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DNA analysis: 7000 Year old Mesolithic Hunter-gatherer European had blue eyes and dark skin

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posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 08:34 AM
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A report has analysed the genetic data and established that 7000 year old hunter-gatherer Mesolithic European had blue eyes and dark skin.

This is an interesting report as it helps giving insight into early humans and migratory patterns.



www.bbc.co.uk...


cientists have shed light on what ancient Europeans looked like.

Genetic tests reveal that a hunter-gatherer who lived 7,000 years ago had the unusual combination of dark skin and hair and blue eyes.

It has surprised scientists, who thought that the early inhabitants of Europe were fair.

The research, led by the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona, Spain, is published in the journal Nature.

The lead author, Dr Carles Lalueza-Fox, said: "One explanation is that the lighter skin colour evolved much later than was previously assumed."

Scandinavian links

Two hunter-gatherer skeletons were discovered in a cave in the mountains of north-west Spain in 2006.

The cool, dark conditions meant the remains (called La Brana 1 and 2) were remarkably well preserved. Scientists were able to extract DNA from a tooth of one of the ancient men and sequence his genome.

The team found that the early European was most closely genetically related to people in Sweden and Finland.

But while his eyes were blue, his genes reveal that his hair was black or brown and his skin was dark.

"This was a result that was unexpected," said Dr Lalueza-Fox.

Scientists had thought the first Europeans became fair soon after they left Africa and moved to the continent about 45,000 years ago.

"It has been assumed that it is something that happens in response to going from Africa to higher latitudes where the UV radiation is very low and you need to synthesise vitamin D in your skin. Your skin becomes lighter quite soon," explained Dr Lalueza-Fox.

"It is obvious that this is not the case, because this guy has been in Europe for 40,000 years and he still has dark skin."

The skeleton, as it was discovered in 2006

The bones of the 7,000-year-old man were discovered in a cave in Spain
The hunter-gatherer's genome also gave the team an insight into how humans had changed as they moved from foraging to farming.

The early European would have subsisted on a diet of mainly protein, and his DNA reveals that he was lactose-intolerant and unable to digest starch. These are traits that came after agriculture was adopted and people changed what they ate.


“It will be very interesting to see how general this result is across ancient pre-agricultural Europe”

Commenting on the research, David Reich, from Harvard Medical School in the US, said: "The significance of this paper is that it reports the oldest European genome sequence reported to date - the first European genome sequence that predates the appearance of agriculture.

"The dark skin is a very interesting finding, as light skin is nearly universal across Europe today. These results suggest that the light skin seen across Europe today is a development of the last at least 7,000 years."

He added: "It will be very interesting to see how general this result is across ancient pre-agricultural Europe once additional genome sequences become available."

Early results of research that Prof Reich has been involved with were recently published on the biology preprint website bioRxiv.org and a paper has been submitted to a journal.

He has looked at the genomes of several hunter-gatherers and early farmers in Europe. This work suggests that present-day Europeans derive from three ancient populations of early inhabitants of the continent.


www.nature.com...


Ancient genomic sequences have started to reveal the origin and the demographic impact of farmers from the Neolithic period spreading into Europe1, 2, 3. The adoption of farming, stock breeding and sedentary societies during the Neolithic may have resulted in adaptive changes in genes associated with immunity and diet4. However, the limited data available from earlier hunter-gatherers preclude an understanding of the selective processes associated with this crucial transition to agriculture in recent human evolution. Here we sequence an approximately 7,000-year-old Mesolithic skeleton discovered at the La Braña-Arintero site in León, Spain, to retrieve a complete pre-agricultural European human genome. Analysis of this genome in the context of other ancient samples suggests the existence of a common ancient genomic signature across western and central Eurasia from the Upper Paleolithic to the Mesolithic. The La Braña individual carries ancestral alleles in several skin pigmentation genes, suggesting that the light skin of modern Europeans was not yet ubiquitous in Mesolithic times. Moreover, we provide evidence that a significant number of derived, putatively adaptive variants associated with pathogen resistance in modern Europeans were already present in this hunter-gatherer.
edit on 27-1-2014 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 08:43 AM
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reply to post by theabsolutetruth
 


I love stuff like this, I think it's amazing how much you can learn from DNA.



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 08:45 AM
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reply to post by iRoyalty
 


Absolutely, DNA and all the new advances from studying it are awesome. The way forward for understanding so many things and vital to so many scientific areas.



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 09:02 AM
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reply to post by theabsolutetruth
 


The article mentions light skin developing ' quickly ' for metabolic reasons. Is it possible that this person's ' group ' was 'down south ' for an extended period, and headed home ?



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 09:03 AM
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reply to post by theabsolutetruth
 


I find it surprising that people are surprised at the blue eyes. Anyone living an outside life which people did 7000 years ago would have had a tanned or dark skin so that to me would have been what I expected.

Perhaps its just that ancient people have always been stereotyped into the dark skin, dark eyes. The ones that fascinate me are the bodies with the amazing red hair in South America - their hair seems to be the colour of the dyes many red heads use today.



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 09:18 AM
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reply to post by Bazart
 


Possibly I guess.

