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Age of Picts

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  • Age of Picts

    Hello All,
    Sorry to raise this thorny issue, but what is the earliest estimate for the Picts appearing in Scotland? For that matter, what is the current thinking for the latest estimate they may have arrived?

  • #2
    Originally posted by bob armstrong View Post
    Hello All,
    Sorry to raise this thorny issue, but what is the earliest estimate for the Picts appearing in Scotland? For that matter, what is the current thinking for the latest estimate they may have arrived?
    Of course the word Picts was the Roman name, first recorded in 297AD, for the native people of Scotland. Little is known about them, but so far as I know they are not thought to have come from anywhere, and thus they are descended from the ancient Celts in Scotland. And since there was no major Celtic invasion of the British Isles, the Picts were probably the descendants of the Mesolithic and Neolithic settlers of Scotland.



    • #3
      About their origins, there is a Roman estamination:

      The Romans estaminate them to originate in Germania and bring the arguments: Red hair and huge frames.

      So, at least we know to whom someone from 2000 years ago, who has seen almost all of Europe, would assign them to, by pure looks (wich, as we know today, must not have anything to do with real relations)


      • #4
        A newer theory is that the R1b1b2 haplogroup arrived in Europe more recenty - quoting from wikipedia: "It was initially believed that R1b originated in western Europe where (considered as a whole, including subclades) it reaches its highest frequencies. However R1b's variance increases as one moves east, leading to the view that R1b originated further east, and (M269) expanded into Europe in the Neolithic not Paleolithic.[9] Many geneticists now believe that R1b arose in Central Asia[3] or Western Asia.[2]"

        Quoting from another website: "These Proto-Italo-Celto-Germanic R1b people had settled around the Alps by 2300 BCE, and judging from the spread of bronze working, reached Iberia by 2250 BCE, Britain by 2100 BCE and Ireland by 2000 BCE. This is assumably when the R1b-L21 lineage came to the British Isles, from southern Germany." This quote is from, but this website has been criticized for being speculative and for lack of citations supporting their statements.

        In this theory the R1b1b2 (M269) haplogroup mostly replaced the original post glacial I haplogroup in western Europe fro y DNA. Even if this theory is correct, it is still likely that some of the pre-invasion population survived, and mtDNA does show the continued presence of the mtDNA U haplogroup in Europe, so at least some fraction of the Picts (and other west European groups) would still be descended from the original post glacial inhabitants. But it does seem likely that the dominant y haplogroup in western Europe is descended from Indoeuropean invaders who date to around 4300 years ago.


        • #5
          Slots for Picts.

          When could the Picts have arrived?
          The Roman word Picts meant painted or tattooed. This was a purely cultural/tribal
          designation and suggests DNA identity only by the fact of co-habitation in time and
          place. Tribal cohesiveness was greater in Northern climes.
          The fact that the Pictish tribe was already there, and by statements from neighboring tribes had "always been there" at least indicates a pre-Roman presence.
          (Caveat- the Romans did not always fully understand what was being said to them, as
          shown by the stupid nature of certain place-names they left to us!)
          There was an archaeologically indicated, linguistic, cultural and artifactual
          overlay of Celtic-speakers, from East to West into Britain over the period estimated at 4000-2200 ybp, from the evidence of Roman and Greek records.
          Before that, post-LGM Europeans speaking pre-Celtic tongues had drifted into Britain to repopulate northward after the LGM (say from 15000 YBP onwards, some inhabiting Doggerland, now under the North Sea.)

          We assume that Britain was not habitable during the LGM (20,000 ybp) for a millenium or a few, but some of the preglacial population could have remained on the plains south of the present Southwest Coast, then more expansive over a lower, farther, sea-level, surviving as the Inuit do. (Google "Paviland" for a 27,000 ybp presence, now coastal, then inland).
          Now, almost any person in today's UK could be descended from tribes who moved in during any those periods of habitation. A whole diluted tribe of surviving Picts ? Why not!


          • #6
            ^ I agree

            BTW, I'm part Pict, on my mother's side.


            • #7
              A beautiful article that may be related to the Pictish questions.