Scientists believe a small population of migrants from Germany, Holland and Denmark established a segregated society when they arrived in England. The researchers think the incomers changed the local gene pool by using their economic advantage to out-breed the native population.
Estimates range between 10,000 and 200,000 Anglo-Saxons migrating into England between 5th and 7th Century AD, compared with a native population of about two million.
To understand what might have happened all of those years ago, UK scientists used computer simulations to model the gene pool changes that would have occurred with the arrival of such small numbers of migrants.
The team used historical evidence that suggested native Britons were at a substantial economic and social disadvantage compared to the Anglo-Saxon settlers. The researchers believe this may have led to a reproductive imbalance giving rise to an ethnic divide. Ancient texts, such as the laws of Ine, reveal that the life of an Anglo-Saxon was valued more than that of a native’s…