I am very interested in all the topics Moffat touches on in this book - genetic markers of population origins, paleolinguistics and archaeology. Done well, these sources of knowledge can be woven together to tell a coherent and fascinating story of human origins. But it is hard to do this well. Alastair Moffat knows the genetics but the story gets a big garbled in the telling. Especially the earlier chapters jump around from one topic or region to another with every paragraph. There are many long digressions that could have been cut or shortened.
I thought the explanations of the earliest genetic markers could have been enhanced with a few maps showing arrows from source to the destination. It is hard to keep all those M17s and S143s straight in your head. The pie chart scatters didn't work as well in my view as the density maps one normally sees in books on this topic. I also question whether some of the genetic samples really are large enough - a few dozen or scores of people - to make some of the statements he does about distributional differences in the regions of Scotland.
Overall, a good read, but could have flowed a bit more smoothly.
- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Birlinn; New edition (1 July 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1780274440
- ISBN-13: 978-1780274447
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2 x 19.7 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 272 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)