The paper, which was published in the journal 'Proceedings of the Royal Society B', aims to explain the high number of Germanic male-line ancestors found in modern-day England and showed that a relatively small immigrant Anglo-Saxon population (made up of invaders from present day Germany, Holland and Denmark) could have changed the face of British gene pool simply by using their economic advantage during apartheid to out-breed the Brits. In less than fifteen generations the gene pool in what is now England was made up of over 50 per cent Germanic Y-chromosomes.
Dr Mark Thomas, of the UCL Department of Biology, said: "The native Britons were genetically and culturally absorbed by the Anglo-Saxons over a period of as little as a few hundred years.
"An initially small invading Anglo-Saxon elite could have quickly established themselves by having more children who survived to adulthood, thanks to their military power and economic advantage. We believe that they also prevented the native British genes getting into the Anglo-Saxon population by restricting intermarriage in a system of apartheid that left the country culturally and genetically Germanised. This is exactly what we see today a population of largely Germanic genetic origin, speaking a principally German language."
According to the research, Anglo-Saxon settlers enjoyed a substantial social and economic advantage over the native Britons who lived in what is now England, for more than 300 years from the middle of the fifth century. In this society, people lived together in a servant-master relationship in a system akin to the apartheid system more recently found in South Africa.