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As a result of Roman colonization, the majority of Portuguese language stems from the Vulgar Latin.Due to the large historical extent from the 16th century of the Portuguese Empire and the subsequent colonization of territories in Asia, Africa and the Americas, as well as historical and recent emigration, Portuguese communities can be found in many diverse regions around the globe, and a large Portuguese diaspora exists.Recent books published by geneticists Bryan Sykes, Stephen Oppenheimer and Spencer Wells have emphasized the large Paleolithic and Mesolithic Iberian influence in the modern day Irish, Welsh and Scottish gene-pool as well as parts of the English.Indeed, Y-chromosome haplogroup R1b (of Paleolithic origin) is the most common haplogroup in practically all of the Iberian peninsula and western Europe.The earliest modern humans inhabiting Portugal are believed to have been Paleolithic peoples that may have arrived in the Iberian Peninsula as early as 35,000 to 40,000 years ago.Current interpretation of Y-chromosome and mt DNA data suggests that modern-day Portuguese trace a significant amount of these lineages to the paleolithic peoples who began settling the European continent between the end of the last glaciation around 45,000 years ago.Within the R1b haplogroup there are modal haplotypes.One of the best-characterized of these haplotypes is the Atlantic Modal Haplotype (AMH).
Their predominant religion is Christianity, mainly Roman Catholicism, though vast segments of the population, especially the younger generations, have no religious affiliation.
Northern Iberia is believed to have been a major Ice-age refuge from which Paleolithic humans later colonized Europe.
Migrations from what is now Northern Iberia during the Paleolithic and Mesolithic, links modern Iberians to the populations of much of Western Europe and particularly the British Isles and Atlantic Europe.
This haplotype reaches the highest frequencies in the Iberian Peninsula and in the British Isles.
In Portugal it reckons generally 65% in the South summing 87% northwards, and in some regions 96%.