If you want to know a little more about these men, check out some of the material from Brian Sloan from Queens College [here]. I'm not a hundred percent sure these are the exact men that were tested, but I believe these three men are from the glebe-land of the local parish. This guy below might be one of them. Also, Sloan's page [here]
|A Rathlin Food Vessel Burial (Sloan, 2006)|
Much of Ireland and half of Britain was underneath a large ice cube during most of the Paleolithic, receding slowly to oak stands and natural clearings. Aside from fishing, the number and size of mammals in the Isles is and was very limited and this in turn limited population strength and density of the hunters.
That changed when the baby machine of the Neolithic invited itself into the Isles. This interaction really is best understood using fourth grade math. The farmers could generate food, certainly babies and live in larger, protected communities.
The important thing about the farmer food machine is that labor is proportional to food production. It's an economy of scale. More babies = more food. Each new worker reduces the individual burden of security, management or harvesting, thus freeing up more time to do other things (like making babies) or building things. This is kind of a backwards to the Mesolithic economic person/food ratio. Numerically, farmers dominated Ireland.
Finally, the amphibious Bell Beaker phenomenon runs up nearly every beach of the Isles. The old cultures don't die out either; rather, they seem to be grafted into larger social systems with Beaker culture being the dominant force leading to the regular Bronze Age. The food vessel tradition is a good example of two cultures fusing.
See also [Eurogenes], [Dienekes], [Razib], and [Dispatches]