Sunday, March 31, 2013

A recently discovered DNA marker suggests that 10% of Scottish men are directly descended from the Picts

For generations historians have puzzled over what happened to the Picts and why they seemed to disappear from history but ScotlandsDNA has found a marker that strongly suggests that they did not fade but are alive and well, particularly in the ancient Pictish heartland of Fife, Perthshire, 
Tayside, the North East and the Moray Firth. Dr Jim Wilson, chief scientist for 
ScotlandsDNA, found a new Y chromosome 
marker which arose among the direct ancestors of the Picts. When he tested this new fatherline — R1b-S530 — in more than 3,000 British and Irish men, he discovered that R1b-S530 is 10 times more common in men with 
Scottish grandfathers than it is in men with English grandfathers. Dr Wilson said: “The finding just popped out of the analysis. While there have been hints of this from previous data, what was surprising was the really huge difference between England and Scotland. It is also a clear sign that although 
people have moved around in recent times, there remains a core who have stayed at home — for a very long time!” The R1b-S530 marker is estimated to be about 3,000 years old which 
suggests it was common among the ancestors of the Picts, some of the original 
inhabitants of Scotland. Alistair Moffat, managing 
director of ScotlandsDNA said: “Politically, the Picts seemed to vanish after a 
battle with the Vikings in Strathmore in 839 and the establishment of Kenneth MacAlpin and his dynasty in the middle of the ninth century. But what these fascinating new 
findings tell us is that kings and dynasties apart, there is a hidden people’s history of Scotland bubbling under the headlines — a history only DNA can reveal.”

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