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Blood of the Celts

The New Ancestral Story

Jean Manco

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A new approach to the study of the Celts and their origins, making use of the latest scientific and genetic developments

Also available as an eBook from iTunes, Amazon


New discoveries in genetics have overturned the dogma of decades about the Celts. Today Celtic languages cling to life on the northwestern fringes of Europe. In the pre-Roman past Celtic was spoken across the continent and the heritage of the Celts turns up from Portugal to Romania, from Scotland to Spain. Earlier attempts to trace historical and prehistoric movements using only modern DNA from living people have been proved dramatically wrong by findings from ancient DNA.

Debate continues about who the Celts were, where they came from, and whether the modern Celtic-speakers of the British Isles and Brittany are related to the Continental Celts we know from ancient history. So a fresh approach is needed. Blood of the Celts meets this challenge in an accessible and illuminating way.

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'Thoughtful, thought-provoking, erudite yet accessible, with an engaging style ... The discussion of current DNA research is what gives this book a particular originality and edge. Where it challenges either long-held or more recent dogmatisms, it does so with grace and sensitivity.'
Miranda Aldhouse-Green, Emeritus Professor of Archaeology, Cardiff University

'Jean Manco is a phenomenon. In Blood of the Celts she sieves the swirling murk of academic specialisms (linguistics, literature, genetics and archaeology) to extract the gold. Once again she proves to be an excellent interpreter of interesting times.'
David Miles, Former Chief Archaeologist, English Heritage

'A fresh and challenging look at the story of the Celts'
Family Tree

'Clearly written … well researched'

'[Manco’s] books read like the work of a dynamic and talented young researcher, energised by the discoveries of genetics and their potential for casting light on history'
David Miles, Minerva

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 23.4 x 15.6 cm

Extent: 240 pp

Publication date: 7 September 2015

ISBN: 9780500051832

Contents List

Prologue; Timelines; 1. The Voices of the Celts; 2. The Gauls and Celtic; 3. Bell Beakers and Language; 4. The Indo-European Family; 5. Stelae to Bell Beaker; 6. The Iron Sword; 7. On the Move; 8. Celts vs Romans; 9. Christian Celts; 10. Loss and Revival; Appendix: Surnames and DNA.

About the Author

Jean Manco was a building historian who trained within an archaeological unit and applied an interdisciplinary approach to her work. She is the author of Ancestral Journeys and Blood of the Celts, both published by Thames & Hudson.