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Genetic analysis of Ancient Gaul

Author: Maciamo Hay (last update : March 2021)

Map of Iron Age Gaul



Contents

Dodecad K12b admixtures of Neolithic & Chalcolithic France & Switzerland

18 of the French Neolithic samples below were tested by Brunel et al. (2020). The 64 Late Neolithic/Chalcolithic Swiss samples were tested by Furtwängler et al. (2020). The 12 Bell Beaker (Late Neolithic/Chalcolithic) individuals are from Olalde et al. (2018).


Early Neolithic France (5200-4700 BCE)

Sample ID Gedrosia Siberia NW Africa SE Asia Atlantic Med North Europe South Asia East Africa SW Asia East Asia Caucasus Sub-Saharan Africa
MDV248 0 0 0.35 0 49.65 2.74 0 0 12.21 0 35.05 0
Mor6 0.00 0.00 4.07 0.00 71.48 0.00 0.00 0.00 9.22 0.00 15.23 0.00
Sch72-15 0 0.23 1.82 0.00 53.12 0.00 0.00 0.00 15.06 0.00 29.77 0.00
Schw432 0 0 2.24 0 54.59 0 0 0 15 0 28.17 0
Early Neolithic France 0.00 0.06 2.12 0.00 57.21 0.69 0.00 0.00 12.87 0.00 27.06 0.00

Middle Neolithic France & Switzerland (4700-3300 BCE)

Sample ID Gedrosia Siberia NW Africa SE Asia Atlantic Med North Europe South Asia East Africa SW Asia East Asia Caucasus Sub-Saharan Africa
BORS-Michelsberg 0.00 0.18 4.28 0.00 64.41 11.97 0.00 0.00 5.55 0.00 13.59 0.03
BORS-Michelsberg 0.00 0.00 3.45 0.00 64.55 7.73 0.00 0.00 8.44 0.00 15.82 0.00
BORS-Michelsberg 0 0 6.09 0 57.58 9.05 0 0 9.68 0 17.59 0
BUCH2 0 0 6.66 0 64.73 4.55 0 0 7.58 0.42 16.07 0
BLP10-Michelsberg 0 0 5.73 0 65.09 6.57 0 0 5.84 0 16.77 0
PSS4693 0 0 2.98 0 61.2 8.97 0 0.1 7.23 0 19.36 0.17
ROS45 0 0 2.91 0.74 58.67 4.43 0.00 0.56 14.19 0.00 18.50 0.00
ROS78 0 0 4.93 0.37 55.62 7.49 0 0.38 10.11 0 21.09 0
ROS82 0 0 4.67 1.82 54.08 4.77 0 0 11.99 0 22.67 0
ROS102 0.00 0.00 3.29 0.00 53.53 19.81 0.00 0.00 8.94 0.00 14.43 0.00
WET370 0 0.88 0.38 0 65.69 9.78 0.86 0 10.71 0 11.69 0
Pir4 0 0 1.96 0 60.51 19.45 0 0 8.17 0 9.9 0
CRE20D 0 0 4.24 0.00 65.88 6.18 0.00 1.21 7.63 0.00 14.70 0.17
Es97-1 0 0 4.17 0.55 69.53 12.82 0.00 0.22 1.98 0.00 10.44 0.29
I4303 0 0 4.71 0.75 71.04 9.31 0 0 8 0 5.73 0.46
I4304 0 0.06 3.34 0.00 69.23 11.60 0.00 0.00 7.32 0.26 7.40 0.79
I4305 0 0 2.7 0.08 67.83 11.4 0 0.04 6.61 0.03 10.42 0.9
SX11 0 0 5.83 0.15 61.06 13.94 0 0 7.02 0 12.01 0
SX33 0 0 4.35 0.12 55.59 0 0 0 12.76 0 27.18 0
Middle Neolithic France 0.00 0.06 4.04 0.24 62.41 9.46 0.05 0.13 8.41 0.04 15.02 0.15

Late Neolithic Switzerland (3300-2000 BCE)

