I just finished Saxons, Vikings, and Celts by Bryan Sykes. It is a book examining the genetic roots of Britain and Ireland.
A few years back I had read his The Seven Daughters of Eve which is about mitochondrial DNA analysis. He came to the conclusion that Europe was inhabited by people dating back to the end of the last Ice Age (remember we are in an inter-glacial phase) instead of being replaced by peoples spreading agriculture from the east during the Neolithic.
Sykes has gone on to research the Y chromosome in men writing a book called Adam’s Curse. This book is about research into the DNA, both mitochondrial and Y chromosome. The book is easy to read though there is some science thrown in explained in layman’s terms. He found no evidence of invasion from Central Europe of Hallstat nor Le Tene era “Celts.” Instead most of the DNA goes back thousands of years when the Isles were cut off from mainland Europe by the melting glaciers.
One Y chromosome signature very common in Ireland, Wales, and Scotland (and even a good portion of England) he christened the “Atlantis” chromosome. Sykes puts it,
It also cropped up, interestingly, in surveys of Y chromosomes among the Basques of north-eastern Spain and among the people of Galicia in the north-west of Spain.
Sykes speculates there might be something to the Irish legends of the Milesians coming from Spain, but it was not 1200 B.C. as some have thought but thousands of years earlier. Interesting how Robert E. Howard had the Irish and Scots as descendants of the Cimmerians who in turn were descendants of the Atlanteans.
Robert E. Howard would be eating these discoveries up if he were around today. You can go to www.bloodoftheisles.net for more information.