Hispania and Gallaecia

"Selection of carvings from
the Castro de Santa Trega" 
<https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/> 16 March 2019.

1. The Gascon-Iberian Celts: the Lusitanians, the Celtici, & then the Gaels [DF27]

a. We learn from the downstream chart for R-P312 that the Iberian Celts split from the Italic Celts when they began their migrations south from central France. The Gascon-Iberian Celts migrated southwest to the Iberian Peninsula in about 2,250 BCE. Their migration route took them through Gascony/ Pyrenees-Atlantiques (France). Perhaps, some settled there. They left their DNA, their blood type, and their technology, but not their language amongst the Basque peoples. I call this branch of the Celtic family, who migrated to Gascony and Iberia, the Gascon-Iberian Celts to differentiate them from other Gaulic tribes who came later to inhabit Iberia.

The Bronze Age did not appear in Iberia until 1800 BCE, and was mostly confined to the cultures of El Argar and Los Millares in south-east Spain, with sporadic sites showing up in Castile by 1700 BCE and in Extremadura and southern Portugal by 1500 BCE. These Early Bronze Age sites typically did not have more than some bronze daggers or axes and cannot be considered proper Bronze Age societies, but rather Copper Age societies with occasional bronze artefacts (perhaps imported). These cultures might have been founded by small groups of R1b adventurers looking for easy conquests in parts of Europe that did not yet have bronze weapons. They would have become a small ruling elite, would have had children with local women, and within a few generations their Indo-European language would have been lost, absorbed by the indigenous languages.

    "Haplogroup R1b" <http://www.eupedia.com> 26 July 2015.

b. After departing Gascony, leaving behind some kind of Celtic presence, the remaining tribes crossed the Pyrenees Mountains south into Iberia. And, I postulate that the Iberian Celts migrated in successive waves.

c. The proto-Celtic speaking Lusitanians and the Celtici were perhaps the first to arrive in Iberia, occupying the west of the central plateau. Their route would have taken them southwest into the Douro Valley and then south to the region of Beira Alta and its capitol Guarda in what is now Portugal. Here, the Lusitanians settled.

As time went by, some of the Lusitanians and their Celtic cousins intermarried with the indigenous Iberians of the Mediterranean Coast, thus creating the Celt-Iberian culture. From the Romans, we learn of the Celt-Iberians by the 2nd Century BCE. But, the Celtici and the Lusitanians had been interacting with the Phoenicians/ Carthaginians for perhaps a millennium. And, how many centuries would it have taken for these Celts and the Iberians of the coast to merge, creating a hybrid culture and language?

d. In Pliny's writings, we learn that the Celtici were a tribe of the Lusitanians. From Beira Alta, the Celtici continued their migration to the southwestern coast of Iberia in what is now Portugal. They spoke proto-Celtic Lusitanian, a Celtic language of the Indo-European language family.

The Celtici (in Portuguese, Spanish, and Galician Célticos) were a Celtic tribe or group of tribes of the Iberian peninsula, inhabiting three definite areas: [a] in what today are the regions of Alentejo and the Algarve Portugal; [b] in the Province of Badajoz and north of the Province of Huelva Spain, in the ancient Baeturia; [c] and along the coastal areas of Galici. . .

The Celtici were not considered a barbarian people. On the contrary, they were what the Greeks considered a civilized people, almost in the same degree as the Turdetani. . .

The origin of the Baeturian Celts was, according to Pliny, from the Celtici of Lusitania and were also kin to the Gallaeci:

The Celtici from Guadiana had blood links with the Galician Celts, since there had been large-scale migration to the northwest of these Celts along with the Turduli (Str., 3, 3, 5)...

[Pliny considers the Celtici who extend into Baetica] to have migrated from Lusitania which he appears to regard as the original seat of the whole Celtic population of the Iberian peninsula including the Celtiberians, on the ground of an identity of sacred rites, language, and names of cities.

These migratory patterns have persisted on the same axis until modern times, supporting a centuries old traditional and seasonal farming and animal husbandry transhumance along the ancient Roman or Carthaginian Silver road that served for its rich mines production transport, and for the Astorga region peddlars and wagoneers, the Maragatos. . . .

    "Celtici" <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtici> 13 August 2015.

e. Sometime later, the Gaelic Celts, aka the Gaels, crossed the Pyrenees Mountains, heading west, to the northwest coast of the Iberian Peninsula and the regions of Gallaecia and Asturias in what is now Spain. They spoke q-Celt/ Goidelic/ Gaelic.

