Monday, May 04, 2009


Peoples of Britain 1

By Dr Simon James

Did the Celts exist?

Simon James asks just who were the Britons - and did the Celts ever really exist? Uncover the fascinating ethnic and cultural history of the peoples of Briton, and assess the impact of the many invaders of Britain's shores.


The story of early Britain has traditionally been told in terms of waves of invaders displacing or annihilating their predecessors. Archaeology suggests that this picture is fundamentally wrong. For over 10,000 years people have been moving into - and out of - Britain, sometimes in substantial numbers, yet there has always been a basic continuity of population.

'Before Roman times, 'Britain' was just a geographical entity and had no political meaning and no single cultural identity.'

The gene pool of the island has changed, but more slowly and far less completely than implied by the old 'invasion model', and the notion of large-scale migrations, once the key explanation for change in early Britain, has been widely discredited.

Substantial genetic continuity of population does not preclude profound shifts in culture and identity. It is actually quite common to observe important cultural change, including adoption of wholly new identities, with little or no biological change to a population. Millions of people since Roman times have thought of themselves as 'British', for example, yet this identity was only created in 1707 with the Union of England, Wales and Scotland.

Before Roman times 'Britain' was just a geographical entity, and had no political meaning, and no single cultural identity. Arguably this remained generally true until the 17th century, when James I of England and VI of Scotland sought to establish a pan-British monarchy.

Throughout recorded history the island has consisted of multiple cultural groups and identities. Many of these groupings looked outwards, across the seas, for their closest connections - they did not necessarily connect naturally with their fellow islanders, many of whom were harder to reach than maritime neighbours in Ireland or continental Europe.

It therefore makes no sense to look at Britain in isolation; we have to consider it with Ireland as part of the wider 'Atlantic Archipelago', nearer to continental Europe and, like Scandinavia, part of the North Sea world.

This is a contribution of Alberto Pintos Novo, NI2E

- Homework:
You were given the readings you had done last week.
Student´s book. Pg.86,87
- Writing : Student´s book. pg.85 . Describing a building. We did the activities and by Thursday yuo have to give a composition of a building in your town.
- Reading: I hate weekends! St. B. pg 88. you read it, worked out their jobs and filled in the blanks with compounds of some ,any and something, nobody,anywhere...
- Grammar: Grammar Bank. pg 140 with the rules and exercises.
Grammar, units 78 and 79 to see the topic in more detail.
- Phonetics: /e/ ,/eu/,/^/ : anybody, nobody somebody.
- Vocabulary. St.b. pg 89 .Adjectives ending in -ed and -ing . Reading is relaxing, I was relaxed at the weekend.
- Speaking: Ask your partner questions in the present, past and future.
- Listening: a man who spent the weekend trapped in the lift.
- Homework:
A picture to describe with a topic of conversation and the grammar exerises ,units 78 ,79
I won´t be coming to class on Tuesday , so see you on Thursday

- Homework: Description of a picture. The topic for Wednesday.
- Grammar: Finding your way. St. b. pg 80. Asking politely for information, eg: could you tell me where the post office is,please?
- Speaking: Asking for and giving directions with a map of a town. a lot of oral practice.
- Vocabulary: St. b. pg79 Words with two or more meanings, eg. match, lie, tap...
- Grammar: Relative clauses. A handout I gave you with the summary of the theory (grammar ,units 92,93,94) you should already know. There are some typing mistakes and an example I don´t like, sorry. We saw the defining and non-defining relative clauses compared in unit 95.
- Homework: Grammar ,unit 95 and the speaking activity.