Sample ID Gedrosia Siberia NW Africa SE Asia Atlantic Med North Europe South Asia East Africa SW Asia East Asia Caucasus Sub-Saharan Africa
Aesch1 0.00 0.00 3.71 0.00 66.18 7.18 0.10 0.00 8.62 0.78 13.43 0.00
Aesch10 0.00 0.00 2.83 0.00 67.95 8.35 0.00 0.00 10.36 0.00 10.51 0.00
Aesch11 0 0 3.33 0 66.66 8.37 0 0 10.13 0 11.51 0
Aesch12 0 0 6.05 0 67.21 5.74 0 0 8.64 0 12.36 0
Aesch13 0 0.29 1.51 0 66.45 11.72 0 0 8.88 0 11.15 0
Aesch14 0 0 3.95 0.05 64.63 9.07 0 0 8.17 0 14.13 0
Aesch15 0 0 6.31 0 65.27 7.99 0 0 6.11 0 14.32 0
Aesch16 0 0 2.87 1.21 64.89 5.04 0.00 0.00 7.24 2.37 16.18 0.19
Aesch17 0 0 2.97 0 65.99 9.59 0 0.25 8.32 0 12.87 0
Aesch18 0 0.63 4.59 0.22 66.83 8.09 0 0 6.54 0 13.1 0
Aesch19 0.00 0.00 5.11 0.00 65.16 10.36 0.00 0.00 6.56 0.00 12.81 0.00
Aesch2 0 0 7.65 0 66.67 7.92 0 0 4.97 0.82 11.96 0
Aesch20 0 0 4.2 0 70.33 10.34 0 0.01 5.89 0.96 8.27 0
Aesch21 0 0 3.33 0 71.19 6.19 0 0 8.6 0 10.7 0
Aesch22 0 0 6.76 0 62.73 11.6 0 0 8.68 0 10.22 0
Aesch23 0 0 5.22 0.00 65.35 9.68 0.00 0.00 7.5 0.00 12.14 0.12
Aesch24 0 0 3.71 0.00 69.79 7.00 0.00 0.00 6.34 0.00 13.12 0.04
Aesch25 19.79 1.15 0.00 0.00 22.9 54.84 0.46 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.85
Aesch3 0 0 5.59 0.00 63.58 9.56 0.00 0.00 8.39 0.00 12.75 0.13
Aesch4 0 0 4.15 0.94 66.08 11.31 0.00 0.00 5.28 0.00 12.23 0.00
Aesch5 0 0 6.71 0 65.75 7.17 0 0 9.84 0 10.52 0.01
Aesch6 0 0 0.41 0 65.34 15.79 0 0 7.99 0 10.48 0
Aesch7 0 0 4.34 1.17 66.01 16.85 0.00 0.00 5.82 0.00 5.8 0.00
Aesch8 0 0 3.16 0 69.84 9.55 0 0 5.63 0 11.82 0
Aesch9 0 0 3.59 0.42 66.55 9.89 0 0 7.08 0 12.47 0
MX150 0 0 5.07 0 65.3 12.1 0 0 8.8 0 8.73 0
MX182 0 0 3.96 0.11 67.25 10.62 0 0 5.85 0.95 11.28 0
MX184 0 0 5.43 0 67.14 11.44 0 0.17 6.62 0.5 8.7 0
MX187 0 0 4.04 0 63.5 10.05 0 0 9.07 0.45 12.9 0
MX203 0 0 1.01 0 65.69 4.67 0 0 9.44 0 19.19 0
MX204 0 0 2.92 0 64.97 8.67 0 0 6.09 0 17.36 0
MX209 0 0 3.46 0 67.58 7.28 0 0 12.41 0.28 8.98 0
MX210 0 0 3.1 0 70.95 13.4 0 0 5.65 0 6.9 0
MX211 0 0.49 3.42 0 67.72 8.67 0 0 6.99 0 12.71 0
MX212 0 0 4.83 0.27 65.29 12.59 0 0.23 7.71 0 9.08 0
MX213 0 0 4.38 0.24 70.68 9.84 0.00 0.00 7.35 0.00 7.5 0.00
MX219 0 0 8.66 0 58.62 11.03 0 0 5.35 0 16.34 0
SNPRA42 0 0 3.26 2.46 59.56 10.57 0 0 8.49 0 15.65 0
SNPRA43 0 1.57 7.31 0 63.13 9.23 0 0 3.63 1.95 13.19 0
SNPRA44 0 0.35 5.22 0 66.32 12.8 0 0 6.23 0 9.08 0
SNPRA45 0 0 4.93 0.5 69.35 4.99 0.54 0 8.32 0.43 10.94 0
SNPRA54 0 0.4 1.52 0 67.74 3.83 0 0 0 0 25.21 1.3
SNPRA57 0 0.3 7.09 0 62.83 11.34 0 0 7.56 0 10.87 0
SNPRA58 0 0 4.43 0.22 66.91 11.95 0 0 3.25 0 13.24 0
SNPRA59 0 0.67 6.64 0 61.52 17.53 0 0 5.91 0 7.74 0
SNPRA61 0 0 4.19 0.19 67.32 11.42 0 0 5.27 0 11.61 0
SNPRA62 0 0 4.73 0.03 61.93 14.32 0 0 6.06 0 12.86 0.08
SNPRA63 12.1 0 2.79 2.89 42.92 33.43 0 0.03 0.53 0 5.32 0
SNPRA64 12.09 0.79 0 0.25 35.92 41.73 1.58 0 1.7 0 5.54 0.39
SX10 0 0 0.83 1.17 71.24 9.84 0 0 8.24 0.31 8.37 0
SX17 0 0 5.88 0 64.01 7.14 0 0 5.82 0 17.15 0
SX18 3.4 0.37 0.78 0.46 49.34 24.63 0 0 1.52 0 18.83 0.68
SX21 0 0 6.76 0 59.87 5.27 0 0 8.58 0.24 19.29 0
SX22 0 0 4.2 0 63.02 8.65 0 0 7.44 0 16.69 0
SX23 6.78 1.2 0 0 37.31 40.93 0.79 0.26 1.99 0 10.75 0
SX26 0 0 3.59 0 61.52 8.21 0 0 8.01 0.12 18.55 0
SX29 0 0 3.22 0 54.51 7.97 0 0 9.1 0 25.19 0
SX30 0 0 4.04 0.75 57.89 3.69 0 0 9.78 0.63 23.22 0
SX8 0 0 3.21 0.78 67.04 9.89 0 0 6.58 0 12.24 0.26
SX9 0 0 2.25 0 62.87 11.69 0 0 11.27 0 11.93 0
Late Neolithic Switzerland 0.52 0.13 4.08 0.19 63.95 11.13 0.03 0.02 7.00 0.19 12.71 0.06

Bell Beaker France & Switzerland (2500-2100 BCE)

Sample ID Gedrosia Siberia NW Africa SE Asia Atlantic Med North Europe South Asia East Africa SW Asia East Asia Caucasus Sub-Saharan Africa
I1382 13.38 1.66 0.00 0.14 30.09 47.16 1.65 0.79 0.00 0.13 4.45 0.56
I1388 0.00 0.00 2.30 0.00 59.39 21.76 0.81 0.00 7.46 0.00 8.28 0.00
I1389 13.64 0.48 1.34 0 37.12 43.47 0.36 2.42 1.16 0 0 0
I1390 9.91 1.27 0 0 33.4 46.97 0 0.31 0 0 7.34 0.8
I1391 11.13 4.27 0 0 40.65 36.26 0 0 3.82 0 2.44 1.42
I1392 0.00 0.00 3.98 0.00 60.09 13.81 0.00 0.00 7.55 0.95 13.28 0.34
I3874 5.77 0.32 0.81 0.47 39.46 40.05 1.07 0.56 0.80 0.00 10.47 0.22
I3875 8.18 0.07 0.01 1.5 40.92 42.65 0 0.02 0 0 5.94 0.69
I5755 0 0 3.63 0.57 31.17 40.03 1.48 0 11.66 0 11.47 0
I5757 7.66 0 0 0 39.65 47.94 0 2.31 2.45 0 0 0
I5759 11.86 0.00 2.75 0.00 36.47 25.39 3.14 0.00 7.27 0.00 12.80 0.32
CBV95 16.77 0.00 1.06 0.38 19.29 55.63 0.28 0.00 0.00 0.00 6.58 0.00
SX32 13.63 0.33 0 0 29.97 46.28 1.17 0.35 0 0 8.27 0
Bell Beaker Gaul 8.61 0.65 1.22 0.24 38.28 39.03 0.77 0.52 3.24 0.08 7.02 0.33

