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It is undeniable too that the highest frequencies are always observed in Celtic areas, especially in those that remained Celtic-speaking to this day or until recently.
The question that inevitably comes to many people's minds is: did red hair originate with the Celtic or the Germanic people?
It is entirely possible, and even likely, that the European north-south divide, not just for culture and agriculture, but also for phenotypes and skin pigmentation, go back to Neolithic times, when the expansion of agriculture from the Near East followed two separate routes.
The southern route followed the Mediterranean coastlines until Iberia, while the northern route diffused along the Danubian basin then the North European Plain until the Low Countries and the Baltic.
The Udmurts, an Uralic tribe living in the northern Volga basin of Russia, between Kazan and Perm, are the only non-Western Europeans to have a high incidence of red hair (over 10%). Surely the Udmurts and Tajiks aren't Celts, nor Germans.
This is because some people only carry one or a few of the several possible MC1R mutations.
It is now almost certain that native Irish and Scottish Celts were taken (probably as slaves) to southwest Norway by the Vikings, and that they increased the frequency of red hair there.
What is immediately apparent to genetic genealogists is that the map of red hair correlates with the frequency of haplogroup R1b in northern and western Europe.
Under the 41th parallel, redheads become extremely rare, even in high R1b areas.
The 45th parallel is also the traditional boundary between northern European cultures, where cuisine is butter-based, and southern European cultures, preferring olive oil for cooking.In France, the 45th parallel is the also limit between the northern Ol dialects of French and the southern Occitan language.