New research combining archeology and DNA testing has shown that Anglo-saxons (with Dutch and Danish ancestry) contributed 38% DNA to the population in East England, and 30% to the Welsh and Scottish population. The rest was native population. The researchers compared genomes from the UK10K project and the 1000 Genomes Project with the genomes from these ancient skeletons. This shows that there was more intermingling of Anglo-Saxons with the natives than believed earlier.Ancient Genome Study Shows Anglo-Saxons Contributed Only 38% of Modern British DNA Click To Tweet
Previous DNA studies have relied entirely on modern DNA and suggested anything between 10% and 95% contribution to the population. One such study suggested that Anglo Saxons didn’t mix with the native population, staying segregated. However, this newly published study uses ancient genetic information and disproves the earlier idea, showing just how integrated the people of Britain were. The ancient skeletons from Cambridgeshire were carbon dated, proving they were from the late Iron Age (approximately 50BC) and from the Anglo-Saxon era (around 500-700 AD). Complete genome sequences were then obtained for selected DNA samples to determine the genetic make-up of these Iron Age Britons and Anglo-Saxons.
“Combining archaeological findings with DNA data gives us much more information about the early Anglo-Saxon lives. Genome sequences from four individuals from a cemetery in Oakington indicated that, genetically, two were migrant Anglo-Saxons, one was a native, and one was a mixture of both. The archaeological evidence shows that these individuals were treated the same way in death, and proves they were all well integrated into the Oakington Anglo-Saxon Community despite their different biological heritage.” said Dr Duncan Sayer, archaeologist and author on the paper from University of Central Lancashire.
The studies also show that the Anglo-saxons first settled in South East England and then moved North.
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