his last name so he wouldn’t sound like a Lutefisk eating Norseman or something. Then I got named after him; I don’t do the Lutefisk, but do like the lefsa and meatballs!

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    Has some observations on the Celtic language of the Iberian peninsula that tends to confirm the relationship with Insular Celtic (and thus the story of migration from Iberia to Hibernia…)

    Celtiberian (also known as Hispano-Celtic) is an extinct Indo-European language of the Celtic branch spoken by the Celtiberians in an area of the Iberian Peninsula lying between the headwaters of the Duero, Tajo, Júcar and Turia rivers and the Ebro river. This language is directly attested in nearly two hundred inscriptions dated in the 2nd century BC and the 1st century BC, mainly in Celtiberian script, a direct adaptation of the northeastern Iberian script, but also in Latin alphabet. The longest extant Celtiberian inscriptions are those on three Botorrita plaques, bronze plaques from Botorrita near Zaragoza, dating to the early 1st century BC, labelled Botorrita I, III and IV (Botorrita II is in the Latin language).
    Enough has been preserved to show that the Celtiberian language could be called Q-Celtic (like Goidelic), and not P-Celtic like Gaulish. For some, this has served to confirm that the legendary invasion of Ireland by the Milesians, preserved in the Lebor Gabála Érenn, actually happened.

    Since Brythonic is P-Celtic too, but as an Insular Celtic language more closely related to Goidelic than to Gaulish,[3] it follows that the P/Q division is paraphyletic: the change from kʷ to p occurred in Brythonic and Gaulish at a time when they were already separate languages, rather than constituting a division that marked a separate branch in the “family tree” of the Celtic languages. A change from PIE kʷ (q) to p also occurred in some Italic languages and Ancient Greek dialects: compare Oscan pis, pid (“who, what?”) with Latin quis, quid; or Gaulish epos (“horse”) and Attic Greek ἵππος hippos with Latin equus and Mycenaean Greek i-qo. Celtiberian and Gaulish are usually grouped together as the Continental Celtic languages, but this grouping too is paraphyletic: no evidence suggests the two shared any common innovation separately from Insular Celtic.

    Celtiberian exhibits a fully inflected relative pronoun ios (as does, e.g., Ancient Greek), not preserved in other Celtic dialects, and the particles kue “and” (cf. Latin -que, Attic Greek τε te), nekue “nor” (cf. Latin neque and Attic Greek μήτε mēte < μή mē "not" + te "and" < IE *kʷe), ve "or" (cf. Latin enclitic -ve and Attic Greek ἤ ē < Proto-Greek *ē-we). As in Welsh, there is an s-subjunctive, gabiseti "he shall take" (Old Irish gabid), robiseti, auseti. Compare Umbrian ferest "he/she/it shall make" or Ancient Greek δείξῃ deiksēi (aorist subj.) / δείξει deiksei (future ind.) "(that) he/she/it shall show".

    This implies that some of the shift (P/Q) was prior to migration.

    The Iberians traded extensively with other Mediterranean cultures. Iberian pottery has been found in France, Italy, and North Africa. The Iberians also had extensive contact with Greek colonists. The Iberians may have adopted some of the Greeks’ artistic techniques. Statues such as the Lady of Baza and the Lady of Elx are thought to have been made by Iberians relatively well acquainted with Greek art. Thucydides stated that one of the three original tribes of Sicily, the Sicani, were of Iberian origin, though “Iberian” at the time could have included what we think of as Gaul.

    The Iberians were placed under Carthaginian rule for a short time between the First and Second Punic Wars. They supplied troops to Hannibal’s army. The Romans subsequently conquered the Iberian Peninsula and slowly supplanted the local culture with their own.

    So those Iberian Celts had a LOT of contact with the Hamitic groups of North Africa… The Cathaginians were derived from the Phoenicians, first cousins of the Hebrews…

    Plenty of opportunity for a ‘not so exotic’ a story as a pharaohs daughter..

    That the Celts had a colony in Sicily is also intriguing. (Makes that odd connection between the Kennedy clan and the first Irish mafia, you know, that whole Valentines Day Massacre thing of Irish vs Italian mafia, a bit of a ‘all things old are new again’…) So we’ve got a long axis of ‘interface’ between Celts and Hamitic peoples. From soldiers in Egypt, to a Sicilian colony, to trade with North Africa, to time under Hannibal, to…

    There is also a connection via the ancient scripts of Ibieran Celts:

    Northeastern Iberian script and southeastern Iberian script share a common distinctive typological characteristic, also present in other paleohispanic scripts: they present signs with syllabic value for the occlusives and signs with monofonematic value for the rest of consonants and vowels. From a writing systems point of view they are neither alphabets nor syllabaries, they are mixed scripts that normally are identified as semi-syllabaries. About this common origin, there is no agreement between researchers: for some this origin is only linked to the Phoenician alphabet while for others the Greek alphabet had participated too.

    While this doesn’t support the “Story” of princes and pharaohs, it is supportive of a Hamitic influence on Iberian / Insular Celts. Perhaps over many hundreds of years.

    has some information on where the Phoenicians colonized Iberia and when.

    Colonizing and autochthonous settlements. Iberian, Greek and Phoenician culture.
    8th Century BC – 3rd Century AC
    Between the eighth century B.C. and the start of Romanization, in the third century B.C., three cultures converged in the Iberian Peninsula: that of the Iberian settlements, which was autochthonous, and that of the Greeks and Phoenicians, who established the cultural basis of the future Catalan territory.

    So the Phoenicians were on the Mediterranean side and the Celts were on the Atlantic side. I think “They’ve Met”…

    Since the end of the second millennium B.C., the Greeks and Phoenicians developed intense commercial traffic throughout the Mediterranean. The reasons that encouraged them to discover the western ‘Mare Nostrum’ were, on the one hand, the expansion of their commerce which was based on a manufacturing production system and, on the other, and moreover, the search for metals – copper and bronze – and other raw materials. After having founded various colonies in the North of Africa, the Phoenicians settled on the rich lands of Andalusia with an important base at Gades, from where they had a decisive influence on the development of the cultures of the Tartessian and Iberian peoples.

    And where is “Gades”?

    Just outside the Strait of Gibraltar and smack dab in the middle of Galicia…

    These folks have met A LOT and over a very long period of time.

    So at this point we have several modes of contact of Celts with Hamitic / Semitic people spread over many centuries and the entire length of the Mediterranean Sea (and even ‘out the gate’ into the Atlantic.)

    While it doesn’t support ( or deny ) the romantic “Story”, it certainly does support the notion of Insular Celtic as a ‘blend’ of some Semitic / Hamitic source language with a more “continental” Indo-European Celtic base.

    Frankly, given just the Phoenician colonies in Iberia more or less overlapping with the Iberian Celts, with lots of trade and even running off to attack Rome together: It would be hard to keep the two cultures and languages from approximating to some degree.

    Heck, Spanish and English have had overlap in parts of America less intensely than that and already you can speak Spanglish in many places (and we won’t mention the number of American words showing up in Spanish world wide… ‘computer’ anyone?)

  9. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:


  10. adolfogiurfa says:

    Before the Celts were the Ligurians.

  11. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Celts! Have sword will travel.Or maybe will travel and make swords? Not someone you would want to move in next door. Better trade him one of your daughters and make him an in-law! ;-)
    I always had a thing for cute little redheads. pg

  12. E.M.Smith says:


    Per Altantis:

    The timing places it at the end of the last Glacial, so sea level would have been much lower. It has the civilization as a seafaring one, based around a very large port city. Just outside the Strait of Gibraltar.

    Egyptian civilization almost certainly came from a Saharan base. At that time the Sahara was a rich and fertile plane with lots of large lakes in the middle. It suddenly started to dry up. The civilization there had to rapidly ‘re-candle’ and they did so: Into the Nile Valley. (Thus the “sudden” arrival of folks with a written language, emphasis on boats, established culture, long history, etc. etc.)

    So if Atlantis was “out there”, where do you find just “out there” a likely place for a large island, near the glacial ice, and now submerged?

    Well, many folks point at the continental shelf of Scotland, Ireland, and even Britain. (Ice was on top of Scotland, so tilted some of the south end of Britain a bit upward, too).

    That’s all in the same area as what we’re talking about here.

    But it doesn’t quite cover that whole “sinking into the sea” thing as it didn’t totally submerge, just had the shoreline move inland like everywhere else…


    Porcupine Bank is a now submerged area, with one big rock poking up above the water line, right on the margin of where the glaciers ended, and with a nice ‘dip’ in the middle that would make a dandy place to put a circular harbor.. see the image in the link:

    Note in particular “Porcupine Bight”. Another nicely circular ‘port’ area on the edge of the Irish part of the Continental Shelf.

    So, were I in charge, I’d have some folks with drills, dredges, and deep dive suits doing some investigating on the places where ancient rivers ran into those probable bays and see if I could find any artifacty stuff…

    That would also explain why the folks in the Canary Islands and the Azores are ‘candidates’ for being the remnant of old Atlantis. Such a sea faring empire based ‘out there’ would likely have had those as colonies.

    So that’s my ‘working hypothesis’ on Atlantis. (But I haven’t had time to make a full posting out of it…)

    Where did they go when the seas started to rise?

    Who knows.

    We’ve got indicia of them showing up in very small numbers in South America. There was a blue eyed tribe of “Indians” in Virginia when “Europeans” arrived post Columbus. The Northern Tribes built long houses in a European style and had more European features; so perhaps they are ‘left overs’ of a Clovis Solutrean group, or perhaps some “Atlantis” left overs having a ‘do over’ restart after straggling ashore. ( It would take a genetic map of those tribes to figure that out and I’m not sure there are enough pure types left – while digging up old Indian graveyards is forbidden by law…)

    I’d expect most to have ‘run ashore’ and some large number to have hopped into boats and headed into the Mediterranean. We find the same kind of (unreadable) glyphs on the Canaries as we find in Minoan-A (IIRC) and it may well be that the Minnoans were the remnant of Atlantis. (Seafaring folks, very advanced for their age, etc.) Some would have stayed in Britain following the retreating ice (depending on how fast that local ice retreated and soils would build up vs how fast the global ocean level was rising…)

    At that point you get three different speculative paths:

    1) Basque. There are some similarities between the Basque language and the bits of Minoan, similar culture bits (bull fights anyone?) and a similar “look” to the folks.

    2) Unique: They were the Minoans, unique, and when Santorini blew up and wiped out their power base, that was the end of that cultural line as others took over.

    3) Recandle and relabel: They moved somewhere else and reenter history as some group with do not think of as them. It could be the Celts (who SEEM to have a history starting from over near Switzerland / Austria and then spreading out, but could have arrived in ships into, oh, Southern France and then wandered into those inland areas in a pre-historic rush prior to settling down and restarting their civilization. Perhaps putting an emphasis on memorization vs writing, having just learned that the library of tablets had to be left behind…) That, then, makes much of the “arrival” of Celts into areas more an example of a new material culture returning to prior places. Or just as easily they could have gone in ships to the Levant and founded the Phoenicians or… It’s just too wide open to say.