In the North, in Gallaecia, another group of Celtici dwelt the coastal areas. They comprised several populi, including the Celtici proper: [a] the Praestamarci south of the Tambre river (Tamaris), [b] the Supertamarci north of it, [c] and the Neri by the Celtic promontory (Promunturium Celticum) [vic. Foz, Spain], whom Strabo considered related to the Celtici of Lusitania, settled in Gallaecia after a military campaign [ c. 5th - 6th century BCE] held jointly with the Turduli.

Pomponius Mela [c. 43 CE] affirmed that all the inhabitants of the coastal regions, from the bays of southern Gallaecia and up to the Astures, were also Celtici:

"All (this coast) is inhabited by the Celtici, except from the Douro river to the bays, where the Grovi dwelt… In the north coast first there are the Artabri, still of the Celtic people (Celticae gentis ) and after them the Astures."

He [Mela] also mentioned the fabulous isles of tin, the Cassiterides, as situated among these Celtici.

    "Celtici" <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtici> 13 August 2015.

    "Cassiterides" <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassiterides> 16 August 2015.

Translated from the Greek, the Tin Isles are the mythical land of resources--tin, gold, amber--beyond the Pillars of Hercules in the Mare Gallaecum. It is entirely feasible that the Cassiterides were "situated among these Celtici." Irish mythology states that our Celtic ancestors, the Milesians, invaded Hibernia (Ierne/ Ireland) sometime after 1,000 BCE. This gives History 500 plus years to catch up to the fact that our Celtic ancestors accessed those resources and traded them throughout the Atlantic Fringe. Although not geographically close, the Tin Isles were within the sphere of the Celtici before contact with the Greeks.

Of course, this research could lead to a never ending hunt for additional information about the Tin Isles of Herodotus (c. 430 BC) and Pytheas of Massalia (c. 320 BCE).
    Source: Cunliffe, Barry, The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek, Walker & Co. NY, 2001.

2. Locating the Descendants of the Gascon-Iberian Celts: Genotype vs. Phenotype

Research Note: This is not a thesis, merely an observation.

There are descendants of the Gascon-Iberian Celts along the entire Atlantic Fringe from Scandinavia through the British Isles to the Iberian Peninsula. But, we are a hidden minority. So, how do we identify the Gascon-Iberian Celts in the modern world?

Interestingly, the descendants of R-DF27 are not highly represented in the population of modern Galicia from which the legends say they departed for Ireland. Instead, the highest population density with the yDNA markers for DF27 and the highest population density with blood type O and Rh negative is found in the Basque region of France north of the Pyrenees. Why? Before the Gaels left for Ireland, our Celtic ancestors left their DNA and blood type amongst the Basque peoples but not necessarily their language.

I am not the first person to identify certain (genotype) anomalies among the Basque people of France.

They have the highest population density of Type O and Rh Negative in the world. And, Type A has a consistently high distribution in Western Europe.
    "Rh Blood Group System" <https://en.wikipedia.org/> 31 July 2015.
They have the highest population density of yDNA marker R-DF27 in the world.


     "Haplogroup R1b," Europedia GenWeb page <http://www.eupedia.com/europe/Haplogroup_R1b_Y-DNA.shtml#DF27> 31 July 2015.

[And,] The Basques live in an insular society even to this day.
    "History of the Basques" <https://en.wikipedia.org/> 31 July 2015.

I am simply putting those observations together.

The argument is that there is a high propensity for phenotype X among population Y. This is due to the presence or absence of recessive genes.
-Some descendants of DF27 have a higher propensity for blue/ violet eyes.
-Some descendants of DF27 have red hair, freckles, and pale skin.
-The average population of Wales has dark hair, frequently dark eyes, and a pale complexion.
-The average population of western Ireland has dark hair, dark eyes, and a pale to olive complexion.
-The average population of Basque France has dark hair, dark eyes, and an olive complexion.

My observation is that, the descendants of DF27 should have a significantly higher presence of Type O and A and Rh Negative blood. And many descendants of DF27 can be differentiated from the general population by the light-eyed, red-haired, freckled, pale skinned phenotype.

Scientifically, why is this important. It isn't. This is just an observation.
-The Scot/ Irish phenotype with a pale complexion, red-hair, and freckles make up 10% of the population of Ireland. I'd bet they are descendants of DF27.
-Therefore, descendants of DF27 in Ireland, Scotland and Wales should stick out like a "red-headed stepchild."

3. The Castro Culture (pre 1,000 BCE)

We measure mankind's progress toward our modern world and divide his achievements into periods by his manufacture and use of tools and the development of technology.

Iberia did not become a fully-fledged Bronze Age society until the 13th century BCE, when the Urnfield culture (1300-1200 BCE) expanded from Germany to Catalonia via southern France, then the ensuing Hallstatt culture (1200-750 BCE) spread throughout most of the peninsula (especially the western half). This period belongs to the wider Atlantic Bronze Age (1300-700 BCE), when Iberia was connected to the rest of Western Europe through a complex trade network. . .

The Atlantic Bronze Age could correspond to the period when DF27 radiated more evenly around Iberia and ended up, following Atlantic trade routes, all the way to the British Isles, the Netherlands and western Norway (where M153 and SRY2728 make up about 1% of the population).

    "Haplogroup R1b" <http://www.eupedia.com/europe/Haplogroup_R1b_Y-DNA.shtml> 26 July 2015.

Historically, we have looked at the Celts as an ethnic group with an intrinsic culture. And in pre-Roman France, Belgium and Germany, they were; as attested by Julius Caesar in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico. Let us leave Celtic Gaul & Belgica and Germania aside. Throughout the rest of Iron Age Europe, there was a different story.

There are many discussions which describe the elusive Celts of the Atlantic Fringe (as differentiated from the Celts of Gaul, Belgica, and Germanica) not as an ethnic group but as a social elite who brought art, weapons, technology, and trade wherever they went. But there was a tradeoff. Our Celtic forefathers fed off the land and produce of others.

The Galatians [of Anatolia] were in their origin a part of the great Celtic migration which invaded Macedon. . .[T]he migration led to the establishment of a long-lived Celtic territory in central Anatolia, which included the eastern part of ancient Phrygia, a territory that became known as Galatia. There they ultimately settled. . .[and] supported themselves by plundering neighbouring countries. . .The local population of Cappadocians were left in control of the towns and most of the land, paying tithes to their new overlords, who formed a military aristocracy and kept aloof in fortified farmsteads, surrounded by their bands.

    "Galatia" <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galatia> 27 July 2015.

Research Notes:

Q: Why did Helen of Troy and Alexander the Great of Macedon have red hair?

Helen was the descendant of the first Indo-European invasion to prehistoric Greece when a branch of L23 migrated south to the Greek Peninsula c. 1,800 BCE.
According to Robert Graves, there were indigenous peoples of Greece "before the arrival of the Aryan invaders from the distant North and East." And, their beliefs were based on worship of the "many-titled Mother-goddess. . .[But,] Achaean invasions of the thirteenth century B.C. seriously limited the matrilineal tradition."

    Graves, Robert, The Greek Myths I, Penguin Books Ltd., Middlesex, England, 1960, pp. 13-19.

So, who were these first Greek settlers of the Greek Peninsula? (Note: the Minoans were the original inhabitants in some locals.)

According to Greek mythology and legendary prehistory of the Aegean region, the Minyans were an autochthonous [original] group inhabiting the region. However, the extent to which the prehistory of the Aegean world is reflected in literary accounts of legendary peoples, and the degree to which material culture can be securely linked to language-based ethnicity have been subjected to repeated revision.

The Mycenaean Greeks reached Crete as early as 1450 BCE. Greek presence on the mainland, however, dates to 1600 BCE as shown in the latest shaft graves. Other aspects of the "Minyan" period appear to arrive from northern Greece and the Balkans, in particular tumulus graves and perforated stone axes. John L. Caskey's interpretation of his archaeological excavations conducted in the 1950s linked the ethno-linguistic "Proto Greeks" to the bearers of the "Minyan" (or Middle Helladic) culture. . . .

    "Minyans" <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minyans> 13 March 2019.

Alexander was the descendant of the Celtic invaders of Macedon c. 1,200 BCE.

The earliest mentions of the Bryges are contained in the historical writings of Herodotus, who relates them to Phrygians, stating that according to the Macedonians, the Bryges "changed their name" to Phryges after migrating into Anatolia a movement which is thought to have happened between 1200 BC and 800 BC perhaps due to the Bronze Age collapse, particularly the fall of the Hittite Empire and the power vacuum that was created.

    "Bryges" <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryges> 12 March 2019.

I postulate that the Celtic Invasion of Greece and Anatolia c. 1,200 BCE did not occur as a result of the Bronze Age Collapse. Instead, the massive Celtic Invasion c. 1,200 BCE was the cause of the Bronze Age Collapse.

Our Celtic forefathers were a society of elites, a military aristocracy, whose wealth came from tithes paid by the indigenous peoples. They lived in fortified farmsteads (oppida), surrounded by their "bands" of fellow invaders who were bent on plundering the countryside. And, all the while they were fervently distributing their DNA and blood type amongst the females of the indigenous population. This description also rings true of the Normans of Medieval Britain. Therefore, could we describe these "fortified farmsteads" as hill-forts or castles?

The Castro (Castle) Culture is the name applied to the Celts and their society along the Atlantic-Gallaecum Coast of the northwestern Iberian Peninsula from the Atlantic Bronze Age (c. 1,300 BCE) to the Roman occupation (c. 100 BCE) where our forefathers lived in hill forts and oppida, their fortified hamlets.

