The text of the paper is available free at
The reference is "Evidence for an apartheid-like social structure in early
Anglo-Saxon England" by Mark G Thomas, Michael PH Stumpfl, and Heinrich
Härke. Proc Roy Soc B, doi: 10.1098/rspb2006.3627.
(For any who don't know, doi means digital object identifier, and is a way
of specifying a paper that has been published on line by a journal ahead of
the paginated version.)
Without yet having read the paper, I agree with Nick - it looks as if they
have shown by computer simulation that a particular social pattern would
explain the observed outcome, but that does not of course prove that this
was the social pattern that actually occurred.
At 15:45 19/07/2006, Nick.Thorpe wrote:
>Blame whichever of the authors of the original article - Mark Thomas,
>since he is the first-named - decided to use the term apartheid, as the
>BBC have just picked it up from there. Presumably the notion was to
>place the stress on their theory that there was a ban or prejudice
>against inter-marriage with locals. Personally I should like to see the
>assumptions underlying their computer model (e.g. how much 'Anglo-Saxon'
>immigration do they allow pre-5th century and post-5th century) before
>trumpeting it as a vindication of anyone's views. It is after all,
>simply a set of computer simulation models which allows for the
>possibility that the authors' favoured solution is correct after certain
>assumptions have been made,