Iberians in Britain
The suggestion that there was a population of people in Britain before
Celtisation of the population has been around since at least the beginning
of the century. It is based on the following:
There is a racial strain in the British Isles who have been classified as
Mediterranean or some similar term. They tend to be darkish, short and slight
of stature with fine features. SOme would associate these traits with known
Celtic tribal names such as the Dumnonni whose name turns up with variants
in several different areas.
It is known that the Phoenicians traded with Britain, notably with Cornwell
which was famous for its tin mines. The Iberian name is probably due to the
fact that the Phoenicians did have colonies in Spain and some think that they
gave the name Spain to the peninsula - recall Hannibal. So the Iberians here
are basically a North African people and there is at least an established
trading link between them and Britain.
There are also many cultural practices and beliefs that seemed to be shared
with Hamito-Semitic cultures and the Celts although there are some variations
in these among the Celts such as differing attitudes towards eating pigs.
The main base of this theory though and perhaps its ultimate origin rests
on the linguistic structure of insular Celtic languages. Many of the
peculiarities of Insular Celtic vis-a-vis other Indo-European languages are
said to ressemble structures in Hamito-Semitic languages these range from
grammatical structures such as propositional pronouns to types of expressions
such as mac-an-donais which are frequent in Semitic. This theory was argued
for in particular by the Welsh linguist John Morris Jones and later by Pokorny
initially and from time to time something else appears on this theme. Most
linguists these days would shy away from such conjecture even if some of it
The Picts are an entirely different matter.