Blood of the Isles

Front Cover
Transworld, Feb 28, 2011 - Reference - 384 pages
12 Reviews

Bryan Sykes, the world's first genetic archaeologist, takes us on a journey around the family tree of Britain and Ireland, to reveal how our tribal history still colours the country today.

In 54BC Julius Caesar launched the first Roman invasion of Britain. His was the first detailed account of the Celtic tribes that inhabited the Isles. But where had they come from and how long had they been there? When the Romans eventually left five hundred years later, they were succeeded by invasions of Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans. Did these successive invasions obliterate the genetic legacy of the Celts, or have very little effect?

After two decades tracing the genetic origins of peoples from all over the world, Bryan Sykes has now turned the spotlight on his own back yard. In a major research programme, the first of its kind, he set out to test the DNA of over 10,000 volunteers from across Britain and Ireland with the specific aim of answering this very question: what is our modern genetic make-up and what does it tell us of our tribal past? Are the modern people of the Isles a delicious genetic cocktail? Or did the invaders keep mostly to themselves forming separate genetic layers within the Isles?

As his findings came in, Bryan Sykes discovered that the genetic evidence revealed often very different stories to the conventional accounts coming from history and archaeology. Blood of the Isles reveals the nature of our genetic make-up as never before and what this says about our attitudes to ourselves, each other, and to our past. It is a gripping story that will fascinate and surprise with its conclusions.

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Review: Blood of the Isles: Exploring the Genetic Roots of Our Tribal History

User Review  - Shimin - Goodreads

A very compelling read as to the merits and significance of genetics as a historical tool. Even as a foreigner to the British Isles, I found this book pretty inspiring in calling for further ... Read full review

Review: Blood of the Isles: Exploring the Genetic Roots of Our Tribal History

User Review  - Michael Cargill - Goodreads

A jolly interesting read. Read full review

About the author (2011)

Bryan Sykes is Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, has had a remarkable scientific career in genetics. After undertaking medical research into the causes of inherited bone disease, he set out to discover if DNA, the genetic material, could possibly survive in ancient bones. It did and he was the first to report on the recovery of ancient DNA from archaeological bone in the journal "Nature" in 1989. Since then Professor Sykes has been called in as the leading international authority to examine several high profile cases, such as the Ice Man, Cheddar Man and the many individuals claiming to be surviving members of the Russian Royal Family. He is the author of The Seven Daughters of Eve and Adam's Curse.

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