Dodecad K12b admixtures of Early to Middle Bronze Age Gauls (2100-1500 BCE)

The first 14 samples below were tested by Brunel et al. (2020). They are all from Alsace, except EUG11 from Aude (Occitanie) and PIR3037AB and PIR3116B from Hérault (Occitanie). The 16 other samples were tested by Furtwängler et al. (2020) and date from the Copper Age to Early Bronze Age. The MX samples are from Singen in Baden-Württemberg, just at the border of Germany and Switzerland. The RA samples are from Zuzach and the SX from Wartau, both in Switzerland. Altough these areas were later part of the Roman province of Raetia, they were at the core of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures and traditionally part of pre-Roman Gaul.

Early Bronze Age Eastern Gaul (Alsace, Switzerland)

Sample ID Gedrosia Siberia NW Africa SE Asia Atlantic Med North Europe South Asia East Africa SW Asia East Asia Caucasus Sub-Saharan Africa
BIS130 10.57 1.57 0 0.00 41.03 37.17 0.00 0.00 0.84 0.00 8.34 0.48
BIS385 9.6 2.43 3.87 0.00 36.53 40.99 0.00 0.00 0.28 1.02 5.25 0.02
OBE3626-1 10.34 1.49 0 0.9 39.94 46.29 0 0 0 0.44 0.6 0
OBE3722 10.54 0 0 0.71 30.92 47.62 0 0 0 0 10.2 0
RIX2 0.44 0 0 0 43.03 34.76 1.94 1.16 1.76 0 16.86 0.05
RIX4 8.68 0 1.5 0 41.34 42.24 1.39 0.07 1.8 0 2.1 0.89
RIX15 6.47 0 0 0 43.85 37.51 2.95 0.02 0 0 8.86 0.33
QUIN58 3.84 0 5.52 1.37 48.16 28.28 0.89 0 8.43 0 3.52 0
MX252 9.37 0.31 2.73 0 42.07 38.75 1.44 0.09 1.05 0 3.46 0.73
MX254 4.28 1.78 1.06 0.00 39.32 37.09 0.00 0.00 3.78 0.00 12.24 0.44
MX256 0 0 0 2.20 45.61 32.62 2.03 0.00 0.00 4.12 13.41 0.00
MX257 10.32 0 2.45 0.06 38.61 39.15 1.65 0.68 0.35 0.00 6.00 0.73
MX258 11.67 0 1.70 0.00 35.85 38.84 0.00 0.24 3.71 0.32 6.89 0.79
MX265 0.22 0.42 1.23 0.29 31.39 43.02 0.22 0.00 4.12 0.00 18.55 0.55
MX270 10.92 1.67 0 0 38.89 38.29 0 1.17 2.84 0 6.22 0
MX275 10.61 1.81 2.74 0 42.12 35.62 0.55 0 2.11 0 4.19 0.25
MX277 4.57 0 3.59 0.02 44.48 33.37 0.00 1.89 1.40 0.00 10.68 0.00
MX279 7.68 0 0 0 38.2 41.85 3.19 0 1.8 0 6.57 0.71
MX280 7.44 1.31 0.95 0.46 38.74 42.33 0 0 0.53 0 7.07 1.17
MX283 6.02 1.2 0.39 0 44.91 34.66 0 0 3.1 0 8.69 1.03
MX286 8.21 0 0 1.15 41.91 35.64 0.24 0 1.86 0 10.22 0.77
MX288 6.41 1.59 0 0.04 42.18 39.67 0.11 0 0.62 0.11 8.5 0.76
RA63 12.42 0 1.76 2.38 42.66 33.28 0 0 0.86 0 6.06 0.59
RA64 12.16 0 0 0.42 36.34 42.02 1.43 0 2.09 0.29 4.53 0.7
SX20 4.4 0 2.05 0.88 45.57 33.66 0 0 2.31 0 10.66 0.47
Early Bronze Age Swabia 7.79 0.63 1.26 0.44 40.93 37.99 0.74 0.22 1.73 0.26 7.55 0.45

