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Celts and the Basques

The distribution of Rh- is by no means uniform, and has 'hotspots' within cultures and geographical areas.  A hypothesis based on genetic evidence links the Celt to the Basques.  This is best explained by a B.B.C. Wales feature. The Welsh and Irish Celts have been found to be the genetic blood-brothers of Basques, scientists have revealed. (click this link to go directly to the article)

Further supporting the genetic linkage is a study performed sampling the 'Y; chromosome of peoples living in the British Isles by by Dr. Cristian Capelli, Dr. David B. Goldstein and others at University College London.  To view the article published on electriscotland.com click here

 http://www.science-frontiers.com/sf085/sf085a02.htm   Europe's mystery people

Lucotte, G. & Hazout, S. (1995) "Y-chromosome DNA haplotypes in= basques", a report on population genetics sent to UNESCO .
 From   http://www.csu.edu.au/learning/eubios/PG.htm


Q17. Are the Basques genetically different from other Europeans?
 
 A17. Apparently, yes It has long been known that the Basques have the highest proportion of rhesus-negative blood in Europe , and one of the highest percentages of type-O blood (55%). Recently, however, the geneticist Luiga Luca Cavalli-Sforza has completed a gene map of the peoples of Europe, and he finds the Basques to be strikingly different from their neighbors. The genetic boundary between Basques and non-Basques is very sharp on the Spanish side. On the French side, the boundary is more diffuse: it shades off gradually toward the Garonne in the north. These findings are entirely in agreement with what we know of the history of the language.
 
 Q18. Does this mean the Basques are directly descended from the earliest known human inhabitants of Europe, the Cro-Magnon people who occupied western Europe around 35,000 years ago?
 
 A18. Nobody knows. This is possible, but we have no real evidence either way. The only evidence we have is negative: the archeologists can find no evidence for any sudden change in population in the area for thousands of years before the arrival of the Celts and later the Romans in the first millennium BC.
 
 The people of the Basque region have a greater than 50 percent concentration of the RH negative gene,. The frequency decreases in relation to the distance from the Basque region into the rest of the world until there is very little evidence of this gene. This genetic mapping helps to show that a mutation from RH positive to RH negative occurred somewhere in the Basque area of Europe maybe as much as 40,000 years ago, as he discussed later. Basques are not regional inhabitants of an area, as some believe - they are a completely separate and distinct race whose origins are shrouded in mystery.
 
 Although to all outward appearances they seem to be part of the so called "white" or "caucassian" race group, they have distinct genetic differences which does not allow their being classified as part of that "white" race. For example : Basques are believed to have been the originators of the RH negative blood factor - the original genetic pool from which this factor came. While RH negatives are a small minority in the "white" and other races, and practically non-existent in "orientals", the current Basques still are over 33 % RH negative. Another salient genetic feature is the the shape and sutures (bone joints) of cranial bones of Basques[The Reptilian skull ridge]. A third skeletal difference is the tendency to having a thicker breast bone.
 
 by James Vandale

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Last edited 30/07/2006