Analysis of Scottish DNA reveals historic ethnic clusters
This evening, I am posting information sourced from an article in yesterday's Times newspaper which reports an academic study confirming that Scotland's constituent ethnic clusters have effectively remained undisturbed from the period AD 500- AD1000 which was known as the 'Dark Ages'.
In essence, Scotland is divided into six main clusters of people each of which has a discrete gene pool, viz:
- Scottish Borders region
- South-West region.
- North-East region
- Hebrides (island grouping off West coast)
The above groupings roughly correlate with known regional kingdoms of the time, viz:
- Strathclyde ( S.W. Scotland)
- Pictland ( N.E.)
The study was based on the genetic make-up of 1000 people from Scotland whose grandparents or great-grandparents were born within 50 miles of each other. DNA from this sample was compared with DNA of persons who lived thousands of years ago.
Analysis points to underlying population inertia with majority of people marrying locally and thus preserving their genetic identity.
Orkney and Shetland have the highest levels of Norwegian ancestry outside of Scandinavia, which is not surprising as the islands were ceded from Norway to Scotland as recently as 1472.
The study adverted to above was funded by the Medical Research Council, Science Foundation Ireland and the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Executive. It is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A.