Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland
By Bryan Sykes
Published in 2007
Thibault’s Score: 4/5
Saxons, Vikings, and Celts is a narrative of how Bryan Sykes did a study to determine where people in Britain came from. The book does a great job at explaining the science behind genetic studies like this.
The book begins with a history of scholarly understanding of where people came from. This history covers a lot of ground ranging from the 19th century doctors to the classical authors of the Greek and Roman world.
While going through this history of the science, he explains different key concepts. I especially found the story about the discovery of blood groups during the World Wars to be particularly informative.
He attempts to relate his own research to the research of scientists before him, explaining key concepts like the Khan effect, mDNA, ancestral groups, etc…
Overall, I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in studying the history of Britain as well as genetics.
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