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Saxons Vikings And Celts [Hardcover]

Bryan Sykes
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 12 2006 0393062686 978-0393062687 1
One of the world's leading geneticists, Bryan Sykes has helped thousands find their ancestry in the British Isles. Saxons, Vikings, and Celts, which resulted from a systematic ten-year DNA survey of more than 10,000 volunteers, traces the true genetic makeup of the British Isles and its descendants, taking readers from the Pontnewydd cave in North Wales to the resting place of "The Red Lady" of Paviland and the tomb of King Arthur. Genealogy has become a popular pastime of Americans interested in their heritage, and this is the perfect work for anyone interested in finding their heritage in England, Scotland, or Ireland.

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Review

Explained with an infectious zest. His book is so revealing that the new...as well as the old should read it. -- Boyd Tonkin, The Independent [UK]

Make[s] a good case for genetics taking its place alongside archaeology and history as a tool for understanding the past. -- Ann Forester, Library Journal --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Bryan Sykes is professor of human genetics at Oxford University. His company, Oxford Ancestors, traces human genetic backgrounds. Sykes's books include the "New York Times" bestseller "The Seven Daughters of Eve".

Reader of over four hundred audiobooks, Dick Hill has won three coveted Audie Awards and been nominated numerous times. He is also the recipient of several AudioFile Earphones Awards. AudioFile includes Dick on their prestigious list of Golden Voices.
--This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bloodletting modifies myths March 12 2007
By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Any readable account of genetic research is a treat. Finding one incorporating human history and the legends surrounding our past is a prize. Bryan Sykes has given us hints of this with his previous books on tracing women's and men's antecedents in Europe. He's a dedicated researcher and writing seems to come naturally to him. In this survey, the author keeps your interest with summaries of the old legends, the progress of the work and the results derived from the study. Yet, throughout, there is no sense of the stereotype "cold, detached researcher". Sykes is a man who cares equally for his subjects and his readers. He imparts his enthusiasm with almost gossipy prose - making this an informative and entertaining read.

This book combines the two tracks of the earlier ones with a definite focus on the British Isles. Sykes is able to weave various themes into one integrated presentation. He covers the climate shifts of the Ice Age and how that affected all life, from the plants through human settlement and dispersal through the Isles. He further recounts the various legends and "histories" of each region, with their heroes, struggles and legacies. Much of the view we hold of ourselves and those around us derives from the legends we were taught as children. Sykes wants to clarify those stories, grounding them in genetic evidence. Once, this evidence was gathered through blood sampling, a technique now replaced by cheek swabs. The bloodletting and the localisation led to the original European title: "Blood of The Isles".

Human occupation of The Isles began erratically, he explains. After initial forays, the flow and ebb of glacial ice cleared the land of life, then allowed its return.
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Format:Kindle Edition
This is a must read for anyone interested in the genealogy of the Isle. It will be interesting to see if further research will make much alteration in his basic premises.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great .... but Feb. 2 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed reading this book very much. One word of caution though... The concept of "people", "nation", "culture" and identity here tend to be mixed up a bit. There is still a lot of room for discussion on these matters.

For example when the author suggests that celts were a people he means from a genetic point of view and he means, if I understand correctly, the people that were in Great Britain from Neolithic times. On the other hand celticness is also a culture associated with specific archeological finds from the period 400BC. There is no nuance there. Kind of like saying that today's Canadian population is the same genetically as culturally. These are two separate things.
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5.0 out of 5 stars So interesting to read Oct. 15 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was so interested in this DNA method of tracking down who came where and when. Never would
have thought populations could be traced so closely. History is one thing but DNA is another and definitely
more conclusive. I strongly advise people to read it...keeps one interested right through.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Seven Daughters redux Dec 1 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you have read Sykes' "The Seven Daughters of Eve" you'll get a similar book with its focus narrowed to the British Isles. Similarly, if you read this one, you don't need to read "Seven Daughters" - there are enough references to the earlier book to get the drift. That said the book has some interesting conclusions - but a lot of padding and some barely disguised advertising for the author's "Oxford Ancestors" business.
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