The first human settlers came to Britain through Doggerland, an ancient land bridge connecting Britain to Europe, around 5,000 years before the arrival of the next wave of Brits called the Early European Farmers (EEF). These peoples are called the Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHG) and, as their name suggests, mainly practised hunting and foraging but also practised farming, though not on a large scale as the EEF, and they lived in communities. Cheddar Man is the most famous example of WHG as his remains are the most well preserved and scientists used his extracted DNA to build a picture of what he looked like. His depiction of having black skin is controversial and the same leading scientist who led the DNA project says his depiction regarding his skin colour is inaccurate given his DNA has degraded in the 10,000 years since his death.1 But he was likely to have had dark skin as he lacked the genes for light skin, SLC24A5 and SLC45A2S, which were introduced by the EEF.
Large scale farming was brought to the British Isles by the later arriving EEF, who also built Britains’ famous megaliths and barrows (the most famous being Stonehenge) and built settlements.2 Sadly the migrant farmers had enslaved the WHG3 but they generally coexisted harmoniously, traded and intermarried. Then the Bell Beaker people arrived in the Bronze Age and supplanted the patrilineages of both groups. Today, over 90% of Brits are descended from the Bell Beaker peoples through their paternal lineage,4 but the indigenous peoples of the British Isles are largely survived through the maternal lineage of modern Brits, with approximately 15% WHG and no less than 70% EEF.5
Unlike with the Corded Ware Culture, the patrilineages of the WHG and EEF were never cleansed through violence; no evidence was found to suggest any violent confrontation between the Bell Beakers and the mentioned groups. The most likely case is that the EEF and WHG men were simply unable to compete with the newcomers for their women. When the Bell Beakers arrived they brought with them goods and skills which were sophisticated to the long isolated peoples of the British Isles, such as pottery, clothing, tools, jewellery etc,. For the Neolithic British women, marrying into this new culture and lifestyle was an uplift from labouring on farms and herding livestock. The Bell Beaker men in return may have accepted dowries and inherited land in exchange for marrying the native women.
Who were the Bell Beaker people?
Interestingly, the R1b Haplogroup is dominant in Western Europe but much less prevalent in Eastern Europe where the Haplogroup R1a dominates. This could only suggest that, unlike R1a, R1b did not originate from the Yamnaya tribes who founded the Corded Ware Culture. The subsequent Bell Beaker Culture wasn’t borne from the Yamnaya but from an Iberian people who adopted the nomadic lifestyle of their Yamnaya counterparts, thus allowing them to spread their Bell Beaker Culture and Proto-Celtic language, but not their genetics.6 So as the Northwest European variant of the R1b Haplogroup was from neither the Yamnaya nor the Iberians, it could only be from a third, distinct population: an EEF population that adopted the Bell Beaker lifestyle and began spreading eastward, pushing back the Yamnaya people and intermixing with their women, thereby acquiring their Nordic genetics, before crossing the Dover Strait into the British Isles. These people were originally dark in complexion,7 but through both natural and social selection,8 light phenotypes dominated the British gene pool, but at the same time, the genetic admixture associated with the earlier EEF population showed a resurgence,9 resulting in a distinct subrace in the British Isles called the Atlantid Race.
The Insular Celtic Languages
There is a strong indication of the languages spoken by the British EEF being survived as a substratum of the Insular Celtic languages. There seems to be a correlation of how the Indo European languages evolved in the British Isles and Scandinavia; while the Indo European languages spread across the European continent with the least amount of corruptions, they were by contrast largely influenced by the native languages they replaced both in Scandinavia and in the British Isles. This indicates that the natural watery barrier limited the movement of the Indo Europeans into these two regions, thus allowing for their respective Indo European languages to be subsumed by the native languages they eventually replaced, rather than the other way round. This is the case with the Germanic language family evolving in Scandinavia (Pre-Germanic born out of a Proto-Finnic substrate in Scandinavia) and the Insular Celtic languages, which shared many similarities with the Semitic and Berber languages such as the VSO (Verb-Subject-Object) word order, a feature not found in any Indo-European languages including the Continental Celtic languages.10 The most likely explanation for this is that the indigenous language(s) spoken in the British Isles were Afroasiatic (same family to which Semitic and Tamazight belong) and was brought to the British Isles from Neolithic seafarers from the Iberian peninsula who in turn were descended from seafarers from the Middle East; this contact between the British Isles and mainly the Iberian Peninsula but also the Maghreb11 and the western French coast9 continued at least until the early Bronze Age, which allowed for the subsequent introduction of the Indo-European Celtic languages into the British Isles from its’ Iberian birthplace.12