When I was a child in school, say fifty years ago, we were taught that incoming waves of settlers to the British Isles exterminated the native settlers they found. Then it became fashionable to say that there were no invasions, but there was a ‘transfer of cultures’ just as fashion spreads in the modern world, where people pretty much stayed where they were. Incomers peacefully transferred their cultures. This is not what generally happens in my experience of modern world history, but things could have been different in the past.
Now we are back to the extermination hypothesis with the latest genetic research by ‘Nature’ magazine.
Though there was some support for the survival theorists recently. It is an encouraging sign of the times that a right wing publication, such as The Mail, is happy to postulate black ancestry for the British race.
Recently I was in the Odessa Museum of Archaeology, and the Ukrainian ‘ямная культура’ or ‘pit culture’ is so similar to that of the Beaker people. One of the Scottish foundation myths is that the Scots came from Scythia, i.e. modern Ukraine. I have always been fascinated that Ukrainian and Pictish place names often end in ‘o’ plus there is a River Don in the Ukraine and in Scotland! Perhaps there is more truth in the myths than we thought? Also the genitive plural of cattle in Russian is ‘скот’, i.e. ‘scot’ – could that just be coincidence? That is another blog though…
My posts are loosely following Radio Scotland’s ‘Out of Doors’ programs. Having once had to write an essay on species introduction as part of my Blue Badge tour guide trying course I like to think that, although not exactly an authority, I do know a bit about it.
The Norwegian farmer’s comments about the lynx (17/02/18) are more hostile than research I did eight years ago into Swiss attitudes towards lynx, which suggested they ate mostly deer and lived in woodland. Obviously conditions are very different in Scotland, Switzerland and Norway. I don’t doubt that lynx may predate sheep. The reintroduction of the sea eagle has, however, had a tremendous boost to the ecotourism industry, particularly on Mull. Now farmers are deploying lasers to counteract lambs being taken by the eagles.
The number of lambs taken is hotly contested by Scottish Natural Heritage. The eagles are at least spectacular to see. Lynx, if they were to be reintroduced would be virtually invisible anyway…