Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My brother sent me this article, which states that they have found a genetic link between the men of Northern Ireland and Niall of the Nine Hostages, who was the mythical progenitor of the Uí Neill in medieval Ireland (one of the most powerful clans ever in Irish history).

All the genetics are telling us is two things. First, a guy a long time ago had lots of male children. Second, based on their mathematical model, it was about the time of the expansion of the Uí­ Neill. As we well know, the Irish loved to make up new people when it was politically important to seal alliances between rival dynasties.

Thus it is rather useless for most part unless they find Niall's grave (the identification of the body of Niall would be shaky at best since they kept grave stones in Ogam and, since Ogam was written on the square side of the stone, it wares away very easily); dig him up; find some left over genetic material (usually the bone marrow or teeth) and test. Even then we can only say that we are probably sure that this guy was the head of the Uí Neill. All it would take is one womanizing rogue in medieval Northern Ireland and some luck.

Still very interesting stuff.

posted by Chris  #1:26 PM | 0 comments |