The Origins of the British: The New Prehistory of Britain (Paperback)
  • The Origins of the British: The New Prehistory of Britain (Paperback)
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The Origins of the British: The New Prehistory of Britain (Paperback)

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£14.99
Paperback 656 Pages
Published: 12/04/2007
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'British prehistory will never look the same again.' Professor Colin Renfrew, University of Cambridge

Stephen Oppenheimer's extraordinary scientific detective story combining genetics, linguistics, archaeology and historical record shatters the myths we have come to live by. It demonstrates that the Anglo-Saxon invasions contributed just a tiny fraction (5%) to the English gene pool.

Two-thirds of the English people reveal an unbroken line of genetic descent from south-western Europeans arriving long before the first farmers. The bulk of the remaining third arrived between 7,000 and 3,000 years ago as part of long-term north-west European trade and immigration, especially from Scandinavia - and may have brought with them the earliest forms of English language.

As for the Celts - the Irish, Scots and Welsh - history has traditionally placed their origins in Iron Age Central Europe. Oppenheimer's genetic synthesis tells a different story. There is indeed a deep divide between the English and the rest of the British. But as this book reveals the division is many thousands of years older than previously thought.

'Be prepared to have all your cherished notions of English history and Britishness swept away' - Clive Gamble

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN: 9781845294823
Number of pages: 656
Weight: 466 g
Dimensions: 199 x 135 x 42 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Be prepared to have all your cherished notions of English history and Britishness swept away. - Clive Gamble

The historians' account is wrong in almost every detail. In DrOppenheimer's reconstruction of events, the principal ancestorsof today's British and Irish populations arrived from Spainabout 16,000 years ago. - New York Times

He upends some of the most deeply rooted notions of wherethe British people come from, and does so in a clear, painstakingand detailed way. The result is both fascinating and unexpected. - Geographical

Particularly illuminating ... The author carefully lays out the genetic data that show how three-quarters of Britishness dates to the repopulation after the northern ice sheets last retreated, andtakes us through a fascinating investigation of what this means for some cherished notions of Britishness. - Nature

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