Another factor is when habitation and farming became more a way of life and people weren't spending all day outdoors.

Looking at communities now that are genetically Caucasian, many can have very tanned skin when outdoors a lot and blue eyes.

It would be interesting to note just how dark the skin was perceived to be, it perhaps is of a Mediterranean / Semitic type at a guess.



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 09:31 AM
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reply to post by Shiloh7
 


Yes, it seems something that is presumed by many.

Interestingly a lot of Ancient Egyptian art shows Pharaohs as having blue eyes, which were obviously earlier and more prevalent than some presume.



voices.yahoo.com...



King Tut's DNA shows that the Pharaoh belonged to haplogroup R1b1a2, to which 70% of all Western European men belong, indicating that they share a common ancestor. Among modern-day Egyptians this haplogroup contingent is below 1%
edit on 27-1-2014 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 09:57 AM
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reply to post by theabsolutetruth
 


That is a fascinating study, especially this bit:



The team found that the early European was most closely genetically related to people in Sweden and Finland.

But while his eyes were blue, his genes reveal that his hair was black or brown and his skin was dark.

"This was a result that was unexpected," said Dr Lalueza-Fox.



We really know so little about this era, I love these tantalising bits of information that are coming to light now!



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 03:18 PM
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I would have to be stick in the mud and ask, how they actually know he had dark skin, because we live in era where things are made up by the rulers all the time, and history rewritten, and it would be most odd to think of all those blond and red haired pharoahs and mummies throughout the world, who are caucasian in their DNA sequence, as being dark skinned to boot.

Whereas Michael Tsarion has done some really good intensive research!



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 04:18 PM
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reply to post by theabsolutetruth
 


You shouldn't think that the African ancestry in the Spanish sample would be typical for the rest of mesolithic Europe. About 20,000 years ago there was a population movement across the straits of Gibraltar, and that's how a little north African ancestry ended up in the sample. The culture was called the Ibero Maurassian (unsure of spelling) and it came from North Africa.

Surprised to see blue eyes in the sample. The time depth given for this was about 6,000-10,000 years ago, and everyone expected this mutations origin to be more central, north or Eastern in Europe. Must be closer to the 10k time depth.



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 04:25 PM
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Unity_99
I would have to be stick in the mud and ask, how they actually know he had dark skin, because we live in era where things are made up by the rulers all the time, and history rewritten, and it would be most odd to think of all those blond and red haired pharoahs and mummies throughout the world, who are caucasian in their DNA sequence, as being dark skinned to boot.

Whereas Michael Tsarion has done some really good intensive research!


They'd know it had more olive/heavy tan skin from the lack of the SLC24A5 mutation that's makes Europeans have very light skin. It wouldn't be black skin, but olive like Turkish of tanned frenchman.

Mummies were North african in ancestry, only a minority of them had naturally light skin and hair. They are a mix of Levantine (caucasoid, not caucasian) and Nubian ancestry.

The Pharoahs were NOT European in appearance. North african, no different to modern Egyptians (maybe a bit less black ancestry as there's been a massive amount of slave input to Egypt after Islam).



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 04:30 PM
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reply to post by theabsolutetruth
 




King Tut's DNA shows that the Pharaoh belonged to haplogroup R1b1a2, to which 70% of all Western European men belong, indicating that they share a common ancestor. Among modern-day Egyptians this haplogroup contingent is below 1


Not the same haplotype Europeans have.

About 7000 years ago neolithic farmers from Wset asia carrying the R1b Y chromosome moved down into Egypt, then moved west accross wadi Howar and formed a large part of the male ancestry of Chadic speaking Ouldeme people. This R1b isn't European, it's neolithic west asian in origin. Shows no European contribution at all.

Anthropolgist.



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 05:38 PM
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reply to post by Antigod
 


Reports suggest otherwise.

www.reuters.com...


Aug 1 (Reuters Life!) - Up to 70 percent of British men and half of all Western European men are related to the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun, geneticists in Switzerland said.

Scientists at Zurich-based DNA genealogy centre, iGENEA, reconstructed the DNA profile of the boy Pharaoh, who ascended the throne at the age of nine, his father Akhenaten and grandfather Amenhotep III, based on a film that was made for the Discovery Channel.

The results showed that King Tut belonged to a genetic profile group, known as haplogroup R1b1a2, to which more than 50 percent of all men in Western Europe belong, indicating that they share a common ancestor.

Among modern-day Egyptians this haplogroup contingent is below 1 percent, according to iGENEA.

"It was very interesting to discover that he belonged to a genetic group in Europe -- there were many possible groups in Egypt that the DNA could have belonged to," said Roman Scholz, director of the iGENEA Centre.

Around 70 percent of Spanish and 60 percent of French men also belong to the genetic group of the Pharaoh who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago.

"We think the common ancestor lived in the Caucasus about 9,500 years ago," Scholz told Reuters.

It is estimated that the earliest migration of haplogroup R1b1a2 into Europe began with the spread of agriculture in 7,000 BC, according to iGENEA.



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 05:38 PM
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reply to post by Antigod
 


Reports suggest otherwise.

www.reuters.com...


