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Half of Britons are actually German

world Updated: Jun 22, 2011 00:27 IST

Believe it or not, around 50% of Britons have German blood coursing through their veins, say geneticists.

A team, led by the University College London, studied a segment of the Y chromosome that appears in almost all Danish and northern German men — and found that it is surprisingly common in Great Britain, the Daily Mail said.

Analysis of tooth enamel and bones found in Anglo-Saxon cemeteries corroborated these results, they say. German archaeologist Heinrich Haerke believes “up to 200,000 emigrants” crossed the North Sea, pillaging and raping and eventually settling.

The native Celts, softened by years of peace under the Romans, were no match for the raiding parties from across the North Sea.

Pottery and jewellery similar to that found in grave sites along the Elbe River in northern Germany has been unearthed in Anglo-Saxon cemeteries in London.

There is also evidence the settlers remained in contact with relatives on the continent for upto three generations, say the geneticists.

The findings have caused a certain amount of gloating in Germany. “There is no use in denying it. It’s clear that the nation which most dislikes the Germans were once Krauts themselves. A number of studies reinforce the intimacy of the German-English relationship,” wrote Der Spiegel magazine.

Anglo-Saxon is a catch-all phrase to refer to the invaders of the fifth and sixth centuries AD.

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