Hill forts were built on prominent geographic features to provide a naturally strong defensive position from which the elites, the military aristocracy, could project their power over the indigenous population. And, the remains of hill forts are common in the British Isles and the Iberian Peninsula. More modern research has shifted the focus from the mechanisms of defenses to the functionality of the hill fort. The current concept is that the hill fort was not just a defensive position but a functional community unto itself. Of note, a Spanish term for the larger hill fort is cidás which is Spanish for city.

Oppidum is a Latin word meaning the main settlement. . .They were important economic sites, places where goods were produced, stored and traded, where sometimes Roman merchants had settled and where the Roman legions could obtain supplies. They were also political centres, the seat of authorities taking decisions that affected large numbers of people. . . 

The main features of the oppida are the walls and gates, the spacious layout, and usually a commanding view of the surrounding area. The major difference with earlier structures was their much larger size.

    "Opiddum" <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oppidum> 30 July 2015.

Whereas the earliest hill forts were just defensive positions, the oppidum was an open space inside a defensible position with well defined avenues and structures from which the elitist, military aristocracy projected their wealth and power. And, our Celtic forefathers, who dominated the indigenous populations of the Iberian Peninsula from their hill forts, took their elitist, military aristocracy to Ireland and later Scotland where they set up the exact same system which existed over the millennia until the unification of Great Britain in the early modern age. Yes, the subsequent Norman invaders of Britain and Ireland built their own version of castles when they were the elitist, military aristocracy. But, who built the castles of Ireland, Scotland and Wales before the coming of the Normans?

4. Our next discussion: the Milesians who conquered Ireland post 1,000 BCE.

5. Iberia post Milesians

We return to the discussion of the Iberian Celts who migrated to Iberia in the 3rd Millennium BCE.

a. The Lusitanians settled on the western Iberian Plateau. But, why do we know of the Lusitanians? The Lusitanians allied with Hannibal Barca during the Second Punic War (218-201 BCE) and sent tens of thousands of cavalry to fight in Italy. With the defeat of Hannibal and conclusion of the Second Punic War, the Romans inflicted punitive damage on the tribes who had allied with Hannibal. The Romans exterminated the Lusitanians in a war of ethnic cleansing to pacify the central plains of Spain for Roman expansion (c. 140 BCE).

Their cousins, the Celt-Iberians of central Spain spoke, not a different dialect, but a different q-Celt language. Their descendants, who had merged into the Roman sphere, were the only descendants of the Lusitanians who survived.

b. The Celtici, who descended from the Lusitanians migrated south and southwest as far as the Atlantic Ocean. At times the southernmost Celtici tribes were subject to Carthaginian hegemony. But by 141 BCE, the Celtici of the south were subsumed by the Romans and the Celtici of the north were exterminated by the Roman Legions.

c. The Galleaci aka the Gaels: The descendants of R-DF27 who remained in Iberia on the Celtic Promontory were the the elites for millennia. They spoke Gallaecian. The history of the Gallaeci and the Romans begin during the Cantabrian Wars (29-19 BCE) where the Romans pursued another punitive war against the Celts of northern Spain. Thus, Galicia was subsumed by the Roman Empire in the 1st Century BCE during the time of Caesar Augustus.

In his work, "Geography", [c. 17 CE] the classical geographer Strabo suggests a change had occurred in the use of the name "Lusitanian". He mentions a group who had once been called "Lusitanians" living north of the Douro river but were called in his day "Callacans".

    "Lusitania" <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lusitania> 13 August 2015.

Roman occupation of Galicia is evidenced by the 2nd Century CE Tower of Heracles. This tower is reported to be set on the site of a first tower which was erected by the Phoenicians. According to Irish myth/ pseudo-history, the Gaels glimpsed the emerald shores of distant Ireland from the top of the tower. Most importantly, even though the Galicians were subsumed into the Roman Empire, their Celtic culture survives to this day.

d. The Albiones/ Albioni were a Gallaecian tribe of the north coast of Spain. The Albioni were mentioned by Pliny (c. 77 CE).

The name Albiones is also attested on the "stele of Nicer Clutosi" found near Vegadeo. . .

    "Albiones" <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albiones> 6 March 2019.

Their name is believed to be the source for the name Albion, the Romanized name of Britain, and Alba, the Romanized name for Scotland. So, were the Albioni one of the tribes who sent their sons to invade Ireland c. 1,000 BCE? [NEXT]

Further reading:
"Milesians, the Myth" <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milesians_(Irish)> 17 July 2015.
"The Story of the Irish Race" <http://homepage.eircom.net/~kthomas/history.htm> 17 July 2015.


This site is provided for reference only. Except where specifically cited, information contained is conjecture and should not be considered as fact.
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