Friday, 30 June 2006

New Books on DNA in Announced

Bryan Sykes, author of the best-selling Seven Daughters of Eve has been at work on a new book, or rather books. Saxons, Vikings and Celts appeared on the amazon.com web site and is scheduled for release in November. Blood of the Isles is found on the amazon.co.uk site for release in September. The descriptions of the books are similar, likely different versions for the two markets. From amazon.com ....

"Saxons, Vikings, and Celts is the most illuminating book yet to be written about the genetic history of Britain and Ireland. Through a systematic, ten-year DNA survey of more than 10,000 volunteers, Bryan Sykes has traced the true genetic makeup of British Islanders and their descendants. This historical travelogue and genetic tour of the fabled isles, which includes accounts of the Roman invasions and Norman conquests, takes readers from the Pontnewydd cave in North Wales, where a 300,000-year-old tooth was discovered, to the resting place of "The Red Lady" of Paviland, whose anatomically modern body was dyed with ochre by her grieving relatives nearly 29,000 years ago. A perfect work for anyone interested in the genealogy of England, Scotland, or Ireland, Saxons, Vikings, and Celts features a chapter specifically addressing the genetic makeup of those people in the United States who have descended from the British Isles."

From amazon.co.uk ... "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 Roman 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 and his team at Oxford University 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? Where are today's Celtic genes? Did Vikings only rape and pillage, or settle with their families? And what of the genetic legacy of the Saxons and the Normans? 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? And where do you fit in? 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."

I'll certainly be looking at both, which are currently listed at substantial discount to cover price.

Update: A tip of the hat to Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak for referencing this item from her blog at Megasrootsworld

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