Genetics and the Cornish

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Marhak
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Re: Genetics and the Cornish

Post by Marhak » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:18 am

'Ere, Rosko....Jim Wearne's new CD will be out any minute. He'll be bringing a few over with him in August. It's called "A Bit Of Your Time", and features "Stones and Cattle" (about Natural 'England' and the Penwith Moors), and there's a track called "Song in the Wind", featuring me playing mellotron!

Rosko
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Re: Genetics and the Cornish

Post by Rosko » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:32 am

Where I'm trying to learn, daily, about my opwn country - Cornwall - I'm afraid music's a little over my head, Marhak...

Sounds good though!!

I do know a couple of boys who run Source FM, who'll probably be keen to play this...

PS What's a mellotron?!

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Marhak
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Re: Genetics and the Cornish

Post by Marhak » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:21 pm

A keyboard that faithfully reproduces (and not imitate) orchestral and other instruments, and human voices and choirs, too. Mine can give you 100 instruments and voices.

Came to the fore in the late 60s, providing the flutes on the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields" and the strings and brass on the Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin" (and throughout their subsequent 7 albums). Its choirs were much used by Genesis when they were still a decent progressive band (before Peter Gabriel left). Originally, they were huge: the Mark II weighed 350 lbs! But they developed the single-manual M400 in the 70s, and they weighed 150lbs.

It's a comparatively rare instrument: it's reckoned that only 1,000 working models are still in existence, but bands like Radiohead are starting to use them again. Mine's the 65th model of the new digital version developed in 2010. It weighs just 38lbs.

TK put a video of me playing mine (using violins and cello) on the C24 talent (!) board.

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Marhak
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Re: Genetics and the Cornish

Post by Marhak » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:35 pm

Page 7 of "The Duchy of Cornwall - Music Talent - past-present" board.


Kaliforni
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Re: Genetics and the Cornish

Post by Kaliforni » Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:04 pm

These are compelling DNA results indeed, and confirm the early "leaks" from the People of the British Isles research that I had posted earlier. Hooray, we can finally see that map, instead of just having it described to us.

The idea that the Cornish have less Anglo-Saxon descent than anybody else in Britain outside of the Welsh and certain extreme areas of Scotland is not new to genetics, and has tended to be confirmed by previous YDNA and autosomal studies. This continues to confirm that. But the most curious result is the distinctiveness of the Cornish from Devonians. No other study has shown that so far, and it could indicate either or both of 2 things: (1) Devonians are more Saxon than previously thought; (2) There was an ancient division between the Cornish and Devonians that dates prior to the Anglo-Saxon invasion. I hope that future studies sort out which of these is the case, or if both are.

One minor point of contention, though. The following quote from the article is highly suspect, and should be treated with a large degree of caution, since this study doesn't have the right sort of samples to indicate it at all: "They carry more DNA that could date back to the tribes that colonised Britain after the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago." In fact, studies that have attempted this sort of dating (which have tended to focus on YDNA, admittedly only one part of the genetic makeup), have tended to show that the most common Cornish YDNA has been in Britain since the Neolithic at the earliest, and more likely had its major expansion in the Bronze Age. See Balaresque et al, Klyosov's calculations, etc.

Rosko
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Re: Genetics and the Cornish

Post by Rosko » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:22 pm

Many thanks, Kaliforni, this is really interesting... More than that, even, it's quite simply fascinating, especially the Devon-Cornwall thing, which I would never have imagined (such distinct findings), although, as you point out, a very limited sample.

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TGG
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Re: Genetics and the Cornish

Post by TGG » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:27 pm


by Kaliforni » 19 Jun 2012 16:04
"But the most curious result is the distinctiveness of the Cornish from Devonians. No other study has shown that so far, and it could indicate either or both of 2 things: (1) Devonians are more Saxon than previously thought; (2) There was an ancient division between the Cornish and Devonians that dates prior to the Anglo-Saxon invasion. I hope that future studies sort out which of these is the case, or if both are."
Possibly the placename evidence would point to the former option. I have always understood that there were more Celtic placenames in Somerset than Devonshire, plus the fact that as a newly appropriated territory, there would have been some deliberate attempt at socio-political colonisation and consolidation.

