between Ireland and England and settled on each side of it. The carriers of the AMH Y chromosomes presumably spoke a language like Basque or some other tongue belonging to the first Paleolithic inhabitants of Europe. So it is a puzzle that the chromosome is now associated with Celtic, an Indo-European language that spread to Britain only in the first century BC, along with ironworking technology and agriculture. The solution is presumably that the Celtic way of life became widespread in Britain mostly by cultural transmission, not by a large invasion of Celts. The cultural shift evidently included the adoption of Celtic language by the original inhabitants of the British Isles.

Another layer in this puzzle is that British mitochondrial DNA—the genetic element inherited solely through the female line—shows a different pattern from the Y chromosomes. The mitochondrial DNA generally resembles that of northern Europe. This suggests that the Celtic speakers in Britain obtained many of their wives from northern Europe, perhaps in exchange with European Celts, perhaps by pillage and rapine.302

The historian Norman Davies opens his recent history of the British Isles by noting that the mitochondrial DNA recovered from bones buried some 8,000 years ago in a cave in the Cheddar Gorge matched that of a local schoolmaster,

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