Wednesday, December 11, 2013
La Brana 1 had blue eyes
Update 27/01/2014: Mesolithic genome from Spain reveals markers for blue eyes, dark skin and Y-haplogroup C6. ... Last year Current Biology put out a paper on the partial genome sequences of two Mesolithic Iberian hunter-gatherers, dubbed La Brana 1 and 2, which showed that they were genetically more similar to modern-day Northern Europeans than Iberians. According to Spanish news portal Leonoticias.com, the genome of La Brana 1 has now been fully sequenced, and the more comprehensive new data not only back up the initial findings, but also suggest that this individual had blue eyes:
El mesolítico 'leonés' afín al ciudadano del norte de Europa
As per the link above, the new paper will be published in a few weeks. I suppose this means we'll finally see a Y-chromosome haplogroup result from pre-Neolithic Europe. I'm betting on hg R, considering that this was the marker of the Mal'ta boy from Upper Paleolithic South Siberia (see here). Siberia might seem like a long way from Iberia, but in fact, for thousands of years both regions were connected by the Mammoth Steppe, which was inhabited by highly mobile herds of animals and human hunters who followed them. However, I won't be surprised if it turns out that La Brana 1 belonged to hg I or even Q.
Ancient DNA from Iberian Mesolithic hunter-gatherers