7,000-Year-Old Human Bones Suggest New Date for Light-Skin Gene
LiveScience.com By By Tia Ghose, Staff Writer 8 hours ago
An illustration of what the ancient hunter-gatherer may have looked like
An ancient European hunter-gatherer man had dark skin and blue eyes, a new genetic analysis has revealed. The analysis of the man, who lived in modern-day Spain only about 7,000 years ago, shows light-skin genes in Europeans evolved much more recently than previously thought. The findings, which were detailed today (Jan. 26) in the journal Nature, also hint that light skin evolved not to adjust to the lower-light conditions in Europe compared with Africa, but instead to the new diet that emerged after the agricultural revolution, said study co-author Carles Lalueza-Fox, a paleogenomics researcher at Pompeu Fabra University in Spain. Sunlight changes Many scientists have believed that lighter skin gradually arose in Europeans starting around 40,000 years ago, soon after people left tropical Africa for Europe's higher latitudes. The hunter-gatherer's dark skin pushes this date forward to only 7,000 years ago, suggesting that at least some humans lived considerably longer than thought in Europe before losing the dark pigmentation that evolved under Africa's sun.
"It was assumed that the lighter skin was something needed in high latitudes, to synthesize vitamin D in places where UV light is lower than in the tropics," Lalueza-Fox told LiveScience.
[Once again this confirms the differentiation of ancient Europeans into Eastern and Western populations: this type was formerly called "Celtic" in earlier times and was specifically stated to be the Atlantean type colonising Europe at the end of the Ice Age by Lewis Spence. This also confirms that the Atlanteans were swarthy with dark hair and the paler blond peoples were associated with the Black Sea focus and spread at the time of the Black Sea Flood. I have made these specifications on this blog recently when the matter came up before, including the matter of Tutankamen's Western-European genetic connections.-DD]