Dark-skinned, blue-eyed hunter gatherer

Light skin genes in Europe less than 7,000 years old

Genetic analysis of ancient skeletons is bringing pictures of our ancestors to light in vivid colours. What is particularly astounding to me is the mobility of our ancestors – and their genes – already in the pleistocene.

Less than 350 generations for the light skin gene to have spread all over Europe seems to be a very short time. But that is what is concluded from the genetic analysis of two hunter-gatherer skeletons discovered in a cave in the mountains of north-west Spain in 2006.

hunter gatherer from brana


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2 Responses to “Dark-skinned, blue-eyed hunter gatherer”

  1. Mythoughts76 Says:

    How can they be sure his eyes are blue? Maybe he has brown eyes and has the genes of blue eyed ancestors..

    • ktwop Says:

      I am no expert here but the question is relevant and is addressed in Maju’s comments at his site http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.se/
      “La Braña 1 carried two pigmentation alleles of gene SLC45A2 now rare among Europeans (but common elsewhere, i.e. the ancestral variant):
      rs16891982, which affects hair color (7x chances of black hair among Europeans)
      rs1426654, which affects skin pigmentation to some degree (correlated with skin color in Indians, irrelevant among modern Europeans because of fixation, weights only ~15% in Cape Verdeans’ skin coloration). ……… It is probable anyhow that La Braña 1 had black hair.
      It is much more plausible that he had blue eyes because these are much more directly regulated by simple genetics.” .

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