Continued hunter-gatherer news


BBC/Science today linked to a paper – “Derived immune and ancestral pigmentation alleles in a 7,00-year-old Mesolithic European” – in the latest volume of Nature. A team of scientists has sequenced the genome of skeleton discovered at the La Braña-Arintero site in León, Spain. Numerous items stand out. The first, sure to be picked up in the soft-science press, is that the sequenced individual from a hunter/gatherer band had the strange combination of dark skin and blue eyes. Scientists had previously assumed that these nomads were lighter skinned. The evidence suggests that lighter skin pigmentation emerged later than thought.

More importantly for serious research,  the authors state that, “Analysis of this genome in the context of other ancient samples suggests the existence of a common ancient genomic signature across western and central Eurasia from the Upper Paleolithic to the Mesolithic.” This population group then came into contact with farming migrants from the Middle East to produce a part of the existing European genome.

You literally can’t keep up with all the new science!


About George Vascik, Historian

A 1988 graduate of the University of Michigan, I have taught history at Miami University since 1992. I maintain blogs on teaching Western Civilization and on Great War. My research focuses on anti-Semitism and rural politics in northwest Germany. I am completing a monograph for Bloomsbury Press, Anti-Semitism and Rural Politics. You can follow my project at Along with Mark Sadler, I have published a book of primary documents on the Stab-in-the-Back Myth (Dolchstoßlegende). I also invite you to visit my profession web page at
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