Oxford University has discovered that Britons are still living in the same ‘tribes’ that they did in the 7th Century, through a study into our genetic make-up.
Genetically similar individuals were found to inhabit the same areas they did following the Anglo-Saxon invasion after the fall of the Roman Empire, and a map showing the tribes of Britain in 600AD is almost identical to a new chart which shows genetic variability throughout the UK.
The study was conducted by analysing the DNA of 2,039 people from rural areas of the UK, whose four grandparents were born within 80km of each other. As Biological and Natural Sciences applicants will be familiar with, a quarter of our genome comes from each of our grandparents, the scientists were effectively creating a snapshot of UK genetics in the late 19th Century, before the mass migration caused by the industrial revolution. They then analysed the differences in DNA at over 500,000 positions within the genome and plotted each person onto the map, using the centre point of their grandparents’ birth places, allowing them to see how the distribution correlated with their genetic groupings. History students can consider what we else we can learn from genetics about the movement of populations past and present, and how this effects a nation’s genetic identity.
The most striking genetic split can be seen between inhabitants Devon and Cornwall, where the division lies exactly along the county border. This means people living on either side of the River Tamar have different DNA. Geography students could think about how and why such a genetic divide might exist. Additionally, there is no genetic signature from the Danish Vikings, despite them having controlled large parts of England in the 9th Century. This indicates that the Vikings conquered and kept largely to themselves before leaving. Only Orkney residents were found to have Viking DNA.
Students of Classical Archaeology and Anthropology should look further into the Anthropological history of the UK and how invasions may have altered the country. Politics students could think more about the concept of a national identity and how it relates both to genetics and politics.
- History Reading Lists The main challenge in the step up from school to... Read more >
- Your free E-book… “So You Want To Go To Oxbridge? Tell me about a banana…” If you are applying to Oxford or Cambridge, there are... Read more >
- Stats report: our annual survey Every year, we survey hundreds of applicants who applied the... Read more >
- English: answer like a pro We have a lot of questions year on year from... Read more >
- US University Applications: How Decisions Are Made Article contributed by: Dr Jon Tabbert, US university admissions educational... Read more >
- TSA Oxford mini mock & answers Thinking is very important to Oxford, so they’ve devised an... Read more >
- LNAT overview If you’re applying for Law at Oxford you will need to sit... Read more >
- Cambridge Law Test overview If you’re applying to read Law at Cambridge you will probably need... Read more >
- Personal Statement Workbook Download A personal statement is a unique document which is all... Read more >
- Your Open Day Guide Open Days can be an extremely useful way of finding... Read more >
- Biological Sciences & Medicine: answer like a pro What kind of questions can you expect in an Oxford... Read more >
- What You Need To Know About A Level Reforms The A Level system that has been in place since... Read more >
- Cambridge’s Supplementary Application Questionnaire After you have submitted your UCAS application to apply to... Read more >
- History of Art Reading List History of Art at Oxford and Cambridge allows you to... Read more >
- 5 Easy Ways To Support Your Son Or Daughter Before Their Oxbridge Interviews The weeks before the Oxford and Cambridge interviews are a... Read more >
- COPA & International Deadlines Most deadlines are the same for all those applying to... Read more >
- The OA School’s Magazine: Issue 1 Last year, Oxbridge Applications launched its first ever Schools’ Magazine,... Read more >
- PAT mini mock paper & answers The Physics Aptitude Test or PAT is required by Oxford... Read more >
- Information on choosing a course at Oxford or Cambridge “Perhaps it is because Oxbridge encourages more ‘traditional’ A Level... Read more >
- Course By Course Fact Sheet This helpful guide sets out by course what grades you... Read more >
- Download a Medicine Personal Statement Read our sample Medicine personal statement for application tips. Read more >
- TSA Cambridge Example Questions and Answers If you have completed the TSA Cambridge course report and are... Read more >
- Oxford and Cambridge International Grade Requirements If you’re applying to Cambridge or Oxford but you’ve not... Read more >
- Oxford and Cambridge Access Schemes Oxford and Cambridge aim to offer places to the best... Read more >