Basques - The oldest Europeans?

My guests, surprised with the differences between Basques and neighbouring Spanish or French regions, often ask me about the origin of these characteristics. There have been several studies focusing on our old language, but also in our traditions, culture and archeological sites. In today post, I wanted to go over the 4 most important studies about our origins:
Old culture in an incredible countryside
Basque Country mountains

A Post neolithic origins (Cro-Magnon) This hypothesis explains that the Basques are the oldest population living in Europe (since 8000 years ago). Studies by French laboratories found DNA evidences that show clear differences between Basques and neighbouring populations that were originated 8000 years ago and that the Basque people were actually living in the area that nowadays we call Euskal Herria.

B Connection between Basques and Iberians The first who made this hypothesis was the Greek geographer Strabo on 1st Century BC (when still Iberian was spoken in today Spain). He said that Iberians, Basques and Aquitanians were similar in their language and morphology. This is not opposite to post neolithic origin version, but can be somehow complementary.

A country proud of our traditions
C Arrival from Aquitaine There are two versions of this hypothesis: first version that the Basques arrived with the Indoeuropeans to Aquitaine 7000 years ago (from which they will arrive on 1st Century BC to the Basque Country) and a second version suggesting that they will arrive from Aquitaine with the end of the Roman Empire.

D Ice age extension and collapse According to this hypothesis, peoplefrom the Basque Country after the ice age went North to countries like UK, France and as far as Denmark. This is supported by linguistic evidences (names of valleys, old influences in celtic languages, etc.) and by DNA analysis.

As you see, there are several versions, but what it is common to all of the scientific community is the interest to this country that has kept an unique and singular culture, language and tradition in the middle of Europe. May we are the first European inhabitants? It is hard to know, but we are a country proud of our old traditions and culture. Do you want to learn about our culture in your visit? You can fill this form with your tour details or send me an email to: