Blood of the Celts

Jacket of Blood of the Celts

A voyage of discovery from the deepest origins of the ancient Celts to the modern Celtic revival, Blood of the Celts: The New Ancestral Story explains the scientific evidence and challenges old ideas about the origins and identity of the Celts.

The heritage of the Celts turns up from Portugal to Romania, from Scotland to Spain. Yet debate continues about who exactly they were, where ultimately they came from, and whether the modern Celtic-speakers of the British Isles and Brittany are related to the Continental Celts we know from ancient history. New discoveries in genetics have overturned the decades of dogma about the origin of the Celts. Earlier attempts to trace historical and prehistorical movements using only modern DNA from living people have been proved dramatically wrong by findings from ancient DNA. So a fresh approach is needed. Blood of the Celts meets this challenge, pulling together evidence from genetics, archaeology, history and linguistics in an accessible and illuminating way, taking the reader on a voyage of discovery from the origins of the ancient Celts to the modern Celtic Revival, with some startling results.

Lovers of war, wine and song, the historic Celts strike us as a people with a great gusto for life. Yet they did not fear death, for they believed in an afterlife. Fate has granted them more kinds of immortality than they had in mind. As long as any Celtic language is still spoken, the linguistic chain from the ancient Celts remains unbroken. As long as the earliest Celts have living heirs, there is also an unbroken chain of DNA.

The book can be purchased via online booksellers if you don't find it in your local bookshop. There is also a digital edition.

Supplementary material is available on this website. For those confused by my many references to haplogroups, phylogenetic trees are maintained online at Phylotree.org (mtDNA) and Phylotree.org/Y/ (Y-DNA).