Integration versus Apartheid in post-Roman Britain: a Response to Thomas et al. (2008)
The genetic surveys of the population of Britain conducted by Weale et al. and Capelli et al. produced estimates of the Germani immigration into Britain during the early Anglo-Saxon period, c.430-c.730. These estimates are considerably higher than the estimates of archaeologists. A possible explanation suggested that an apartheid-like social system existed in the early Anglo-Saxon kingdoms resulting in the Germani breeding more quickly than the Britons. Thomas et al. attempted to model this suggestion and showed that it was a possible explanation if all Anglo-Saxon kingdoms had such a system for up to 400 yrs. I noted that their explanation ignored the probability that Germani have been arriving in Britain for at least the past three millennia, including Belgae and Roman soldiers, and not only during the early Anglo-Saxon period. I produced a population model for Britain taking into account this long-term, low-level migration that showed that the estimates could be reconciled without the need for introducing an apartheid-like system. In turn, Thomas et al. responded criticizing my model and arguments, which they considered persuasively written but wanting in terms of methodology, data sources, underlying assumptions and application. Here, I responds in detail to those criticisms, and argue that it is still unnecessary to introduce an apartheid- like system in order to reconcile the different estimates of Germani arrivals. A point of confusion is that geneticists are interested in ancestry, while archaeologists are interested in ethnicity: it is the bones, not the burial rites, which are important in the present context.