Skip to comments.A Mesolithic face from Southern Europe
Posted on 03/12/2014 4:00:53 AM PDT by Renfield
The Mesolithic, a transitional period that lasted from circa 11,000 to 5,000 years ago (between the Palaeolithic and Neolithic), ends with the advent of agriculture and animal husbandry and the concurrent arrival of new genetic material from the Middle East. The arrival of the Neolithic farmers, with their carbohydrate-based and domesticated animal diet, along with food-borne pathogens and the inherent metabolic /immunological challenges can be reflected in genetic adaptations of post- Mesolithic populations.
The individual at the centre of the study belongs to a group prior to this influx of new genetic material.
“The biggest surprise was to discover that this individual possessed African versions in the genes that are involved in European pigmentation, indicating he had dark skin, although we can not know the exact tone,” says researcher Carles Lalueza- Fox.
“Even more surprising was the discovery that he had the genetic variants that produce blue eyes in Europeans today, resulting in a unique phenotype in a genome that is otherwise clearly northern European.”
The study of the genome suggests that current populations nearest to La Braña 1 are in Northern Europe, such as Sweden and Finland. In addition, the work points out that La Braña 1 has a common ancestor with the settlers of the Upper Palaeolithic site of Mal’ta, located in Lake Baikal (Siberia), whose genome was recovered a few months ago.
Lalueza-Fox explains “These data indicates that there is genetic continuity in the populations of central and western Eurasia. In fact, these data are consistent with the archaeological remains, as in other excavations in Europe and Russia, including the site of Mal’ta, anthropomorphic figures called Palaeolithic Venus have been recovered and they are very similar to each other”.
Iñigo Olalde, lead author of the study, concludes that “the intention of the team is trying to retrieve the individual genome of the Braña 2 which is the least well preserved of the burials in the hope that they can continue to obtain information on the genetic characteristics of these early Europeans.”
The skeleton of La Braña 1, as it was discovered in 2006. Credit: J.M. Vidal Encina
I think I used to work for that guy.
Why do they insist on adding so much hair to these reconstructions?
The face in the middle could have easily belonged to my neighbor.
Have you ever shaved with a flint tool, ibex fat, and mint leaves?
How about having every hair on your head tweezed out?
And maybe they had tattoos all over their face and bodies, too.
The real Fred Flinstone?
Scissors were invented ~1500BC, so obviously he couldn't have cut his hair. And Dapper Dan hair pomade wasn't readily available, so bushy was in.
Seriously, I'm just surprised that academia doesn't require all reconstructions to use dreadlocks.
The cave womens had hairy legs too. And our USA hippies thought they were so noveau. (.