    Personally, I’d bet on #2 with a possible for #1. The Egyptians knew about the Phoenicians and the Celts and they did not say those folks were the Atlanteans. If there is any image of that Egyptian and Atlantean doing battle, the ‘dress’ might say a lot.

    Oh, and I ought to add that since the Egyptians talk about the Atlanteans as “other”, the idea that Atlantis IS Egypt or a pre-Egypt is broken…

    Then there are the “Sea People” who raided Egypt at one point (and most of Europe… being only stopped at Egypt). One thesis is these where a remnant of Atlantis. Personally, I think the timing is off a few thousand years… Egypt already said Atlantis was sunk by then… More likely they were a polyglot group of folks desperate and looking for easy pickings by raiding during a ‘climate excursion’… but that, too, is not a finished exploration…

    At any rate, that’s my “Atlantis” dump. Ireland / Porcupine bank. Recandle as Minoans. Ended by Santorini.


    There is that curious almost identity between the Minoan Foot and the English Foot… inside a couple of mm of each other (and inside the CURRENT measurement error on the artifacts…) There’s a connection there… and why I’m so interested in the English Foot, the Rod, Stonehenge, et. al.

    And yes, Stonehenge was a astronomical observatory. It found the precession of the equinoxes. Most likely showed the “wobble” of the Earth and allowed the lunar cycle predictions (including at a minimum the 19 year cycle – there are 19 holes in the ground and we’ve found a ‘hat’ with the 19 year cycle carved into copper…) Were the OTHER major stoneworks around the world related? Perhaps. But, IMHO, via information sharing, not via mass population movements. We have a lot of evidence for small groups in a ship or two moving around, almost none for mass movements via sea over the major oceans (just over seas like the Black Sea and Mediterranean) until more recent “ancient history”…

    I would speculate they might even have worked out something like a Millankovitch cycle idea about why the ice had melted and flooded their world… They would have been able to show the lengthening day in the N. Hemisphere turning into a shortening day…

    (Damn… I was sure I could mention this and not turn it into a ‘posting in a comment’… ;-)

    Per “What we need to know”: IMHO knowing the limits of the past help to define that. So knowing that the Altanteans had ships with sails and navigated by the stars kind of places limits on their technology… and insights. But they do look to have been great stone cutters, navigators, and traders ;-)

    Per “redhair advantage”: That is a VERY complex topic.

    The “simple answer” is “European Clouds”. Europe has often been under cloud cover for long periods. Vit-D becomes an important limiting factor when you are covered in clothes and under clouds. A ‘redhead’ pale skin, exposed on the face only, makes enough Vit-D under cloudy sky. Dark skin dies of rickets. Put the redhead in the tropical sun, they die of skin cancer and the dark skin thrives. Oddly, in Asia with lots of sun at high latitudes, semi-dark skin is a nice compromise. So lots of sun off of snow, the Asian type is advantaged. When it’s mostly cloudy, though, the redheads win…

    (The long answer gets into the holographic nature of genetics and that the same melanin gene also causes changes in other enzyme systems. IMHO it also accounts for the, um, er, “irritable” character assigned to redheads and that, um, er, ‘aggressive / resistant’ character had some advantages too… Oh, and I suspect it accounts for the much higher hair / mm count and perhaps indicates a generally more ‘fine’ cellular structure with lots of other implications… think about the possibility if you had more, but smaller, neurons doing the same job in the same space… all terribly speculative at this point. Then again, it could just be because folks find it a lot more pretty… )


    Not so silly a story. The genetic history is far more of a mess than the present researchers like to admit. Just look at Mongolia. Lowest graves are Tocharian like. Redheaded guys, tall, in tartan. Top graves are all Asian (but with genetic markers from elsewhere..) In between, we find Asian Women joining the Redhead Guys. ( Nearby we find Asian types with some redheaded… and I have to wonder if there was some ‘wife swapping’ going on both ways…)

    Celts of Europe have ‘types’ all over the board. Some dark, some light, some red, some blond, some jet black hair.

    So look at what people do now. They trade goods, cultural items. And fall in love with “the one they’re with”. Guys from the Korean War and Vietnam War with Asian wives. Sheiks in Arabia picking up a blond or redhead from Europe from time to time. Various “bigoted” Southern Gentlemen (including a few Senators and a president or two) with some 1/2 black ‘love children’. The notion that ANY society even as long ago as thousands of years, was a ‘pure type’ is really rather silly. (Look at Rome and how it mixed up peoples. Look at the Ottoman Empire and how it mixed. Look at the Greeks visiting Egypt (and one presumes the other way as well).

    So looking at majority types can give an idea what happened, but the presence of minority types all over the place tells the richness of the texture.

    Heck, hit the link to the charts on genotypes and look at the Americas, then look at the similar wedges in Japan / Coastal China. It just shouts that there were two waves. An early land bridge central Asia one, then a coastal from Japan / China one. You can see the larger red wedges on the coast, fading inland, and no red wedges in the gap up north.

    Then there are those sporadic redheaded Polynesians ;-0

    Oh, and given how The Plague (actually a couple of them) changed the history of Europe it’s not at all out of place to think about how diseases might have had an impact earlier.


    You’re Welcome ;-)


    Well, my mothers maiden name is “The Big Guy who drags you to the Royal Court”… Basically, the Royal Bounty Hunter. Gets along well with Royals and can be polite, while smart enough to track down folks and big enough and liking a ‘tussle’ enough to not mind a bit ‘o rough and tumble..

    So you were the “money guy” and I was the one who told them to talk nice to you ;-)

    Gee, both “lackey to power” ;-)

    FWIW, the family history includes an assertion of Viking ancestry. Mom taught me about the Nordic Gods / Legends and we’re from the place where the Vikings landed… Mixing Vikings with Celts makes for some rather spunky folks… and a whole lot of history. Same Vikings went down the rivers into Russia (thus Rus, meaning “red” for their hair color). Mixing with the Slavs (who we can see via the closeness of R1A with R1B were ‘close cousins” of the Celts – and made beer together in what is now Bavaria / Czech Pilsen).

    So in large part the cold war can be seen a contest between the two lineages of Vikings. The “Celt-Vikings” and the “Slav-Vikings”… Which makes me wonder if the Slav tendency to redheads may extend back a bit further in time than the VIkings… and maybe some of those Thracians were proto-Slavs… but at some point the Celt R1b and Slav R1a merge and they were the same R unadorned folks. But… Kind of makes you wonder what it is about R1(whatever) that leads to cranky folks making empires… And can we get the Celt-Vikings and the Slav-Vikings to not pick fights with each other…

    But that’s another ‘not quite ready to be a posting’ bit of speculation to sort out…

    (For an interesting time, folks with Slavic ancestry ought to look at the rather frequent overlap of the “Slavic homelands” from the Balkans up to Czech and Slovakia and even on the north shore of the Caspian with where Celts ‘hung out’ about the same time. IMHO, the Celts and Slavs were one tribe no later than 18,000 years ago when R1b formed. They would have stayed the same tribes for some time, but eventually sort out. Yet as late as 4000 BC ( or 6000 years ago) we have Celts and Slavs and Germans meeting in South Bavaria and over into Czech and making large quantities of beer in what had to be one hell of a blow out party. These folks didn’t have a lot of ‘chip on their shoulder’ toward each other even as recently as 4000 BC. So did they still recognize the ‘common roots’ even then? Hmm….)

    At any rate, the “Slav-Celt” connection needs to wait for another day and more digging and another posting. This one was just pulling together the insular Celt / Hamitic – Semitic connections. But to say “They’ve met” doesn’t quite cover how much, how long, and how closely related Slavs and Celts were / are… (And might explain some of the tendency for France and Russia to periodically have mutual defense agreements even today… a cultural echo of times long past?)

  13. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, thanks! It’s something to have reduced you to one word… ;-)


    Some folks think the Ligurians were an early Celtic type. Not enough information to sort it out, but plenty to hint at it.

    @P.G. Sharrow:

    Known for great metalworking, the Celts came armed, and could make more as needed…

    One of the first things my Dad taught me (at about 8 years old) was how to tell a blade was properly tempered via ‘color’ and how to anneal a blade with fast edge cooling but slow spine cooling. (Hard edge, supple strong spine).

    And yeah, we have lots of in-laws ;-)

    How to stop a rampaging Celtic Army: Announce a party on the weekend, some beer provided, but “more is better if you can BYOB too”. Bread and BBQ ‘on the coals’ already.. Women warriors especially welcome… (Hey, they might want to take home a ‘trophy husband’ too ;-) Where to you think the interest in “Tall Dark and Handsome” came from ;-)

  14. George says:

    The islands that are now Majorca and Minorca would have been connected and much larger. Ibiza would also have been much larger but still separated from Majorca. Another possibility is the Islands of Sardinia and Corsica which also would have been a very large island joined together where they are now separate. A great candidate for the location of a city would be a point where I can see a river course which has since been flooded by the rising sea. If you load up Sardinia on Google Earth and look at the Northwestern corner of the island, you can see a river course cutting through the flat plain. That flat plain would have all been well above sea level during the last glacial period and that river would have likely made a good natural harbor there.

    All of the Canary Islands would have been much larger as would have been the Azores. There would have been a rather small island or chain of islands just outside the Pillars of Hurcules that broke the surface from a ridge that trails down from Southwest of Lisbon.

    One area that has really interested me is the area that is now under the Northern 2/3 of the Adriatic Sea. That area would have been absolutely perfect for human settlement. It would have been a very flat, very fertile plain fed by several rivers almost like the Mesopotamian region was. The other area that interests me is what is now the Persian Gulf. That area was also a very flat plain fed by several rivers.

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    An interesting Jewish connection. The Cohan Gene. J2 subcluster.

    This graph shows that at the destruction of the Temple, a load of Jews ran off to Phoenician Morocco…

    Then drift up into Iberia and off to Insular Celt lands. So there might well also be a bit of direct Hebrew colonizing of some areas about the time of the loss of the Temple…

    Gee, sure are a lot of connections between the Hamitic / Semitic area and Insular / Iberian Celt areas… Chart from here:

    (Which, oddly, has some Cohans with an R1b type… Ooops…)

    Advanced genetic testing, including Y-DNA and mtDNA haplotyping, of modern Jewish communities around the world, has helped to determine which of the communities are likely to descend from the Israelites and which are not, as well as to establish the degrees of separation between the groups. Important studies archived here include the University College London study of 2002, Ariella Oppenheim’s study of 2001, Ariella Oppenheim’s study of 2000, Michael Hammer’s study of 2000, Doron Behar’s study of 2008, Steven Bray’s study of 2010, and others.

