There is a large amount of debate among historians regarding the migration patterns of the Anglo-Saxons into Great Britain. What most of them agree on is that the primary periods of migration were between the fourth century and sixth century. However, the debate among historians among migration patterns is so pronounced that it is difficult to get an agreed consensus from them. A number of these scholars think that once the Anglo-Saxons arrived, they either killed or removed the natives who were living there. This is especially true for the people who were living in the southern and northern part of the country. One prominent feature of the Anglo-Saxons is that they valued freedom, and the people who arrived in Great Britain placed a high emphasis on liberty.
A number of historical documents noted the differences between the English and the Welsh. These differences are noted in the names of many places in this region. To effectively understand the migration patterns of the Anglo-Saxons, modern technology has allowed researchers to undertake genetic tests. One study taken in 2002 used genetic samples from people who were living in Wales, Basque Country, England, and Friesland. The focus of this study was the Y-chromosomes. The goal of this study was to solidify the theory that there was a large scale migration which took place in both eastern and central England. Many of these studies have indicated that current technology is not advanced enough to make distinctions between those who are Anglo-Saxon, Danish, or North German.
However, these studies were successful in demonstrating that there are strong genetic influences of groups within the modern population that predate the Anglo-Saxons. The studies also indicated that the natives living in the area were not completely displaced by the Anglo-Saxon migration. This is strong evidence for those who believe that the indigenous people were not totally displaced anywhere in Great Britain. One interesting thing about this is that computer simulations demonstrate that some powerful Anglo-Saxons could have put themselves at a distinct advantage over the natives that lived there. By doing this, they would have been able to become genetically dominant within a few generations.
A number of historians have also been interesting in studying the number of people living in Great Britain in the year 400. While the exact number is almost impossible to calculate, it would seem that there were approximately 2 million people living in the region during this time. By studying graves, historians have been able to conclude that the vast majority of the population was not killed off by this migration.
Original Authors: Stephen Palmer
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 15/07/2008