Skip to comments.
Iceman stories begin arriving!
Dienekes' Anthropology Blog ^
| 17 Oct 2011
Posted on 10/18/2011 10:34:58 AM PDT by FritzG
The National Geographic has info, a teaser for an October 26 Nova special:
The genetic results add both information and intrigue. From his genes, we now know that the Iceman had brown hair and brown eyes and that he was probably lactose intolerant and thus could not digest milksomewhat ironic, given theories that he was a shepherd. Not surprisingly, he is more related to people living in southern Europe today than to those in North Africa or the Middle East, with close connections to geographically isolated modern populations in Sardinia, Sicily, and the Iberian Peninsula. The DNA analysis also revealed several genetic variants that placed the Iceman at high risk for hardening of the arteries. ("If he hadn't been shot," Zink remarked, "he probably would have died of a heart attack or stroke in ten years.") Perhaps most surprising, researchers found the genetic footprint of bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi in his DNAmaking the Iceman the earliest known human infected by the bug that causes Lyme disease.It seems that my prediction that the Iceman will turn out to be Mediterranean in terms of his autosomal genetic components was right!
I don't get, however, how lactose intolerance is incompatible with being a shepherd, since milk is widely used in southern Europe both as a raw product and for its cheese. I lack the lactose tolerance gene myself, but that doesn't keep me from having a glass of milk nearly every day. Lactose tolerance makes it possible for people to drink lots of milk; lactose intolerance does not make it impossible for them to drink any, or to enjoy its secondary products (such as cheese and butter).
KEYWORDS: ancientautopsies; austria; dna; genetics; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; iceman; migration; oetzi; otzi; theiceman
Tyrolean Iceman week is upon us! (and some migrationist thoughts)
After a long wait, this week we are likely to read (and for the lucky few, hear) the long-awaited results of the genetic analysis of Ötzi
, the Tyrolean Iceman. The talk on "Sequencing the Tyrolean Iceman" is scheduled
for October 21 during the MUMMIES FROM THE ICE, 2nd BOLZANO MUMMY CONGRESS.
Thanks to intelligence from one of my readers, we already know that the Iceman belonged to Y-haplogroup G2a4
. My experience with similar publicity bonanzas leads me to believe that the announcement at Bolzano may coincide with a major journal publication, but I have no inside information. Well, Friday is the day when the next issue of Science
is due, so I'll take a bet on that journal having an Ötzi special this week. But, even if I'm wrong, there are likely to be media stories from the mummy congress itself; we will soon find out more.
(If any kind souls want to tip me, on promise of absolute confidentiality, feel free to do so: my e-mail's at the bottom)
Why is Ötzi so important? We already have genome sequence data on a ~4,000 year old Paleo-Eskimo
, and even older Neandertals
. Ötzi, at more than 5,000 years, will become the oldest Homo sapiens
sequenced so far.
From a place like Europe, we almost never get anything other than bones and teeth from that period. An ice mummy is a real treasure, as it contains non-osseous tissues preserved in a natural refrigerator. Ötzi is likely to yield as good an ancient DNA genome as we are likely to get from prehistoric Europe anytime soon.
And, Ötzi's age is equally important, since he lived during the early Copper Age, at a time when humans in Europe transcended the use of bone and stone in their tool-making, and started using copper. Humans had used metals before (including gold and iron) in a haphazard way, but it was during the Copper and subsequent Bronze Age that there is clear evidence that metalworking began to transform society.
Ötzi's genome will be extremely important for a different reason: for a long time a conflict has simmered in archaeology between idea diffusionists, demic diffusionists, and migrationists.
- Idea diffusionists aka proponents of acculturation propose that ideas (such as the idea of crop-raising or metal-working) spread without large movements of people. They predict that Europeans did not change much since the Paleolithic, and Neolithic/post-Neolithic processes have little affected them.
- Demic diffusionists propose that humans behave like mindless automata, random walking across the landscape, mating with whom they find, and filling up a continent by the accretion of millennia-long processes of diffusion. They predict that Europeans are a fairly smooth cline of Neolithic+Paleolithic constituent elements from southeast to northwest.
- Migrationists adhere to an older and much-maligned arrows-on-the-map paradigm, whereby humans intentionally decide to move from A to B, even across great distances. According to this idea, colonists sometimes mix with/sometimes kill/sometimes avoid pre-existing inhabitants. Migrationists predict that prehistoric Europe was a dynamic patchwork of genetic-cultural units entering the continent from different routes at different times, gradually forming the cornucopia of its proto-historical ethnic groups.