    Key findings:
    The main ethnic element of Ashkenazim (German and Eastern European Jews), Sephardim (Spanish and Portuguese Jews), Mizrakhim (Middle Eastern Jews), Juhurim (Mountain Jews of the Caucasus), Italqim (Italian Jews), and most other modern Jewish populations of the world is Israelite. The Israelite haplotypes fall into Y-DNA haplogroups J and E.
    Ashkenazim also descend, in a smaller way, from European peoples from the northern Mediterranean region and even less from Slavs and Khazars. The non-Israelite Y-DNA haplogroups include Q (typically Central Asian) and R1a1 (typically Eastern European but the Ashkenazic variant comes from somewhere in Asia, probably Central Asia).
    Dutch Jews from the Netherlands also descend from northwestern Europeans.
    Sephardim also descend, in a smaller way, from various non-Israelite peoples.
    Georgian Jews (Gruzinim) are a mix of Georgians and Israelites.
    Yemenite Jews (Temanim) are a mix of Yemenite Arabs and Israelites.
    Moroccan Jews, Algerian Jews, and Tunisian Jews are mainly Israelites.
    Libyan Jews are mainly Israelites who may have mixed somewhat with Berbers.
    Ethiopian Jews are almost exclusively Ethiopian, with little or no Israelite ancestry.
    Bene Israel Jews and Cochin Jews of India have much Indian ancestry in their mtDNA.
    Palestinian Arabs are probably partly Israelite.

    Given that, it’s very unlikely that the Celts have any Hebrew male ancestors (though it looks like some Celts um, er, “visited” with some Cohan’s wives… given the couple of percent R1b found… in what ought to be an “all J all the time” patrilineage: Being a Cohoan is an inheritance only from the father and in theory back in time to one man… just like the Y haplogroup…)

    As “the Story” has a male Celt and female Hamitic / Semitic spouse, we’d expect Insular Celts to be mostly R1b. But this does tend to rule out the “Jewish Community there” thesis… as that would include both genders from Israel.

    Not surprisingly, Phoenicians are found to be type J as well:

    The authors used a variety of control tests to estimate the impact of Neolithic, Greek and other population migrations the the studied regions. They noted that only one Haplogroup, J2 consistently scored significantly in all their Phoenician-colony tests across the range of colonization sites.
    Pierre Zalloua and the Genographic Consortium have been hard at work trying to retrace the steps of the Phoenician civilization which dominated trade in the Mediterranean 2 to 3 thousand years ago. From their homeland in the Levant, they established colonies and trading posts throughout the Mediterranean eventually disappearing into history. Zalloua et al are attempting to find some genetic trace of the phoenicians by examining the Y chromosome of men from areas of known Phoenician settlement. Their results link haplogroup J2 and 6 specific Y chomosome haplotypes as having contributed >6% to the present day Y chromosome gene pool of the specific populations studied. The paper focuses on Malta, Tunisia and Southern Spain as phoenician influenced regions spreading from a Phoenician Heartland in present-day Lebanon. Some of the highest levels of Haplogroup J2 are provided in the supplemental data including 28% J2 in the area defined as the Phoenician Heartland, 22% in the neighbouring periphery regions, 37% in Cyprus, 32% in Malta, 14% in Coastal Tunisia and 11% in Southern Spain.

    So once again we get “It wasn’t Phoenicians moving to Ireland wholesale”…

    More of this is looking like either “They just talked a lot” or “The Legend is True and only Mom was from Africa”…

    Golly. We’re actually narrowing in on an answer…

    Now IF we could just narrow down the haplogroup of the women of Ireland and where they came from. (Unfortunately, one variant of the Story has Mom and Dad stopping in mid-Europe so the sons could pick up wives on the way. Which matches that large H bubble mid-Europe; but does nothing to disambiguate “talked” vs “The Story”…

    At this point I think I need to shift over to more detailed “digging” on the whole Pharaohs and Brides DNA thing… Either that or find some more details in the Stories that can be checked.

    Then again, I’m pretty comfortable with the notion that the original Goal has been met. Insular Celtic was influenced, one way or another, toward some Hamitic / Semitic features of grammar.

  16. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    How do you write these articles. That’s why I said WOW lol. Are you just one person ehhehehe it’s so detailed.

    Another interesting story is the one about how Jesus (if he existed there are questions whether he really even did) went to India

    I find the whole history of the Persian and Indian area very interesting, we are taught so little about this. I’ve been to India and the castles and walls were just amazing. I’d love to go to Iran to see things like Babylon etc but at the moment it’s not a good time to go (I’m not scared of the locals really, its a possible invasion lol)

    There is so little we know about history. Just because it’s in the “History book” its hard to change it if it is wrong since consensus science gets in the way sometimes..

  17. cm says:

    The trouble with the 12 Tribes of Israel theories is that there’s no actual proof that they existed, It started here,probably.Entertaining stories but lacking any proof. .Before christianity arrived on the scene,most rulers seemed anxious to claim the Trojans as ancestors.
    Check out the Deeds of Cuchulain,my favourite Irish myth,he seems like a mix of Achilles/Gilgamesh and Chuck Norris ;-). Cuchulain was originally named Setanta (aryan/indian?) . It’s also a good story to shame a drunken Orange Man into shutting his mouth ;-)
    Who were the Tuatha de Danaan ? This is what “The Book of the Takings of Ireland” has to say about them.
    “For the Tuatha de Danaan,as we have said,were the children of the grandson of Nemed,who went to the northern islands of the world learning druidry and knowldge and prophecy and magic,until they were expert in the arts of pagan cunning.There were four cities where they studied:Failias,Goirias,Findias,Muirias……” ,”Nemed was the son of Agnomain of the Greeks of Scythia” but annoyingly the same book also says
    “And the children of Bethac,who was son of Iarbonel the soothsayer,went into the northern islands of the world to learn druidy and heathenism and devilish knowledge,so that they were expert in every art;and they too returned to Ireland and became the Tuatha de Danaan”.
    To make it even more confusing the Fir Bolg were defeated by the Tuatha de Danaan but the Fir Bolg were descended from Semeon who also was descended from Nemed.
    Any excuse for a fight will do for us heathens in the north. :-)

  18. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    It’s amazing how some areas were just teaming with people, and now it’s just dust. People moved all over the place I think. And the channel was dry not that long ago.

  19. Scarlet Pumpernickel says: Did the tower of Babel also really exist?

    Was this the first UN LOL!

  20. E.M.Smith says:

    Hmm…. The mDNA has interesting ‘hints’ but not clear statement.

    Oddly, it tends to show a fairly long term “exchange” of DNA between some Celtic areas and Egypt.

    Remember above where we saw H, J, K, and T in both Insular Celt area and in Egypt? H is a very broadly present type over all of Europe. The interesting bits are in J, K, and T. One, T, is from “north Italy” (that’s where the Celts hung out). The other two originate “in the Near East” …

    So we’ve got some Italo-Celtic Women heading off to Egypt (perhaps in Battle Dress and looking for Mr. Tall Dark and Egyptian ;-) and we’ve got some “Near Eastern” women ending up in Egypt and in Western Europe. No real surprise there, either, as when the ice melted pretty much everyone headed out from the Middle East toward more northern areas.

    But of particular interest is the timing. Many of these dates are 17,000 ish years ago or more. DURING the last Glacial… So when they say T Tara is from North Italy, that was when the Alps had large glaciers, and before “Celtic” as a concept is clearly formed. (Yet later the area IS Celtic…)

    H: Mitochondrial haplogroup H is a predominantly European haplogroup that participated in a population expansion beginning approximately 20,000 years ago. Today, about 30% of all mitochondrial lineages in Europe are classified as haplogroup H. It is rather uniformly distributed throughout Europe suggesting a major role in the peopling of Europe, and descendant lineages of the original haplogroup H appear in the Near East as a result of migration. Future work will better resolve the distribution and historical characteristics of this haplogroup. Bryan Sykes in his Seven Daughters of Eve book named this mtDNA haplogroup Helena.
    HV: Mitochondrial haplogroup HV is a primarily European haplogroup that underwent an expansion beginning approximately 20,000 years ago. It is more prevalent in western Europe than in eastern Europe, and descendant lineages of the original haplogroup HV appear in the Near East as a result of more recent migration. One of the dominant mitochondrial haplogroups in Europe, haplogroup HV pre-dates the occurrence of farming in Europe. Future work will better resolve the distribution and historical characteristics of this haplogroup.
    J*: The mitochondrial haplogroup J contains several sub-lineages. The original haplogroup J originated in the Near East approximately 50,000 years ago. Within Europe, sub-lineages of haplogroup J have distinct and interesting distributions. Haplogroup J* — the root lineage of haplogroup J — is found distributed throughout Europe, but at a relatively low frequency. Haplogroup J* is generally considered one of the prominent lineages that was part of the Neolithic spread of agriculture into Europe from the Near East beginning approximately 10,000 years ago. Bryan Sykes in his Seven Daughters of Eve book named this mtDNA haplogroup Jasmine.
    J1b1: The mitochondrial haplogroup J contains several sub-lineages. The original haplogroup J originated in the Near East approximately 50,000 years ago. Within Europe, sub-lineages of haplogroup J have distinct and interesting distributions. Haplogroup J1b is found distributed in the Near East and southern Iberia, and may have been part of the original colonization wave of Neolithic settlers moving around the Mediterranean 6000 years ago or perhaps a lineage of Phoenician traders. Within haplogroup J1b, a derivative lineage haplogroup J1b1 has been found in Britain and another sub-lineage detected in Italy. Further research will better establish the relationship of these two geographically distant, yet evolutionarily related, haplogroups. Bryan Sykes in his Seven Daughters of Eve book named this mtDNA haplogroup Jasmine.
    K: The mitochondrial super-haplogroup U encompasses haplogroups U1-U7 and haplogroup K. Haplogroup K is found through Europe, and contains multiple closely related lineages indicating a recent population expansion. The origin of haplogroup K dates to approximately 16,000 years ago, and it has been suggested that individuals with this haplogroup took part in the pre-Neolithic expansion following the Last Glacial Maximum. Bryan Sykes in his Seven Daughters of Eve book named this mtDNA haplogroup Katrine.
    T: Haplogroup T is believed to have lived around 17,000 years ago in Nothern Italy. Tara’s people would have come from the Near East, and her descendents spread all over Europe. Bryan Sykes in his Seven Daughters of Eve book named this mtDNA haplogroup Tara.

    Given the way these types are spread around, it’s pretty clear to me that the Egyptians and Celts have been “mixing” for quite a while.

    While looking at the gene map of Europe again, I noticed a cluster of E3b type near Iberia…

    Click to access WorldHaplogroupsMaps.pdf

    E-M81 (E3b1b, formally E3b2)
    E-M81 (E3b2; referred to as a “Berber marker”), which reaches frequencies of up to 80% in North Africa. It is thought of primarily as a Berber haplogroup, and is most common throughout the Maghreb region of North Africa and is absent in Europe, except for the Iberian peninsula and Sicily. It is considered to have entered the European continent as a result of Islamic domination over these regions of Southern Europe.But an earlier arrival may have happened through the late mesolithic Cardium Pottery

    So it looks like some of those Phoenicians live on in Iberia…

    At this point, I’m at something of a dead end. Lots of evidence for various overlaps and both cultural and genetic ‘swapping’ and interactions. Plenty of opportunity for The Story to be true. Similarly some indications that there was long overlap of ‘language areas’ between Mediterranean Celts and Phoenicians.

    So at this point I’m going to declare the “goal” met: Plausible and likely.

    The question of The Story looks like it will need to live on…

  21. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M.
    “(The long answer gets into the holographic nature of genetics and that the same melanin gene also causes changes in other enzyme systems. IMHO it also accounts for the, um, er, “irritable” character assigned to redheads and that, um, er, ‘aggressive / resistant’ character had some advantages too… Oh, and I suspect it accounts for the much higher hair / mm count and perhaps indicates a generally more ‘fine’ cellular structure with lots of other implications… think about the possibility if you had more, but smaller, neurons doing the same job in the same space… all terribly speculative at this point. Then again, it could just be because folks find it a lot more pretty… ) ”

    Hmmmm… I had forgotten about the higher hair count. Perhaps that is because the odd strains of long, high cranial volume skulls — which happen to be red haired, by the way — were the last remnants of the lost Atlanteans. As they crossed with the “normal” skulled aboriginals, they retained the same number of hair follicles but only had half the skull to put them on, hence the high follicle count. They also retained a generally higher IQ, curiosity and creativity, which led them to be the explorers, the traders, and, often, the rulers.

    These long skulls are not to be confused with normal skulls which have been simply deformed by binding or pressing. They have a larger volume, different skull sutures and in addition, the jaws and brows are often heavy, almost Neanderthal-like. They have been found in South America, many in Malta, and even some in Siberia and the far east. My guess is that as they died off and/or interbred with the locals, the skull deformation custom was picked up as a sort of signifier of high caste. Note also the red tufa topknots on the Easter Island statues.
    As for the “Atlantis” idea, I do not really know much about that, and I certainly do not know what happened to its survivors, but I do suspect that there was — at least up until about 2,000 years ago — a sub-race of humans with massive brain size. I suspect that the adventures of the far-flung red-heads of the Earth may be those of the long-skull’s distant and much diluted decendents. The Celts have a better claim than most to being some of those great-great-grandchildren.

  22. E.M.Smith says:


    The Egyptian story, per the Greek retelling, puts Atlantis outside Gibraltar in the Atlantic. So yes, Sardinia, Corsica, etc. would have been much larger (and ought to have very interesting archeology just a couple of hundred feet down…) but they don’t fit the Egyptian narrative for Atlantis.

    (I know, some folks try to make other places ‘the Pillars of Hercules’, but if you read the WHOLE thing it not only says that, but says ‘in the true ocean’ and has other indicia).

    IMHO, the Persian Gulf WAS the Garden of Eden. The ‘4 rivers meeting’ described in The Bible matches a place just offshore of Iraq (there is an extinct 4th river found on satellite images, plus Tigress and Euphrates and one from Iran. All meet in ancient river channels off shore…)

    At times, the Mediterranean has been cut off from the ocean and then evaporates (so there is a lot of salt beds under the bottom sediments…). One thing I’ve not done is match the last date that happened to anything… or figured out what the Mediterranean height was during the last Glacial.

    This is complicated by the potential for the Straight of Gibraltar to have had the depth vary. (Erosion when it last had inflows, uplift or drop as continents move, sediments moving, etc.)

    IIRC best evidence was that it was open though the last Glacial. HOWEVER, the Egyptian Atlantis story talks about the path to Atlantis being shallow and muddy now, but ‘navigable’ then. A bit of a loose end to figuring out just which channel they were talking about… and it might also be that the HISTORY talked about “shallow and muddy now” but was written near the end of the last Glacial… we’ve got ‘relative time’ and no absolute anchor…

    If you look at this image:

    not only is the Adriatic fairly shallow over much of it (so a lot more land when the sea level drops) but look at the space between Sardinia and Africa. I need to get real numeric depths, but I could easily see that being ‘shallow and muddy’ when the water was part way up and the history being written in Egypt.

    It would be very interesting to see a European land outline / water depth map for about 20,000 years before present… done with accurate numbers. ( i.e. I’m lazy and don’t want to do it all myself… Maybe someone could find one? hint … hint… SP? Hint…)

    has a nice map. I think only the lightest blue 200 m depth marker would have been more or less dry during the last Glacial, so the space between Africa and Sardinia would be a narrow channel. Unless the last ‘filling’ is what scoured it to the present depth…

    The Adriatic is way shallow…

    is interesting because the first two shallow colors are light green, so what the land would have looked like. The only problem is that, while you can zoom in, the granularity stays as 1000 m chunks. Just too coarse as IIRC it was about 400 to 500 FEET of depth change (but don’t quote me on it).


    Just me, and it’s just how the Aspe brain works. I read very fast. LOADS of data loaded in one quick surge. It all gets “integrated AS it is input” so real time assimilation / integration. For some topics it happens “all in one go”, for others, where the ‘image’ doesn’t gel as quickly, it may be over weeks, months, or years. Seeing a spot here, a bit there, fitting bits into the image.

    Once the image gels, doing the “Google Dredge” for references and the “dump understanding and evidenciary quotes takes about an hour for a one page ‘shorty’ and about 12 hours for an article like this one. (Started at about 4 pm, finished at about 4 am; no, I could not interrupt the process easily… )

    So this article and it’s detailed understanding has been forming since I first ran into the ‘questions’ about 20 years ago (or maybe more). But I’ve only put ‘think time’ into it sporadically. Lately a lot of new tools became available (like the genetic mapping) so there was some hope of ‘finishing’. So last night the ‘language bits’ got documented and I’ve been adding in the genetic bits as ‘new learning’. Oh, and the history is about 1/2 of each. Celtic bits I’ve been paying attention to for decades. Things like Thrace and Scythians was ‘new to me’ as of about 2 days ago. So more “soak up, integrate, store image”…

    It’s what I do.

    If I wasn’t putting it in a blog, I’d be doing it all on my own, just not doing the links and text part. I’d have about 20% more time, but this lets me document links and text for my own future reference too. Not much of a ‘cost’ really. (It’s when folks want to endlessly bicker at me or toss rocks that I resent the ‘time cost’ as that’s just waste, and ‘waste is a sin’… )

    Per India: Someday… I’ve been looking at some similar history bits from India, the Indus Valley (where they have found a city off shore underwater from ‘before there were cities’…) FWIW, there is a Gospel of Timothy that says he ran off that way… Not in the Western Bible, but still attested. Complete with Christian Churches in India that trace their roots to it, and to Timothy… Then there is that whole ‘Muslim Invasion’ aspect. And the “visit” of Alexander… Oh, and they have the Vedas and an astronomy that is very interesting. The math / metrology system is a bit odd, but seems to accurately describe reality.

    So “someday”… when the image is full and bright…

  23. E.M.Smith says:

    @Jason Calley:

    Not to rain on your parade… but… (Whirrr of rain machine starting up…)

    is an MDs take on things. Two basic points (summarizing):

    1) Sometimes skulls form with poor or missing sutures in the skull and that can cause hydrocephaly. Hydrocephaly can cause the skull volume to increase during growth.

    2) Some of the elongated skulls show evidence of trepanation. This is often done to relieve hydrocephaly.

    The “easy conclusion” is that there were just some local folks with a suture formation problem and the rest is the result of various attempts at medical treatement.

    There are a lot of ‘odd things’ you run into with medicine (or farming / ranching for that matter) that the average person doesn’t even think about. It’s a good idea to check for medical issues before leaping to Space Aliens or New Species.

    Oh, and in some cases artificial skull deformation can cause the hydrocephaly that makes the skull inflate that…

    He does conclude that the process, done to a natural hydrocephalic, would likely have extended their lifetime significantly. So you may just be seeing the result of a natural response to a medical treatment for folks with a tendency to too few skull sutures.

    Oh, and it is important to recognize that even dark hair oxidizes to redish over time. Any claim that a very old mummy is a redhead needs to have a genetic test done to confirm / deny. It’s not enough to say it wasn’t mottled. It is possible to have even oxidation over long periods of time in enclosed spaces.

    Nice pictures, though. And I love the story… (He tries to put up an umbrella….)

  24. Sera says:

    ” Although most people in Pakistan’s high mountains have the olive complexions typical of rest of the country, the occasional blue eyes and blond hair stand out as genetic echoes of a long-forgotten past.

    The people here claim to be descended from the soldiers of Alexander the Great, who passed through these mountains on the way to India in the 4th Century BC. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Alexander did come through here, and some of his men stayed behind to establish the Greco-Indo kingdom of Bactria. Their legacy lived on in the great Kushan Empire, which clothed their statues of Buddha in Greek-looking tunics. But in truth, the blue eyes and blond hair probably trace their roots back ever farther than that, to the ancient invasions of the horse-riding Aryans, who crossed these mountains into India from the steppes of Central Asia, and their Indo-European cousins, the Tocharians, who were the earliest known inhabitants along China’s Silk Road. By the time Alexander showed up in this corner of the world, he would already have seen plenty of faces that looked familiar to a Greek.”

  25. Dave says:

    I feel like a kid with a balsa wood plane having a discussion with Boeing Engineers :-) Anyway…

    Some questions that come to my mind related to all this human pre-history:

    How many generations does it take for physical characteristics to be assimilated by a larger population? For example if someone of a distinctly different skin/hair color joins a group, how long until their descendants are no longer dissimilar?

    The same goes for facial characteristics, average height, etc?

    How many generations does it take before skin color will change due to environmental factors alone. If a group of dark or light skinned people move to a climate opposite than their original local, how long until that starts to impact their appearance?

    It has always been my opinion based on what I have read and know of ancient cultures; which I humbly admit is more than average but far from an academic level, that people were more advanced and organized much earlier than they are given credit for.

    How does the human population bottleneck play into this? What caused it? Was that global die-off the genesis for the flood myth found in so many cultures? Was it an asteroid hit? Super volcano? Pandemic?

    How many cultures were destroyed when the parts of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea flooded (how fast, if at all?) due to the rising of sea levels during the middle of the Holocene? Did it even happen?

    Did it happen in other parts of the world like it did in my neck of the woods? What was here before the flood?

    What other parts of the world now under 200+ feet of water hold answers to these questions?

    Am I citing Wikipedia too often? :-)

  26. E.M.Smith says:


    Rate of change of physical markers is highly dependent on the particular genes. Some are dominant, so will never “submerge” and only exit if selected against. Others are recessive, so even if selected against can return hundreds of years later. Others are ‘co-dominant and proportional’ so get blended.

    4 examples. Eye, skin, and hair color. Resistance to Plague.

    First, the easy one, plague resistance. There is a genetic marker with some name like W23 or some such that says if you have a CCR-5 mutation that protects against Plague:

    That same mutation also offers some protection against HIV.

    When the plague wiped out Europe a few times, some folks with this genetic mutation lived. Europeans in general now have about a 10% level of such folks (much more in some places that were heavily plague ridden…)

    Blacks had not plague, so no such selection. Ditto American Indians.

    So, if you have it, you get less of some diseases. IFF those diseases are ‘frequent’ you can end up with nearly 100% of the folks having that trait just as fast as you can kill off the others.

    AIDS is presently selecting for that trait in Africa… and it is part of why Black Africa has a higher AIDS rate than Europe. It is also selecting for that trait in Europe, but as they have a higher starting percentage, the selection will involve fewer deaths and happen faster.

    Once the disease driver is gone, the need for the trait is gone, and nature generally starts a slow drift away from it. (One could speculate why only 10% of Europeans presently have it might be due to some ‘cost’ to having it, and once plague was mostly gone that cost started pushing the other way…)

    So in that case “how fast” is entirely dependent on how often plague or HIV runs through (and maybe how fast IT evolves…)

    Yes, that was the simple case…

    Skin color is ‘co-dominant’ and ‘multi-allele’ (think of it as number of ‘votes’). So you have, say, 10 ‘votes’ for melanin. Zero gives you an albino. 10 a Saharan Black or an Outback Aboriginal. White Europeans are maybe a 2 to 4 and Asians about a 5, with Mexicans closer to 6 and you get the picture.

    So take a white at 2 and a Zulu at about 8. Crossing gives you an average of 5, so a middle brown. But nature does a bit of a dice roll. Some kids will get 6 or 7 and be darker, some will get 3 or 4 and may even be able to ‘pass’ as Latin or Arab or… Cross to white again, you can have some kids at a 2, and looking very European. The average will be 3.5, and max about 5, so mostly a ‘swarthy Italian” color (think Hali Berry… Coco…) Repeat again, it’s pretty much going to be ‘near European hint of good tan’. (Note that the racial laws of various racist countries often put the ‘limit’ at the 1/4 to 1/8 rate due to the simple difficulty of finding it after a few crosses. IIRC the USA was something like 1/16 in the more hard core places, but light colored folks would often ‘pass’ anyway.

    Going the other way: That initial average 5, crossed into another 8, gives an average of 6.5 and will likely include some 6 and some 7s. Going to look mighty dark mighty quick. That is part of why so many White Plantation Owners could have a passel of dark kids of theirs on the plantation and not too many folks would notice… (And they wonder why so many ‘house slaves’ were so well thought of… )

    Skin color is driven by two natural selections. Dark skin reduces skin cancer. Light skin reduces death from Rickets from vitamin D deficiency in low light places or cold lots of clothing places. Turns out, given the relative mortalities, you can figure out ‘how fast’ this drifts color.

    It’s about 25,000 years to maximum selection, IN EITHER DIRECTION.

    So all those pasty white folks who moved to Australia from Britain will end up Abboriginal Black in about 24,000 years. And all those blacks who move to Europe or Canada will end up white about the same time. And all the folks in California to Texas to Florida will end up Mexican Brown, one way or another. (The balance point between too much sun and too little selects for medium brown).

    This is also why Amazonia has browns, not blacks. Tree canopy makes for mid-level sun selection, despite being in the Tropics.

    (In reality, we are modifying the selective pressures with medical care, Vit-D fortified dairy products and pills, sun-lamps, sun tan lotion, living indoors, etc. but if we DID live outdoors, we’d change…. As it is, the living indoors puts more pressure toward white while the Vit-D foods pushes toward more blacks by removing selection against it and the net is likely a null).

    OK, there is a ‘redhead’ impact on skin color, but we’re going to come back to that after hair color, so this one stays medium-simple…

    Eye Color is rather like skin color, but just a bit more complicated. There isn’t just ONE pigment, but two. Melanin and the blue color pigment (the only one known in humans). So you can have multiple ‘votes’ for either, or both. A couple of ‘brown’ and you get light brown eyes. Many brown and you get nearly black color. A few blue and you get ‘steely gray’ eyes. A lot of blue and you get deep blue. Green? A tiny bit of brown and a lot of blue. (Think ‘yellow and blue make’… green. That’s part of why it is so rare. Just about any change of the ‘mix’ knocks it to blue or darker).

    Hazel is more brown mixed with blue.

    Now it gets fun…

    First off, the intensity of the blue changes a bit with sun exposure. ( I think the same may happen with the brown, but don’t know for sure). So you have an environmental impact rather like tanning on skin.

    This, however, can cause some Hazel eyes to shift between more ‘greenish’ and more ‘brownish’. There can also be irregular pigment deposition so you can get various ‘flecks’ of color, like golden flecks in a green field…

    But wait, there’s more… The natural zero pigment color of the eye is red, from the visible blood vessels. So an Albino gets red eye color. Now if you have just one or two ‘votes’ for blue and you mix that with a bit of red… Yes, those “violet eyes” of Elizabeth Taylor. Very Rare. I’ve only seen them twice. Once in Taylor when I met her in a restaurant. And once in a guy at a gas station. VERY attractive, but he was a guy, dang it…

    Also, if you have more than a few ‘votes’ for melanin, that completely masks and blue present. So two folks with dark eyes can end up with a blue eyed kid if they both contribute ‘blue’ votes in the dice roll of selection. ( I once met a very black lady with very blue eyes… somewhere in both her black parents backgrounds were blue eyed ancestors. She was startlingly beautiful, but terribly self conscious about her eye color. Pity that. With a bit of acceptance she could have had a gig in Hollywood, IMHO. She was prone to wearing dark glasses and most likely got dark contact lenses when they became available a couple of years later…)

    So a ‘semi-recessive’ like blue color happens when a darker pigment dominates the ‘look’ even though both are genetically being produced. This is really genetically a ‘co-dominant’ but in terms of effect it is more of a ‘quasi-dominant’…

    Ready for hair color?

    Hair color is a function of how much melanin produced AND hair shaft thickness. So make a medium brown melanin level like an Asian, but put it in to a VERY thick hair, you get the black hair of most Asians. Put it in a thinner hair, like Europeans, you get brown hair. Put just a little in that hair, you get a medium dark blond. Put the medium amount in a very thin hair, you get a ‘dark ash blond’ which is what I am…

    Put in nearly no pigment, you get a Platinum Blond. (Or have the pigment production fail over time you get white / grey hair)

    What about Red, I hear someone muttering…

    Well, all you have to work with is Melanin, so how can you get RED out of BROWN melanin when we’ve already said low levels give blond!

    And this is why I like the Redhead Gene as a genetic marker gene…

    It is a modified form of the melanin itself. The melanin gene itself has been subtly ‘broken’ so it doesn’t make a brown pigment, it makes a redish pigment. Now the fun begins…

    Put that in small amounts in very thin hair, you get a strawberry blond. Larger amounts give the “carrot top” (there are also a couple of minor variations that can shift the exact tone, but we’re going to skip that for brevity… no, it’s not too late ;-) Mix into very thick hair, you get the deeper richer reds. Have mostly votes for red, and a few for normal melanin, and you get the various shades of Auburn all the way to “Brown with red highlights”. ( Or in my case “dark ash blond with red highlights”)

    Think we’re done? Well, remember that complication I mentioned before?

    NOW it gets complicated…

    That same Melanin is used in skin color. So redheads also end up with a particularly ‘pink’ or translucent kind of skin color. It can be a startling ‘milky white’ or a surprising pink. It also means that sun exposure is just not going to do anything but make freckles (though light colored ones) and skin cancer. So redheads and sunbathing just don’t mix. At the same time, 20 minutes of sun on only an exposed face and we get a full load of Vit-D even in marginal conditions. We’re very well adapted to the Cloudy Far North…

    But wait, there’s more…

    The control of head hair is distinct from body hair and facial hair. Something similar happens in eye color. The two eyes are not exactly the same…

    So you can get more ‘votes’ of one color for one eye than for the other. Father-in-law had one greenish blue eye and one brownish hazel eye…

    I’ve got a much redder beard color than my head hair color (actual red, not just red highlights).

    So, how long to ‘select’ or to ‘blend and hide’?

    Say you have a 20% redhead population and they all marry non-redheads. The next generation there will be NO redheads.

    Every kid gets a fully functional copy of melanin from the other parent.

    That, btw, is why “redheads are dying out”. They are not dying out, they are blending in. Just like Neanderthals, the minority genes are blending into the larger pool.

    A couple of generations on, some lucky parents have their minority recessive Redhead Genes get together and “Surprise” those two brown headed folks have a redheaded kid. (Thus the ‘redheads skip generations’ aphorism) My wife’s mom- redhead. My Dad – redhead. Wife and I – both ‘mousy brown’. Daughter: Nice rich redhead with modestly auburn depths and dancing highlights… (Son is blond… yes, it too can ‘tunnel’ as the ‘how much’ dice are rolled)

    So you could try to select against Redhead, but it’s hard to do as it’s lurking all over the population. Easier is to select against the dominant form (as all you need to do is ONLY cross recessives with each other).

    This is part of why so many fancy breeds are a bag full of recessive traits. Easier to make a pure bred ‘whatever’ that breeds true… but I digress.

    So, how long to ‘blend and dilute’ a set of features depends on the particular features, and how often you accept a ‘surprise’ looks like granddads nose.. But as a general rule of thumb, from 2 to 4 generations or from 60 to 120 years for humans for first selection.

    Oh, and one final nice ‘rule of thumb’. IFF you have strong selective pressure ( like shooting anyone who is too short) you get the maximum response you are likely to get in about 20 generations. Less pressure, it takes longer to select. Doesn’t matter if it is bacteria and antibiotics, Germans and button noses / no semitic snoze allowed, or rabbits and large size. 20 generations. (Then the things you are NOT selecting for start to bite. So you get a great fancy dog, but hip displasia and not so bright… or a big bunny, but can’t dig it’s own burrow if it wanted to because that instinct got lost in the selection or…)

    So after about 600 years for humans, you will pretty much have just about whatever is selected. Meaning that 600 years from now folks ought to be able to eat “Fast Food” and not have heart problems while spending all day sitting in a cubical… It also means that if, for example, Arab Looking Types were crossed with Celts in Iberia about 400 BC, then moved to Ireland and (for whatever reason) redheads with button noses were the ‘preferred type’, you would by now have many Arab type genes that were NOT part of the selection packages showing up in redheads with button noses…

    And that is why folks look at the whole package of “Haplotypes” in judging ancestry and not just one or two specific genes. It’s also why the whole German / Nazi racial thesis was bunk. Jews were running around Europe well over 600 years by then and many had very “Aryan” features due to such mixing / selection. There was one embarrassing moment when they had an Aryan Poster Boy soldier with perfect Aryan features and Bright Blue eyes – and he WAS used on posters in uniform – and then found out he had a Jewish grandparent…. There were a lot of Jews who ‘passed’ as German, for obvious reasons. Less known, there were some folks rounded up for ‘wrong features’ who were not Jewish at all…

    At any rate, remember that 20 generations thing. Maximum in 20, but you get strong response in 10 generations.

    IFF you are selecting FOR a recessive trait, you can get a near perfect response in ONE generation (but you have to kill off or remove from the herd all the non-recessives…) And if the selective pressure is nil, you get no selection no mater how many generations. Mild selection takes 60 to 120 generations. Medium is 40. Etc. (There is an actual formula for this so given a specific rate of selection, such as skin cancer risk you can calculate exactly how long to turn white skin into black skin…)

    Per “gene bottle neck”: Doesn’t enter into this. It was WAY too long ago. Initially it reduces the ‘pallet’ you have to select from (so selective pressure have little effect as an homogeneous gene pool will all respond the same) but as mutations stack up, it can resume it’s normal effect. So what happened 100,000 years ago isn’t very important anymore…

    The human one was caused by a volcano, they think.

    “Ancient” people were substantially identical to us in intelligence and ability. Education was a bit lower for most, but fitness was greater.

    Most of the ‘floods’ took days to years to happen. Folks could just walk away from them. Did it destroy cultures? Probably no more than New Orleans culture was destroyed by Katrina. Wars have done far more cultural destruction.

    “The Flood” definitely happened. About 400+ feet worth IIRC. So San Francisco Bay was San Francisco Fertile Valley and a lot of folks had to move to the hills.

    As the Missoula floods were periodic, after the first one folks would not live in that scrubbed area… Not a lot of cultural impact.

    Per quoting wiki: It gives a quick reference, so I’m not bothered…

  27. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Dunno about this Africa thing that people originated from there. We only know what fossils we find. So for eg in europe or the tropics where there is a high turnover of vegetation, you won’t find fossils easily. In a dry area like Egypt or parts of Africa you can find the fossils easier. Try finding fossils in Netherlands, Germany, you have to dig quite deep.

    The Asian race could be coming from somewhere else. The Chinese with their Peking man really themselves don’t believe in the Africa theory and think that man started there.

    Also its strange for eg in parts of Asia like Philippines there are “indigenous” people who are darker, while the others are more Asian. Maybe it’s like your theory above about the Vitamin D, they changed with time as they came first. Or maybe these indigenous people came from a different source.

    Just shows how important Vitamin D is and the global epidemic of deficiency in the Western Population with their scared of the sun attitude. Most Melanomas occur in areas of no sun exposure. It could even be if you don’t have enough sun/vitamin D your more likely to get skin cancer in some instances, as Vit D is involved in a large portion of the genome.

    India, there are some amazing cities there. In particular my favorite was Rajasthan.

    The Pink city Jaipur with the wind palace

    The Blue City Jodhpur (by the way painting the city blue actually repels the mosquitoes)

    Venice of the East Udaipur

    And Jaisalmer which looks like it came out of fairy tale

    By the way Varanasi (in a different area) has to be seen to be believed, the Las Vegas of India, but u will see dead bodies or the dying in a different light

  28. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    My fossil thing as well. For eg. Costa Rica, there is only one site there and its pretty crappy. Try finding a site in Costa Rica with the forest and the volcanoes and landslides. Places like that where things grow well and the ground moves a lot. Same with Indonesia, its really hard to find fossils. Even New Zealand. We presume everything is 1000 years old because that’s all we can find….

  29. carol says:

    I have on my bookshelf a book written by an Irish American with the name of John Philip Cohane, ‘The Key’ Turnstone Books:1973. It covers almost exactly the same subject as in the first part of your post – the roots of the Irish, in one respect, and what is the Irish link with Hebrew, or Heber and Hibernia. The author is described as coming from Connecticut and working for most of his life in an advertising agency in New York. He resettled in Co Limerick where he became a writer and researcher, writing a considerable amount on Irish history and becoming involved in several irish archaeological digs. He wrote for magazines, the theatre and for tv, and was a keen part time sailor. In ‘The Key’ he says that while researching another book on Irish roots he came across evidence of what he says are a series of key words and place names that looked to him like they had been brought into Ireland and Britain from the Mediterranean in prehistoric times. The key words and names appear to be semitic in origin he said, although it may be possible to associate them with the first farmers. After 5 years of research in a number of countries and numerous correspondences with other scholars in various other parts of the world, Cohane came to the conclusion that long before the voyages of the Greeks and Phoenicians there were two major dispersals of people, one of which was world wide. These people, he said, were sailors and traders.
    However, the problem with all this kind of stuff is where do you draw the line between mythology (the gods) and human activity (legends). At what point were the old gods humanised – and in the case of Ireland provided with a good Christian pedigree. The answer to that is likely to be the early Christian era (5th to 10th centuries ad) (see Thomas Cahill, ‘How the Irish Saved Civilisation’). Hence, we can imagine monks in candle light updating the old pagan toales and playing around with the chronology of events as that we have an Irish flood dated to the time of the Biblical flood and a story of a tower in the sky to compare with the tower of Babel – or with the pillar of fire and light that was visible to the Israelites during the Exodus from Egypt. Now, Mike Baillie has written a nice book on Irish myth, (Patrick McCafferty and Mike Baillie, The Celtic Gods: Comets in Irish mythology’ Tempus:2005). Sorry for being so longwinded but they might enlighten this study a piece. Baillie goes so far as to identify the tower in the sky, visible in the sky from Ireland in the general direction of Spain as the coma of a comet which suggests that a comet came close enough to earth which presumably left an impression on those people who witnessed it. Now, the Lebor Gabala and other monkish collections of pagan stories duly provided with a Christian veneer appear to have turned what were once bright objects in the sky into people – aided and abetted by story telling. The Milesians for example, and the tuath de Danaan which appears to mean something like offspring of the goddess Dan-ann (otherwise Ainu consort of the Dagda). In other words ‘little bits’ of the goddess – and if that goddess, very bright with flowing long hair, was originally a comet the offspring would have been the meteoric material left behind in the sky after her passage, the train of the comet. In effect, small bits of dust, rock and ice that for centuries afterwards caused shooting stars whenever the orbit the earth encountered the leftovers (much like modern shooting stars derive from more recent passages of comets left behind as dusty strings of material in space). Obviously, far fetched stuff like this cane too easily be described as nonsense, fanciful, pseudo science etc. Yet McCafferty and Baillie, and Dorothea Kenny (another Irish American) have done just that – looking at all the more famous of the Irish hero gods, and those of their neighbours, and seeing them in terms of comets. Cuchulainn for example, Finn, Cormac, Angus, Merlin, Arthur, Beowulf, Thor etc.

  30. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M.
    “Not to rain on your parade… but… (Whirrr of rain machine starting up…) “

    Rain? Ha! I laugh at rain! At least as long as it is a gentle rain (such as you dispense), and not one of the downpours I used to get from the first wife. I gave her a ring and received a wring in return. :)
    is an MDs take on things. Two basic points (summarizing):
    1) Sometimes skulls form with poor or missing sutures in the skull and that can cause hydrocephaly. Hydrocephaly can cause the skull volume to increase during growth.
    2) Some of the elongated skulls show evidence of trepanation. This is often done to relieve hydrocephaly.
    The “easy conclusion” is that there were just some local folks with a suture formation problem and the rest is the result of various attempts at medical treatement.

    By the way, what an interesting site, the “” is! If you get a chance, the page on skull shape vs race even makes some observations on skull shape related to propensity to certain diseases and to singing abilities. Fascinating!
    I would disagree with the good doctor for a few reasons. He says, “But it was the open state of the sutures of the artificially deformed crania from the former indigenous people of Peru and Bolivia that started me looking into hydrocephalus and the role of venous drainage problems in neurodegenerative diseases.” In the case of the long skulls, what we have is not open sutures, joints that did not close (a clear sign of interior pressure), but rather sutures that are not there in the first place. The sagittal suture is not only not open – it is not even there! The less extreme long skulls, which I presume to be a cross of LS and ordinary skull, have intermediate sagittal sutures. I have been unable to find this missing sutures on reports of modern hydrocephalics.
    If you do a quick Google search on images of “hydrocephalus skull”,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=aa5f1042778877a1&biw=1360&bih=629 you see that there are indeed a few pictures of the ancient long skulls included in the mix. Compare the ancient skulls to all of the modern skulls. To my eye, they are not the same. The modern examples are more rounded, more “water balloon” shaped, while the ancient skulls look long, extended upward and backward. In addition, I would say that the ancient skulls that are pictured are not as extreme an example as some of the long skulls. They are perhaps the “mestizo” cross of long skull and homo sap sap. I have on occasion seen pictures of ancient skulls which mirror the modern hydrocephalitic, and my response is always, “poor chap, obviously hydrocephalus.” The point being that yes, there are in fact some old hydrocephalitic skulls, but they do not look the same as the LS.
    As for the trepanning, that was practiced on a relatively high percentage of skulls in South America. While it is certainly possible that it was used in treating hydrocephaly, we know for certain that it was used to treat blunt instrument trauma – and a culture which used slings as one of its primary weapons had a lot of blunt trauma! The doctor also remarks that due to this treatment, “the patient lived well into adulthood with hydrocephalic type conditions. This is far longer than modern medicine could keep them alive.” Here we have a person who lived in a culture which experienced high rates of blunt trauma, an injury routinely treated with trepannation, a person who lived to an old age, older than with modern treatment for hydrocephaly. Maybe he did not have hydrocephaly and was simply injured in battle. If the doctor had a female LS with trepanning, that would be better evidence (though still not airtight) since females were not normally in battle and less likely to be wounded in that particular way.
    Another factor that makes me tend to doubt the hydrocephalus explanation is the fact that these skulls are found buried as apparent families, and also found in many parts of the world. I am not ready to accept whole families of hydrocephalics, all with skulls deformed by both water pressure and binding into a specific form, scattered around the world. The reports from Malta a century ago describe a total of 600 or so such skulls all found together buried in the Hypogeum. Difficult to explain by hydrocephaly, unless there were some sort of big-head treatment center there….

    “There are a lot of ‘odd things’ you run into with medicine (or farming / ranching for that matter) that the average person doesn’t even think about. It’s a good idea to check for medical issues before leaping to Space Aliens or New Species.”

    I agree with the existence of small, unimagined factors in areas of expertise different from our own. Remind me to sometime tell the story of the neolithic village with the odd depressions in the dirt… And no space aliens! I see no reason at all to invoke aliens! The plasticity of life on Earth is MORE than enough to allow wiggle room for one more small branch of humans.

    “Oh, and in some cases artificial skull deformation can cause the hydrocephaly that makes the skull inflate that…
    He does conclude that the process, done to a natural hydrocephalic, would likely have extended their lifetime significantly. So you may just be seeing the result of a natural response to a medical treatment for folks with a tendency to too few skull sutures.”

    And he may even be right… but I think it is still more of a grey area. My broad areas of disagreement are these. First, these old skulls do not look like and are not shaped like modern skulls of similar patients. Secondly, the only way I see to get this shape is through a combination of water pressure and binding. These skulls turn up in very distant sites; did they all do binding? Thirdly, these skulls range a wide range of ages; the people involved have a similar share as infants as well as as old people. Fourth, these skulls include common representatives of patients who lived in advance of modern treatment. Given modern medicine, while this is possible, is it reasonable? Fourthly, burial details of these LS associate them with respected – and more importantly, functioning – royalty and upper class. While we do indeed have “Hapsburg Jaws” in royal families, something as serious as hydrocephaly (with its associated brain damage) in a preindustrial civilization would preclude effectively holding power. Fifthly, the sagittal suture is missing, not malformed. Sixthly (and more tentatively), on the more extreme LSs (ie, those which I have assumed (perhaps wrongly) as less “crossed”) other skull features appear which are not usual; heavier jaw bones, heavier brow ridges, reported molar differences.
    All in all, while I do not see any reason to suppose aliens or ghosts or bigfoots were involved, I do think that there are enough bits that just don’t fit the simple “these are examples of hydrocephalus” theory.

    “Oh, and it is important to recognize that even dark hair oxidizes to redish over time. Any claim that a very old mummy is a redhead needs to have a genetic test done to confirm / deny. It’s not enough to say it wasn’t mottled. It is possible to have even oxidation over long periods of time in enclosed spaces. ”

    No argument, that is a judgment call and one which could very well be wrong. How much mottling? How much oxidization? That needs more data. Actually, the whole subject needs more data – especially genetic testing for similarities or differences to modern geneotypes.

    “Nice pictures, though. And I love the story… (He tries to put up an umbrella….)”

    No umbrella needed – and yes, I like the story too. I was pleased with the hair follicle idea. :) Since it is raining, I’ll just get a bar of soap and lather up…

  31. George says:

    Most of the ‘floods’ took days to years to happen. Folks could just walk away from them. Did it destroy cultures? Probably no more than New Orleans culture was destroyed by Katrina. Wars have done far more cultural destruction.

    The problem is twofold. First, many of these areas were extremely flat so that a very small rise in sea level could flood a very wide area. Secondly, people are territorial. When sea level rise begins to push one tribe into the territory of another, war often results.

    From Wikipedia:

    Meltwater pulse 1A was an instance in the sea level rise of about 20 m in less than 500 years, perhaps just 200 years.

    Even 1 meter of sea level rise over the lifetime of a single human lifespan would be huge to populations living in very flat areas near the sea.

    The problem with the Atlantis legend is that there is no submerged land mass that would account for the story. I believe it is a collection of many different stories handed down for generations from when sea levels were rapidly rising. Remember what happened in the M8 earthquake on Crete in 365AD. That probably wasn’t the only time over the course of human existence in that region that such a thing had happened. Combine a quake and tsunami like that with a period of general sea level rise and you have the makings of one hell of a legend that gets passed down from generation to generation.

    This indicates that the tsunami of AD 365 was generated by an earthquake in a steep fault in the Hellenic Trench near Crete. The scientists estimate that such a large uplift is only likely to occur once in 5,000 years

    Hmm. That seems to fit about when the flood story seems maybe to have happened. How big was the tsunami?

    The Crete earthquake was followed by a tsunami which devastated the southern and eastern coasts of the Mediterranean, particularly Libya, Alexandria and the Nile Delta, killing thousands and hurling ships 3 km (1.9 mi) inland. The quake left a deep impression on the late antique mind, and numerous writers of the time referred in their works to the event.

    Now imagine a similar thing happening thousands of years earlier. Rapid sea level rise stopped about 8000 years ago. About 11,000 years ago we see the seas rising again at a rapid rate after having been roughly stable for about 1000 years or so. So … things are stable for about 1000 years, a longer time in those days because lifetimes were shorter, generally. Now we suddenly see a period of rapid sea level rise (roughly the second half of post-glacial sea level rise happening in 3000 years) and at some point we see a huge quake and tsunami that destroys a city that the sea eventually swallows. Sea levels are currently about 60 meters higher than they were 11,000 years ago. So my guess is that whatever city or cities (such as they were between 7 and 11 thousand years ago) gave birth to the Atlantis legend are between 40 and 60 meters under the sea and are actually likely in the Med, not the Atlantic. There simply isn’t a landmass that would account for such a place just outside the Pillars of Hercules.

    My guess is that it was an island in the Med that was much larger at the time or it was actually a coastal city that became an “island” over time from the legend changing over the generations. It probably happened between 11000 and 6000 years ago and it was likely caused by the same megathrust fault as caused the 365AD quake and tsunami in the same region.

  32. George says:

    “Hmm. That seems to fit about when the flood story seems maybe to have happened. How big was the tsunami? ”

    By this I mean, one 5000 years earlier.

  33. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Don’t you think it’s strange that Ephesus was a harbor and now its a few kilometers from the sea? They say silted up. But I think there is more to it?

  34. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Lots of things in the Med which can cause strange events. Santorini also is not the only Greek island that was active in the past there are several other dormant ones today that have hotsprings etc..

  35. H.R. says:

    Busy watching “Lord of The Ring; Return of the King.”

    After reading this post and comments…. very Celt.

    As Spock would say, “Interesting,”

  36. tckev says:

    When AMD first put a processor called llano I pointed out to others that this was a strange name, as in Welsh this means below. Of course everyone pointed out the Spanish meaning is flat (as in a flat grassy area).
    That got me thinking, and I found a few bits of information. There appears to be a common link through the language of Ladino, an ancient Hebrew/Spanish hybrid language. There is, apparently other versions of Landino incorporating old French, Portuguese and Greek with Hebrew in each.
    I have tried to find out more of this (these) language(s) and it dispersion within the Celtic languages and there very little to go on (more dig here). You may find this a useful strand to investigate.

  37. tckev says:

    You may be interested in what is said about the Tartessian language of Spain
    “The Tartessian language is the extinct Paleohispanic language of inscriptions in the Southwestern script found in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula: mainly in the south of Portugal (Algarve and southern Alentejo), but also in Spain (south of Extremadura and western Andalusia). There are 95 of these inscriptions with the longest having 82 readable signs. Around one-third of them have been found in Early Iron Age necropolises or other Iron Age burial sites associated with rich complex burials. It is usual to date them from the 7th century BC and consider the southwestern script to be the most ancient paleohispanic script with characters most closely resembling specific Phoenician letter forms found in inscriptions dated to c. 825 BC.”
    There is more at –

    where they explain that some believe that this is pro-celtic language.

  38. Big Al says:

    So how long did it take for you to put this post together? It’s the short of topic that you can chew on for along time. Do you have a pile of topics in the works? And where do you get the time for this?

  39. dougieh says:

    wow, great info again E.M. & commenters (love history & the unknowns).

    only thing i would add is the dearth of info on the picts, knowledge of which i’ve been looking for.

    anyboby got up to date info?

  40. E.M.Smith says:


    It’s been an interest of mine for while now. Per the picts: The best evidence is that they were a Celtic group (mostly arguing about insular vs mainlands Celtic languages), but it has ‘oddities’.

    My interpretation on it, taken as a whole, is that it has been a mixed group for a long time, by when the Irish came along. You had Scandinavians running around for a long time before the Viking era. Furthermore, the Phoenicians were ‘out the gate’ long before that too.

    The key bit for me, though, is that the whole Germanic language family has a ‘sub-stratum’ influence that looks to be Semitic in type (per “Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue”) along with evidence for Phoenician mining operations in areas ‘outside the gate’ as well.

    So put it together, and you have Phoenicians going through the straits of Gibraltar, doing mining and trading. Then some Indo-European speakers show up and the 7 case 3 genders highly inflected I-E turns nito 4 case 3 gender German and even fewer cases and genders other northern Germanic languages. Degree of simplification proportional to ‘closeness to coast’.

    The implication is that there was someone ‘else’ living on the coast, speaking a Semitic Language and these two groups blended some.

    THAT then implies Phoenicians and / or ‘the blend’ on the Islands of the UK and Ireland. Ergo, the Picts are a blend of Phoenicians and Celts perhaps with a bit of Scandinavian / N. Germanic on the edges.

    That would also explain how the language was mostly Celtic but with an ‘unknown’ substratum that has hints of Germanic and of “something else”…

    Unfortunately, data on Picts is a bit sparse, being from before the Celts and Vikings arrived “only” a few hundreds to thousands of years ago…

    Their matriarchal society and fine metalworks also look Celtic.

    At any rate, that’s my take on it. If someone can dig up a Pictish skeleton or two and do a DNA run on them we could sort out a lot.

    @Big Al:

    The brain just works on things that interest it. 24 x 7 more or less. Different topics have different lifespans. So for example the recent “Whining on wine” posting was based on several years of prior awareness and learning about things like ‘degree-days’, growing up in a Ag town, going to an Ag College, and taking Viticulture and Enology while there. Then I ran into a ‘news crawler’ about the crop being down. Took about 1 hour to find related links in news articles, make a posting and proof read it. Do do you count that as the 1 hour, as a few weeks of watching recent weather news, or as 50 years since I first started learning about how gardens grow?

    In this posting, I first started being interested in Gaelic about age 12. Learned a bit of the language and history about age 30. Ran into the Phoenician / Irish / Iberian connections about 10 years back. Then for the specific bits here did a few hours of web dredging. (Other bits like various religion and genetics links have similar ‘roots’ including a couple of Upper Division genetics classes at University). So, is it a ‘few hours’ spent actually making the posting / dump after an hour or two on the most recent bit of information? Or is it 45 years of “pondering”? Or the “couple of years” of learning the various parts of background understanding?

    It is a lifetime of being an information sponge running into a recent trigger, then “some assembly required”…

    Oh, and that I had 4 or 5 majors in college (and took an extra year or two to get done because of that…) doesn’t hurt. Oh, and that I liked to go to the library and read the Encyclopedia for fun, topping it off with ALL the recent “tech and science” magazines… (For years I read every Scientific American that came out – circa 1960 to 1975 ) While other kids were memorizing batting averages, I was learning how to build radios and what atoms were made of and the anthropology of various cultures and …

    So, in that context, what do I have “in the works”? God I don’t know… the brain has a thousand and one things that have interested it over 1/2 Century and then some new bit comes along, gets integrated, and when an “Ah Hah!” Moment comes, it gets documented (and spruced up a bit…) So right now I’m interested in, mostly, genetics issues (especially in farm critters / plants and ancient humans) and the Plasma-Universe and does reasonable evidence support the notion of our sun as a Supernova Remnant? Oh, and ‘minimalist survival tech’ along with markets and investments. Oh, and an in depth understanding of the Political Economy of the Socialisms (my degree is in Economics, at least, the one I ended up with at the finish ;-). Oh, and languages and their history and structures (with particular interest in what language provides the most efficient and effective reasoning tools along with some interest in artificial / constructed languages) Oh, and {a whole lot more}… Militaria, munitions, how cultures evolve and why it leads to wars, what wars we are about to have, and how they connect to roots in W.W.I and even the Napoleonic wars. Chemistry and neat things you can do with it. Geology. Geology of the Universe (class at University – included star life cycles and formation of elements). Structural chemistry of drugs and diseases (how cell surface structures enable infection, for example). and…

    Hope that helps explain things ;-)

