London: Believe it or not, around 50
per cent of Britons have German blood coursing through their
veins, say geneticists.
A team, led by the University College London,
studied a segment of the Y chromosome that appears in almost
all Danish and northern German men -- and found that it is
surprisingly common in Great Britain, the `Daily Mail` said.
Analysis of tooth enamel and bones found in Anglo-
Saxon cemeteries corroborated these results, they say.
German archaeologist Heinrich Haerke believes "up to
200,000 emigrants" crossed the North Sea, pillaging and raping
and eventually settling. The native Celts, softened by years
of peace under the Romans, were no match for the raiding
parties from across the North Sea.
Pottery and jewellery similar to that found in
grave sites along the Elbe River in northern Germany has been
unearthed in Anglo-Saxon cemeteries in London. There is also
evidence the settlers remained in contact with relatives on
the continent for upto three generations, say the geneticists.
The findings have caused a certain amount of gloating
in Germany. "There is no use in denying it. It`s clear that
the nation which most dislikes the Germans were once Krauts
themselves. A number of studies reinforce the intimacy of the
German-English relationship," wrote `Der Spiegel` magazine.
Anglo-Saxon is a catch-all phrase to refer to the
invaders of the fifth and sixth centuries AD. Angles came from
the southern part of the Danish peninsula and gave their name
to England and the Saxons came from the north German plain.
There were other tribes -- such as the Jutes, from
Jutland, who settled in Kent. The Anglo-Saxons drove Britons
into Cornwall, Wales and the North, but a few centuries later
faced waves of invaders themselves -- Vikings from Scandinavia
and then the Normans in 1066.