Sunday 25 October 2020

Giant's Ring

This is the so called Giant's Ring, a late Neolithic henge monument at Ballynahatty, near Shaw's Bridge, Belfast, Northern Ireland...

Inside the enclosure, east of the centre, is a small passage tomb with an entrance passage facing west...

The genetic data obtained from the female remains found inside the tomb, and dated to (3343–3020 cal. BC) shows "predominant ancestry from early farmers" and "haplotypic affinity with modern southern Mediterranean populations such as Sardinians".

Also "she shares higher levels of genetic drift with Early and MN samples from Spain rather than those from Germany...and arguing for the possible passage of farming to Ireland via a southern coastal route rather than via the migrations through central Europe".

From "Neolithic and Bronze Age migration to Ireland and establishment of the insular Atlantic genome

Now this is pointing at the neolithic people (first farmers) migrating into Europe following two routes, both starting in the Balkans: 

1. Up along Morava river to Danube and then up along Danube river into centra Europe and onward to North and Baltic seas and then further into Britain. 

2. Along north mediterranean coast via Italy, France, Spain and further into Ireland. 

Now according to the archaeological data presented in "Farming and woodland dynamics in Ireland during the Neolithic" the first farmers arrived to Ireland some time after "the great elm decline" which is pinned to around 3800BC. 

Now at that time, in the 4th millennium BC, the tourists wanting to travel along the north Mediterranean coast had two options: to walk, or to use the Neolithic seafaring trading routes that we know existed between Balkans and Iberia (via Sicily and Sardinia). I talked about this trading route in my post "Neolithic seafarers". 

So our girl (or one of her ancestors) probably travelled from Sardinia to Iberia by boat (probably along the coast, with stops along the way). And then continued on to Ireland by boat too (along the coast to Brittany and then via Cornwall to Ireland?) as there is no other way to get from Iberia to Ireland...

Interestingly, the same maritime trading/migration route along the North Mediterranean coast and then along the Atlantic coast was described in the Irish Annals as the route taken by the many Invaders of Ireland...Like Partholon who allegedly brought metalwork and cattle to Ireland...

I talked about the legends about Partholon and how it fits the archaeological data in my posts "Parthlon and the great flood" and "Or - Ireland's gold" and the rest of the posts from my series about the "Montenegrian tumuluses" (or Montenegrin tumuli as I discovered you should say in "proper English" 🙂)


  1. Otzi also shared Sardinian type DNA. It was the common type for the entire region rather than just the island.

    1. By region you mean south of Europe...Along the North Mediterranean coast.

    2. Yes,southern Europe. Back then everyone in the south was "Sardinian".