Aug 1 (Reuters Life!) - Up to 70 percent of British men and half of all Western European men are related to the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun, geneticists in Switzerland said.

Scientists at Zurich-based DNA genealogy centre, iGENEA, reconstructed the DNA profile of the boy Pharaoh, who ascended the throne at the age of nine, his father Akhenaten and grandfather Amenhotep III, based on a film that was made for the Discovery Channel.

The results showed that King Tut belonged to a genetic profile group, known as haplogroup R1b1a2, to which more than 50 percent of all men in Western Europe belong, indicating that they share a common ancestor.

Among modern-day Egyptians this haplogroup contingent is below 1 percent, according to iGENEA.

"It was very interesting to discover that he belonged to a genetic group in Europe -- there were many possible groups in Egypt that the DNA could have belonged to," said Roman Scholz, director of the iGENEA Centre.

Around 70 percent of Spanish and 60 percent of French men also belong to the genetic group of the Pharaoh who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago.

"We think the common ancestor lived in the Caucasus about 9,500 years ago," Scholz told Reuters.

It is estimated that the earliest migration of haplogroup R1b1a2 into Europe began with the spread of agriculture in 7,000 BC, according to iGENEA.



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 07:44 PM
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reply to post by theabsolutetruth
 


S & F

Despite what many in mainstream anthropology say, I believe we really know very little of where we come from and how early migrations happened. Every time something like this comes out (very cool BTW, thanks for posting) it demonstrates this.

I kinda' like the idea that there is a mystery afoot.



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 07:48 PM
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reply to post by ABNARTY
 


Thanks.

I do agree that there is so much unknown about human origins and migratory patterns as yet.

Basing things on a few limited finds is like finding an Easter Egg form Walmart and presuming all Easter Eggs came from Walmart.

More of these advances in knowledge is such a great thing for understanding the evolution of humanity and societies.

Exciting times indeed.



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 08:10 PM
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What about the Inuit that're supposed to live up in the arctic. Don't they have dark skin? Also the Yakuts, native to Arctic Siberia, also have dark skin. I think the Evenki are also native to Siberia and darker skinned. I think they're somehow asian acenstry. I got National Geogrpahic about tusk hunting and shows a picture with them and their skin is definitely not white like a fin.

I also know about the arm length thing. In the cold the shorter limbs helps to keep the heat in the body. Why isn't this shown with europeans? Maybe evolution of this sort is very loose and not predetermined.

I wonder if hte white skin and/or blond hair was just a freak mutation which coincided with the environment. And in fact I wonder if it coincides. This is speculation on my part, but what if they got vitamin D some other way or what if it didn't matter as much or what if their skin needed more protection from certain UV?

People and nature come up with creative answers. We shouldn't always judge evertyhing based on some empirical rules about how we think things must work.
edit on 27-1-2014 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 09:06 PM
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reply to post by theabsolutetruth
 


7000 year old hunter gatherer... looks like jesus.... Maybe I should give the bible a better look.... JUST KIDDING !!!1

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA



posted on Jan, 28 2014 @ 02:05 AM
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reply to post by Hijinx
 


The original depictions of Jesus were of a smiling, blonde haired, blue eyed, youthful man.

The swarthy version was invented in the 6th century.

www.ecclesia.org...


The following description of Jesus Christ was written by Publius Lentrelus, a citizen of Judea in the reign of Tiberius Caesar.
It first appeared in the writings of Saint Anselm of Canterbury, 11th century:

There lives at this time in Judea a man of singular virtue whose name is Jesus Christ, whom the barbarians esteem as a prophet, but his followers love and adore him as the offspring of the immortal God. He calls back the dead from the graves and heals all sorts of diseases with a word or touch. He is a tall man, well-shaped, and of an amiable and reverend aspect; his hair of a color that can hardly be matched, falling into graceful curls, waving about and very agreeable crouching upon his shoulders, parted on the crown of the head, running as a stream to the front after fashion of the Nazarites. His forehead high, large and imposing; his cheeks without spot or wrinkle, beautiful with a lovely red; his nose and mouth formed with exquisite symmetry; his beard, and of a color suitable to his hair, reaching below his chin and parted in the middle like a fork; his eyes bright blue, clear and serene. Look innocent, dignified, manly and mature. In proportion of body most perfect, and captivating; his arms and hands delectable to behold. He rebukes with majesty, councils with mildness, His whole address whether in word or deed, being eloquent and grave. No man has seen him laugh, yet his manners are exceedingly pleasant, but he has wept frequently in the presence of men. He is temporate, modest and wise. A man for his extraordinary beauty and perfection, surpassing the children of men in every sense.



posted on Jan, 28 2014 @ 02:36 AM
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reply to post by jonnywhite
 


Yes, Inuit / Eskimo are believed to be of Asian origin.

pandora.cii.wwu.edu...

Neanderthal also had a mutation, that isn't the same as that of the human version, for pale skin and red hair.

humanorigins.si.edu...

The coloration of Europeans is genetically varied, though a common ancestor is presumed.

genetics.thetech.org...

news.psu.edu...





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