It's been about two years since I came out as a migrationist
. In my view, the colonization of Europe was less a random process and more akin to the much later colonization of the Mediterranean and Black Sea by the Greeks, and of the Americas by Europeans. We can envision initial forays of exploration, prompted by either curiosity or tales of strange sights and great riches (be it the riches of Marco Polo's East, El Dorado, the Golden Fleece, etc.). These were followed by colonists, either pushed from
their homelands by social/economic malaise, or pulled towards
their destinations by opportunity, establishing long-range communication/trade networks. Finally, more people could flow along the established routes in a directional, intentional
flow of people.
Most of the ancient DNA published in the last few years has tended
to support the migrationist paradigm. Indeed, we are uncovering even weirder
data points every time we look. Who would have thought a few years ago, that Australian aborigines
would show ties to Siberia, some prehistoric central-eastern Europeans to modern East Asians, and neither Mesolithic nor
Neolithic Europeans any clear ties to modern ones?
It seems that the surest bet is on the unexpected, so I am hopeful that the Tyrolean Iceman will have some surprises in store for us; these may upset existing paradigms, but will pave the way for new ones.
posted on 10/18/2011 10:35:07 AM PDT
posted on 10/18/2011 10:35:51 AM PDT
Maybe he was Chinese?
Let the BS tsunami begin!! Probably much the same as “global warming”. How else will they get “grant” money? All hogwash and conjecture. Bah!!! Humbug!!!
posted on 10/18/2011 10:42:08 AM PDT
I didn’t know this controversy existed, but put me down as a migrationist.
People have been moving around in the migrationist way for as long as we have records. Why in the world should we think people before we had records behaved differently?
Why in the world should we think people before we had records behaved differently?
Actually, I can answer my own question.
Most archaeologists and anthropologists are culturally and politically liberal.
They want desperately to believe there was a peaceful Golden Age during which people didn't spread by war and violence, with more efficient cultures destroying those which weren't as good at killing.
So they are constantly reading these memes into the limited evidence, which is usually overturned pretty quickly with evidence of massacres, human sacrifice, cannibalism, etc.
Very interesting! Please keep us posted on new reports.
posted on 10/18/2011 11:18:27 AM PDT
by AEMILIUS PAULUS
(It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
posted on 10/18/2011 11:21:17 AM PDT
(The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
Tyrolean Iceman will have some surprises in store for us....
The researchers were surprised with the button he was wearing:
It read: Cain 2012
posted on 10/18/2011 11:22:01 AM PDT
(Cain/West 2012....what would the RACISTS LIBERALS say???)
2ND BOLZANO MUMMY CONGRESS? The first one was a real gas. Who can forget John and Peggy at the “COME AS YOUR FAVORITE MUMMY” party? Lady Gagme singing “ALL BANDAGED UP AND NO PLACE TO GO”? The “WHO CAN STAY LONGEST IN THE COOLER?” contest? You can’t buy fun like that, but you can rent it.
posted on 10/18/2011 11:24:16 AM PDT
("A crack shot and a good dancer")
posted on 10/18/2011 11:39:56 AM PDT
posted on 10/18/2011 12:24:12 PM PDT
posted on 10/18/2011 12:27:41 PM PDT
To: DuncanWaring; FritzG; SunkenCiv
This article says that the Iceman is haplogroup 'K', same as Thomas Jefferson:
posted on 10/18/2011 1:51:25 PM PDT
To: FritzG; blam; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...
posted on 10/18/2011 8:58:21 PM PDT
(It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
**From his genes, we now know that the Iceman had brown hair and brown eyes ... Not surprisingly, he is more related to people living in southern Europe today than to those in North Africa or the Middle East, with close connections to geographically isolated modern populations in Sardinia, Sicily, and the Iberian Peninsula. **
Well, that describes my husband!
ya beat me to it. Gervin is the REAL Iceman.
posted on 10/19/2011 5:48:07 AM PDT
(You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
“It seems that the surest bet is on the unexpected, so I am hopeful that the Tyrolean Iceman will have some surprises in store for us; these may upset existing paradigms, but will pave the way for new ones.”
I remember when the original researchers were surprised, after a year of careful study, when other researchers discovered an arrowhead lodged in the mummy.
In regards to the various theories on population changes, I trend toward the one not mentioned. The hybrid theory that includes all those other theories.
If there’s one thing certain about humanity, if there’s a different way to do something, it’ll be done that way. And even if it doesn’t make any sense to do it a particular way, there’ll always be groups of numbnuts doing it that way.
Now, about that map pic you posted...
It seems obvious to me that Iceman was traveling to that engraved stella site to vent his desire that the gods save him from the piles.
posted on 10/19/2011 7:08:15 PM PDT
(equivocation is but the first step along the road to capitulation)
Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual
posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its
management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the
exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson