DNA analysis provides evidence of ancient invasion of Scotland from Ireland

April 3rd, 2009 - 2:11 pm ICT by ANI  

London, April 3 (ANI): In a new DNA analysis, Scots living on Islay, Lewis, Harris and Skye were found to have strong links with Irish people, thus providing evidence of an ancient invasion of Scotland from Ireland.

According to a report by BBC News, the research, which features work by geneticist Dr Jim Wilson, a specialist in population genetics, was the first demonstration of a significant Irish genetics component in Scots’ ancestry.

The study also suggests intriguing ancestry of Scots living on the Western Isles and in the north and north east of Scotland.

“It was extremely exciting to see for the first time the ancient genetic connection between Scotland and Ireland - the signature of a movement of people from Ireland to Scotland, perhaps of the Scots or Gaels themselves,” Dr Wilson said.

The origin of the Gaels, who by conquering and integrating with Pictish northern tribes created the Kingdom of Alba, has been debated by historians for centuries.

The earliest historical source comes from around the 10th Century and relates that the Gaels came from Ireland in about 500 AD, under King Fergus Mor.

However, more recently archaeologists have suggested the Gaels had lived in Argyll for centuries before Fergus Mor’s invasion.

The study also suggested an east-west genetic divide seen in England and attributed to Anglo-Saxons and Danes was evident in the north of Scotland.

This was noted in places far from Anglo-Saxon and Danish settlements, indicating that this division was older and may have arisen in the Bronze Age through trading networks across the North Sea.

Geneticists also said as many as 40 percent of the population on the Western Isles could have Viking ancestry, while no Viking ancestry was found in north east Scotland. (ANI)

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