Early Bronze Age Southern France (Languedoc)

Sample ID Gedrosia Siberia NW Africa SE Asia Atlantic Med North Europe South Asia East Africa SW Asia East Asia Caucasus Sub-Saharan Africa
EUG11 0.08 0 0.87 0 51.24 32.08 0 0.71 6.14 0 8.31 0.57
PIR3037AB 0 0 0 1.43 54.83 22.05 0.00 2.70 1.14 0.00 17.85 0.00
PIR3116B 3.89 1.75 0 0.11 42.92 35.18 0 0 0 0 15.66 0.5
PSS4170 2.05 0 0 0.30 49.77 35.89 0.08 0.49 2.09 0.00 8.98 0.35
QUIN234 0 0 0.00 0 55.4 28.66 0.88 0 1.93 0 12.91 0.22
Early Bronze Age Languedoc 1.20 0.35 0.17 0.37 50.83 30.77 0.19 0.78 2.26 0.00 12.74 0.33

Late Bronze Age Alsace

Only one individual from LBA Gaul has been tested to date.

Sample ID Gedrosia Siberia NW Africa SE Asia Atlantic Med North Europe South Asia East Africa SW Asia East Asia Caucasus Sub-Saharan Africa
NIED 3.82 0 5.05 0 49.34 25.58 0.14 0 0 1.21 14.29 0.57

Dodecad K12b admixtures of Iron Age Gauls

The 16 Iron Age samples from ancient Gaul below were tested by Brunel et al. (2020). 13 of them are from Belgic tribes (Belgae) from northern Gaul (in this case Picardy and Alsace in France). The samples from the Oise and Aisne départements in Picardy may belong to the Ambiani tribe. Those from Alsace all come from around Strasbourg and Colmar, which was the territory of the Nemetes The last three samples are from Aude and Hérault in Occitanie (southern France), a region occupied by the Volcae tribe during the Iron Age. The samples from Sainte-Croix and Nordhouse in Alsace date from the late Hallstatt period. All the others are from the La Tène culture. All but one of the samples were female, so no Y-chromosomal DNA is available for them. The PECH3 sample from Sigean, Aude, belonged to Y-haplogroup R1b-L21.

What is striking about Gaulish DNA samples is how heterogeneous they are. Each admixture varies widely between individuals, even those from the same area and the same period. Modern Europeans tend to be much more homoegeneous within a same region.

Sample ID Gedrosia Siberia NW Africa SE Asia Atlantic Med North Europe South Asia East Africa SW Asia East Asia Caucasus Sub-Saharan Africa
ATT26 8.03 0.00 0.00 0.00 38.27 41.78 1.62 0.00 0.00 0.00 8.39 1.91
BFM265 8.47 0.00 0.00 0.00 46.94 33.73 1.07 0.00 2.92 0.00 6.55 0.31
COL11 5.44 0.00 0.00 0.00 39.43 43.40 3.64 0.00 0.00 0.00 7.21 0.87
COL153A 5.24 0.00 0.00 0.00 31.38 39.94 0.00 0.00 4.37 0.00 19.07 0.00
COL153i 0.00 2.46 0.00 1.26 36.79 36.90 0.00 1.40 1.84 1.45 17.90 0.00
ERS1164 10.29 0.38 1.46 1.07 36.78 37.73 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 12.10 0.19
ERS86 6.75 0.00 0.00 0.00 38.28 36.57 0.00 1.16 7.72 0.00 9.51 0.00
ERS88 2.63 0.00 0.00 0.00 39.51 27.62 0.37 0.00 6.20 0.00 23.67 0.00
Jeb8 3.73 0.00 0.00 0.00 43.53 37.00 3.59 0.44 2.74 0.00 8.70 0.27
NOR2B6 5.40 0.59 2.84 0.19 36.97 33.37 0.00 0.59 5.34 0.00 14.71 0.00
NOR3-15 5.34 0.01 4.35 0.08 35.87 30.28 0.00 0.00 7.23 0.00 16.12 0.00
NOR3-6 6.77 0.00 6.29 0.46 38.53 40.47 1.07 0.00 0.25 0.00 6.16 0.00
NOR4 0.00 0.00 1.90 0.00 46.92 30.78 2.37 0.00 3.11 1.08 13.84 0.00
PECH5 0.57 0.00 0.00 1.84 56.86 29.50 0.00 0.00 7.87 2.27 1.09 0.00
BES1248 7.47 0.41 0.00 0.00 38.78 48.44 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.87 3.90 0.13
PEY53 11.04 0.00 0.00 0.00 44.30 35.83 0.20 0.00 3.09 1.68 2.59 1.28
Iron Age Gauls 5.45 0.24 1.05 0.31 40.57 36.46 0.87 0.22 3.29 0.46 10.72 0.31

