Republication from archaeologynewsnetwork

The DNA of Scottish people still contains signs of the country’s ancient kingdoms, with many apparently living in the same areas as their ancestors did more than a millennium ago, a study shows.

Scotland's genetic landscape echoes Dark Age populations
This is a genetic map of the British Isles, based on work by Professor Jim Wilson from the University of Edinburgh’s
Usher Institute and MRC Human Genetics Unit [Credit: The University of Edinburgh]

Experts have constructed Scotland’s first comprehensive genetic map, which reveals that the country is divided into six main clusters of genetically similar individuals: the Borders, the south-west, the north-east, the Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland.


These groupings are in similar locations to Dark Age kingdoms such as Strathclyde in the south-west, Pictland in the north-east, and Gododdin in the south-east. The Dark Ages are widely considered to be from the end of the Roman Empire in 476 AD to around 1000 AD.
In addition to showcasing Scotland’s genetic continuity, experts believe this type of population analysis could aid the discovery of rare DNA differences that might play major roles in human disease.
The new data from Scotland means this is the first time the genetic map of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland can be seen in its entirety, researchers say.

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