TGGFor The (Real)Reason Why![/size]
STOP THE CORNISH GENOCIDE! -
They declare their Cornishness with pride
Whilst oblivious to our genocide
That England imposes
With smiles and Red Roses
Where the innocents, so gullibly, reside.


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Marhak
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Re: Genetics and the Cornish

Post by Marhak » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:30 pm

The clear distinction surprised me a little, too. I'd have expected a blurring of the two in West Devon. I suspect that Athelstan's 10th century ethnic clear-out went a bit further than just Exeter, and his declaration of the Tamar's east bank as the new border, rather than the Taw-Exe line as before, might support this suspicion.

Kaliforni
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Re: Genetics and the Cornish

Post by Kaliforni » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:12 pm

I just noticed that they've got a better map here. They don't go into a lot of detail, but it seems to indicate that Devonians are distinguishable from the rest of the English population, and that their genetic cluster also extends outside of Devon into Somerset and a bit into Gloucestershire (but interestingly not into Dorset, which is colored "true Anglo-Saxon" red). So I guess we can call this a "West Country" cluster, but it's still not obvious if that's a special Wessex Saxon cluster, or a "Dumnoninan minus Cornish" cluster. Probably it's a mix of both, which is why they claim that the Cornish cluster is more distinguishable and more apparently pre-Anglo-Saxon, and also why other studies haven't picked up on it.

It's also striking how very "true Cornish" gold Cornwall is colored, with few golden samples outside of Cornwall, and the only non-gold in Cornwall being the aforementioned "West Country" green. The Tamar Valley is predictably a more mixed population than Penwith, Kerrier, etc., who are all gold and nothing else. And there's no "true Anglo-Saxon" red anywhere in Cornwall.

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Kevrenor
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Re: Genetics and the Cornish

Post by Kevrenor » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:57 am

It would be great if someone in or near London could go to the exhibition next month and find out more.

http://sse.royalsociety.org/2012/exhibits/genetic-maps/

Rosko
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Re: Genetics and the Cornish

Post by Rosko » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:14 am

This is incredible stuff!!

As regards exhibition, there's some very good people in the London branch of the Celtic League who could probably attend. If you contact Mike Chappell (Kernow branch) or general secretary, Rhisiart Talebot, they would be able to ask if one of these could go to this event.

Dewnansek
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Re: Genetics and the Cornish

Post by Dewnansek » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:59 am

Kaliforni and Kevrenor,

The links to the Royal Society are very interesting.

Not only does it show a differentiation between Cornwall and Devon, but as stated above there is just as clear a differentiation between Devon (green) and Dorset (red) - but that once you cross that border the rest of South and central England is almost a uniform red.

In fact the boundary between red and green might be more exactly marked as the Axe - and the ancient line of forts on either side marking the boundary between Dumnonia and the Durotiges.

The handful of data points in Somerset all are in the west, and are also all green. All ancient Dumnonian territory.

So, what does this matter here?

If the boundary does mark the boundary of ancient Dumnonian territory, then the Cornish differentiation might suggest that the belief that the Cornish were even then somewhat independent.

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Marhak
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Re: Genetics and the Cornish

Post by Marhak » Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:24 am

That would fit with the general theory that the original eastern border of Dumnonia was the Axe-Parrott line. Obviously, I'd like to see much greater detail than what's been given in the Press, but the results of this survey - by far the most comprehensive ever carried out - is already shedding a whole lot of light on history, confirming several things, but throwing up some new questions, too. I'd wager that it will be similarly valuable all over Britain. A pity that Eire and Brittany weren't included in the survey, though.


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