Sunday, November 15, 2015

Red Hair, A German Trait?

This is a comment from my Viking-Irish Redhead Gene Myth blog post turned into a blogeen of its own. I've reposted it here. I wind up doing so much research in order to answer people's comments, it takes me hours to write a rebuttal. Maybe it'll turn into a full post later.
Ross Hunter said...

Red hair is actually a very German trait. I know this not only from my own family history going back several hundred years on my Mom's side of the family, but also from my personal studies on many sources. Even the book "Germania", written around the year 98AD, describes the Germans as having "rutilae comae" which is reddish hair. The Romans who came into contact with the Germans brought that trait into their own society, thus the now large number of red haired Italians. The Germans were described as very warlike in in Germania, and in idle times, they often dreamed of waging their next war. While that may seem to put them in a romantic light, it's actually not that awesome considering their attrition rate. They also were said to have practiced human sacrifice and held a lot of superstitions at the time. They were described as "indians" and wore very little clothing.

I'm actually surprised that people don't associate red hair with Germans more often than they do, it's actually pretty common, even the old bog bodies from Germany have well preserved reddish to golden red hair. Sure, things have changed a lot in the modern days, but there is a lot of historical, concrete evidence to support this. APRIL 27, 2015
Maureen Hurley said...
Dear Ross Hunter,

Sorry I never commented back I must've missed it. A few notes on Germany and redheads. What is now present day Germany now was not Germany then. Much of what is Germany now, was actually Celtic territory, not German. Especially Bavaria, and the area around Cologne.

The bog bodies were found in present day northern Germany, etc., but that doesn't make them German. We tend to use current political boundaries to define ancient peoples, and that is a false syllogism. Ahlintel Man, and others were from Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, which was part of Jutland, so they could also be Frisian/Danish/Scandinavian/Celtic bog bodies.

However, the Nienburg (and the Jastorf) had material cultural characteristics similar to Celtic cultures.... It should, as the Nienburg culture (grave goods, and weaponry) was the northward thrust of the Hallstatt culture. Some La tene influence as well.

The thing to keep in mind here is that Hallstatt was NOT a Germanic culture. Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein were not settled by the Germans unto the 3-7th c.s AD., considerably later than the bog-folk. At any rate, there is archaeological evidence of isolated Celtic settlements as well in Jutland.

Hair color is impossible to determine on a bog body as bog water, heavy in tannins, both leaches and stains. DNA analysis would have to be done to determine if they were redheads. Blond or grey hair would stain read in bog water, so it's not a reliable indicator.

"There has also been migration from former Celtic areas into Scandinavia .... investigations at Dosenmoor, Schleswig-Holstein, and Svanemose, Jutland, Boreas " —The Germani - Haplogroup I2b1 info

There were Celts also in the Netherlands, and many bog bodies were found near Drenthe.

The Celts lived on both sides of the Rhine. Caesar, when he was thumping the war chest coffers stretched the truth a bit (a lot). Hw said that the Gauls were an awful foe, and that the "Germans" were even worse, so he could get funding. Tacitus stretched the truth even further, both did so, to meet their own political needs—which was to get more money from the senate.

Remember, victory was written in the voice of the winners, who had a political agenda. We need to read those old texts with a grain of salt. Rhetoric.

Part of the confusion lies in the fact that the word Germania is not a German tribe, just like Teutates: both are Celtic words. Germania is actually a Celtic war cry, and Teutates, was a Celtic god.

I have read Tacitus carefully, and many of the names he uses are linguistically Celtic, not Germanic, so methinks he was fabricating just a bit. They also could have been a Celto-Germanic tribe. But culturally and linguistically, many of the peoples that Tacitus described, were Celtic, not Germanic.

As to those red-haired Italians, the north of Italy was settled by the same Celts that settled in Anatolia. Especially around Ravenna, Modena, the Po Valley, and the mountains: it was called Cis-Alpine Gaul. So yes, the red-hair gene would be dominant in the north.

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