    Oh, and interesting engines, fuels, and vehicles… and…

    Where do I get the time? Well, I don’t sleep much and the brain keeps working on interesting question even when I am asleep… So sometimes I dream about current topics and wake up with an “Ah Hah!” integration solution. (While others dream of a new car, or new mate, I dream of being a Celt in ancient Iberia and how it would be, integrating all I know; or dream of how to make ‘cold fusion’ happen at the nuclear level, or… ) I can’t even stop it when awake. I may be “thinking” about a ‘top layer’ topic like “how do I code this sub-routine” but the bored part of my brain goes off to think about “Who were the SeaPeople and how can you tell if they were Phoenicians, Celts, or what?” Once, taking the kid to see the X-Games, I brought along a ‘how to learn Greek’ book to pick up some Greek during the “slow bits”… So I can now read some words in Greek, but not whole paragraphs (and only a few short sentences). So it’s a 24 x 7 non-stop compute process. Oh, and I’m fairly certain that both sides of the brain have language centers (bout 10% of the population are like that) and can run independently. Sometimes one side runs on one problem while the other deals with reality… When paying enough attention in meetings to ‘get the information’ I can also be working on other more interesting things. The facial expression tends to blank a bit then, so I’ve learned to “put on an interested face” and slowly have it track emotional tone of the presenter while not ‘thinking’ about it. Before that, teachers would sometimes “pounce” asking “what was I just saying”, so I’ve also got a 30 second sound buffer I can ‘replay’ when challenged. First time I used it the presenters were a bit spooked… As it is ‘direct sound’ it comes out with exact wording, intonation, etc. Comes in very handy when the “two halves” ended up both thinking about non-presentation issues ;-)

    Only downside is that I have trouble stopping it… I can slow it down. (Being drunk does that, so can give a bit of ‘peace’) Good news is that now that I’m “old” it’s naturally slowing down to more “normal”. I’ve also learned certain “mantra” like things that let me ‘clamp’ it a bit. (Some card games can keep the ‘processor’ busy enough for me to ‘just be’… Freecell is slightly addictive that way. Things become “quiet” then… )


    I’ll take a look… sounds interesting…


    Anywhere plates collide, you have ongoing activity. The Africa plate is whacking into the European area. So has been, is, and will be active. With volcanoes behind any subduction zone.


    Authors often pick old semi-gone cultures as a base (especially if their own history…) But yes, The Celtic Thread runs though much…


    The problem with the Mediterranean Thesis of Atlantis is that the legend specifically said the circular port was near giant walls of ice… that implies near the glacial edge. The only place with an ocean / sea near the glaciers is in the Atlantic…

    Were it not for that bit, I’d also be more inclined to the Mediterranean thesis.

  41. E.M.Smith says:

    In “looking over” various languages that might be a candidate for the ‘substratum’ of Gaelic that was non-IE, that is, Hamitic / Semitic, I’ve run into an odd point.

    The Berbers are attested for a fairly long time, have a Hamitic language (somewhat related to Phoenician, yet quite distinct) and are “in the right places” including outside the straits of Gibraltar AND as the original language of the natives found on the Canary Islands:

    As the natives, when found, talked of a great empire that had collapsed in a catastrophe, there has been some speculation that it was the original home of Atlantis. There language was written in a script like that of Linear-A (an undeciphered pre-Greek Minoan writing system). The natives, when found, could no longer read the inscriptions…

    So there may be reason to relate Berber with the Atlantis myth (and it might be worth while to compare “proto-Berber” to Linear-A and see if it ‘works’…)

    The Roman author and military officer, Pliny the Elder, drawing upon the accounts of Juba II, king of Mauretania, stated that a Mauretanian expedition to the islands around 50 BCE found the ruins of great buildings, but otherwise no population to speak of. If this account is accurate, it may suggest that the Guanches were not the only inhabitants, or the first ones; or that the expedition simply did not explore the islands thoroughly.

    OK, so speculating… IF it were a Berber like language and had great buildings and a related writing system, might not the connection ‘run the other way’? That the Berbers were the ‘remnant’ that came ashore in North Africa?

    And perhaps their ancestors also landed on the British Isles? (This might also explain why Sean Connery looked so “right” as a Berber in “The Wind and the Lion” ;-)

    So for a while, I’ve been looking for languages that have ‘indicia of Anglicisms’ in them. Something that had that non-indo-european “something” that is found in English (and is Gaelic oddities too). Looking at Berber is suggestive, but frustrating too:

    Only a few dialects are significantly preserved, and many of them heavily contaminated with Arabic loan words and grammatical / pronunciation shifts.

    Yet, in reading about their grammar and such, there was something “familiar”…

    I’ve not fully absorbed it yet ( it takes a lot of time and effort to compare several languages when you speak none of them…) but there are hints. Counting by tens (instead of the Celtic ‘by twenties’). The way gender is marked and the way inflecting for plurals is done (reminds me Germanic, the English root also thought to have a Semitic / Hamitic influence… so ‘-en’ as a plural marker was familiar)

    Perhaps its just too far back in time to see the image with clarity, or perhaps it’s just some random connective bits (so not a real image to be seen)… but it looks to me like a “Berber / Ancient English” and / or “Berber / Insular Celtic” connection is ‘probable. Reading bits of the examples of Berber languages there were just bits that ‘seemed right’.

    But there are many dialects and they can vary quite a bit. Two seemed ‘closest’ to me, but for ‘different bits’ of the relationship. In particular,

    has a usage of T that can have both T and Th sounds. Putting a T front and rear makes a male term the feminine (to amazigh to tamazight ). That Th sound is rather uniquely English in the Germanic languages…

    The use of ablaut to shift meaning ( ring rang rung) is also present. also called apophony.

    I’ve been looking for a ‘root language’ that had the ‘three vowel system’ for a while now. I think I’ve found it…

    Another “to do” would be to compare the old writing system of Berber to the ancient inscriptions found in the Canaries and in Scotland:

    to see if the sound system matches and / or if some of the old indecipherable inscriptions can be deciphered as Berber. In that context, one of the minor Berber languages has consonant duplication on some words. At least on of the old Scots inscriptions has a bunch of ‘meaningless’ consonant duplications…

    I also note that the two linked above are in Morocco. There are related languages on all sides of the Sahara Desert.

    To the extent that as the Sahara turned back to desert, the culture there before (during the green times) moved out, you would expect to find related languages on all sides. And we do.

    This argues for a Berber-Like language to be what was spoken during the ‘Wet Sahara’ intervals. As that was, then, a very productive and rich land, it would be expected that they would be well positioned to influence surrounding more challenged areas. In particular, up toward the Ice in the Atlantic.

    Anyone further East would have to pass by these areas to get out the Strait of Gibraltar. These folks were already there…

    So, in short, I think Berber needs a LOT more “dig here” for connections to the pre-history of the Sahara, potential links to an Atlantis Precursor civilization in the Atlantic, and potentially the precursor folks in the British Isles and up the coast to near Scandinavia. There is a bit of ‘turquoise and gray’ on the genotype maps of those areas that shows affinity for the Berber areas as well (though not much, the Exxx types seem to have been overrun by later Celts from the mainland with R1b)

    So, IMHO, that’s the place to look for some interesting ‘connections’ on those topics. (Though it ought to be done with ancient Gaelic vs old Berber and with DNA types from old bones, if possible…)

    If you have any interest in analytical linguistics, looking at the Berber Languages might be a ‘good bit of digging’ to do…

  42. Krstarenje Dunavom i Savom says:

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  43. Ashley says:

    Great blog full of very interesting info. You should read ‘Irish Origins of Civilization Vol. 1&2 by Michael Tsarion. You should be able to find a PDF via google search. (if you can’t let me know and i’ll send you the files) I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on the book.

  44. JC Bollers says:

    I can’t believe that I’ve found a blog thread that contains much of what I’ve been trying to research over the past months. I’ve been trying to understand the celtic/semitic connection myself. There’s so much data and much of it conflicts with long-standing theories.

    I believe that I’ve found something that may conflict with the long-standing Indo-European migration theory as far as the Celtic peoples are concerned.

    Tartessian is the name of a culture that existed in southern Iberia mainly centered on the delta of the River Guadalquivir and going inland from there.
    In 2009 Paleohispanica published a paper by a John Koch entitled: A CASE FOR TARTESSIAN AS A CELTIC LANGUAGE. Apparently, there are enough examples of writing in this south western Iberian script to analyze the language. Koch makes his case that Tartessian is not only a Celtic Language, but would also be older than any markers of Celtic habitation in central Europe along the IE migration corridor.
    That can be found here:

    There is also another paper that cites Koch’s paper in making a case for the Iberian Origins of the Celtic people even though Koch still plays lip service to the IE origin of Celts.
    That is found here:

    Also, they’ve found tarshish/tartessos/atlantis. both cities had pretty much the same description and according to the oldest sources were supposed to have been in the same location more or less and both cities disappeared from history about the same time.

    So back to the delta of the Guadalquivir river: #1: It didn’t used to be a delta. It was a bay. #2: It’s right where Plato Says that Atlantis was supposed to be. #3: Ground penetrating radar reveals a three-ringed island with a temple structure on the central island in a mudflat in this delta. #4 Cancho Roano, the best preserved Tartessian site is paved with slate native to the Guadalquivir delta, but not native to the immediate vicinity and carved on a stela at the entrace to the site is a depiction of a warrior guarding the gates to a three-ringed-island/city.

    See the Atlantis angle in this National geographic Documentary here:

    So Tartessos has been found and it has many commonalities with Atlantis and the people of Tartessos are Celtic.

    Combine all this with the findings on the American side of the Atlantic. All the rivers of new England with Algonquin names also have the same meaning in proto-gaelic. Example Merrimack River means Deep fishing waters. “meriomach” means deep fishing waters in proto-gaelic. . The Algonquins and related peoples in the eastern US, great lakes and northern great plains belong the R1 Y chromosome haplogroup. They have the lowest incidence of O blood typed individuals…at levels more commensurate to the Atlantic facade of Europe, On top of that. The Algonquins are the locus of mtdna haplogroup X, which is known to have originated in the middle east. Additionally, Barry fells work has cataloged the incidence of Ogham writing all across the NE US and SE Canada, through the Great Lakes and even onto the northern great plans and as far as the coast of British Columbia. This area also happens to be the greatest extent and then some of the Algonquin speaking peoples before they were pushes on the west by more Asiatic tribes moving down from Alaska, north from California and East from the coast.

    That this one group whose deepest footprint is found in the great lakes should contain Y chromosome DNA common to the celts and mtDNA shown to have originated in the sea of Galilee area, is to assume that when tartessos/tarshish/atlantis was destroyed, The trade that city had carried on for so long was continued by the Phoenicians who have been shown to have gotten along very well with the Celts for a very long time. I posit that the Celts on both sides of the Atlantic are descended from an amalgam of whomever the original Celts were (however Semitic) with the Phoenicians who were definitely Semitic.

    It makes sense that two British journalists speaking Welsh were mistaken for Israelis and held captive.

    I know that this is a lot of information, but what feedback can you offer me? Smith? Everyone?

  45. David says:

    This is utter balderdash. I am a linguist and I can tell you without reserve…there is NO linguistic connection between the Celtic languages and the Semitic or Hamitic languages. The Celtic tongues are pure Indo-European. And there’s an end to it.

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