Additional information about the samples

Sample ID Location Date (BCE) Tribe Culture Eye colour Hair colour
ATT26 Attichy-Bitry, Oise, Picardie 350-200 Ambiani La Tène
BFM265 Bucy-le-Long, Aisne, Picardie 250-190 Ambiani La Tène brown? dark
COL11 Colmar, Alsace 360-320 Nemetes La Tène blue? dark
COL153A Colmar, Alsace 360-320 Nemetes La Tène blue dark?
COL153i Colmar, Alsace 360-320 Nemetes La Tène brown? fair?
ERS1164 Erstein, Alsace 400-100 Nemetes La Tène blue?
ERS86 Erstein, Alsace 400-100 Nemetes La Tène blue
ERS88 Erstein, Alsace 400-100 Nemetes La Tène blue? light brown?
Jeb8 Sainte-Croix, Alsace 600-400 ? Hallstatt brown? dark?
NOR2B6 Nordhouse, Alsace 800-700 ? Hallstatt blue? dark
NOR3-15 Nordhouse, Alsace 800-700 ? Hallstatt brown? dark?
NOR3-6 Nordhouse, Alsace 620-500 ? Hallstatt blue dark
NOR4 Nordhouse, Alsace 620-480 ? Hallstatt blue? dark
PECH5 Sigean, Aude, Occitanie 600-300 Tectosages (Volcae) ?
BES1248 Bessan, Hérault, Occitanie 200-50 Volcae La Tène blue dark
PEY53 Agde, Hérault, Occitanie 200-150 Volcae La Tène fair?

Comparison with modern populations

Using the Bronze Age and Iron Age Gaul modal admixtures above and comparing it with the Dodecad K12b averages for modern populations on Vahaduo, the most similar modern populations are North(east) French and Belgians. This isn't surprising considering that 13/16 of the Gaulish samples are Belgae.

Bronze Age Gauls

  • North French : 4.5
  • Northeast French : 5.2
  • Belgians : 5.2
  • Northwest French : 7.6
  • South English : 8.4
  • Bavarian Germans : 9.3
  • North English : 9.6

Iron Age Gauls

  • Northeast French : 3.3
  • North French : 3.4
  • Belgians : 3.9
  • Bavarian Germans : 7.1
  • Northwest French : 8.3
  • South English : 8.9
  • Italians from Aosta Valley : 9.1

Another way to go, instead of comparing ancient averages with modern averages, is to look at the closest individual matches between modern people and ancient Gauls. This analysis was done using MyTrueAncestry.com to compare the genomes of the ancient Belgae with those of modern Europeans. The closest matches in term of genetic distance were the Belgians and Welsh, followed by the South French and Swiss. Here is the full list of modern Europeans having a genetic distance smaller than 10 to the ancient Gauls.

  • Belgians : 5.9
  • Welsh : 6.0
  • South French : 6.8
  • Swiss : 7.3
  • North Dutch : 7.6
  • North Germans : 7.8
  • English : 8.2
  • Danes : 8.2
  • Galicians : 8.5
  • Irish : 8.6
  • Scottish : 8.7
  • South Dutch : 8.7
  • Catalans : 9.0
  • Portuguese : 9.6

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