Celts have been a breed apart for 10,000 years

By Louise Gray
Sunday 06 October 2013 15:34

For Celts who have long felt they are a breed apart from the English, help is at hand from an Oxford University academic.

In a new book, The Real Eve: Modern Man's Journey Out of Africa, Professor Stephen Oppenheimer suggests the distinction between the two peoples goes back 10,000 years - far further than thought.

Traditionally the difference between the English and Scots, Welsh, Irish and Cornish was attributed to the influence of invaders such as the Anglo-Saxons, Celts and Vikings settling in the UK hundreds of years ago.

But Professor Oppenheimer says the Celts are descended from an ancient people living on the Atlantic coast when Britain was attached to Europe. The English are more closely related to the Germanic peoples of the interior.

"The English ... are more linked to continental Europe. The Scots, the Irish, the Welsh and the Cornish are similar in their genetic pattern to the Basque."

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