DNA analysis obtained from ancient human remains has shown that as these farmers bred with the dark skinned hunter gatherers, one of these genes became prevalent in the European population and European's skin colour began to lighten.
Around 5,800 years ago the second gene, which makes skin colour lighter still, also began to spread though the European population. The research, which was presented at the 84th annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, shows that populations in Europe were still evolving until relatively recently.
It also shows that a population of hunter gatherers living on the site of Motala, southern Sweden, had already developed both skin-lightening genes around 7,700 years ago together with a third that gave them blue eyes. Dr Iain Mathieson, a geneticist at Harvard University in Massachusetts who led the work, said: 'Ancient DNA makes it possible to examine populations as they were before, during and after adaptation events, and thus to reveal the tempo and mode of selection.
A study of ancient human bones has revealed how Early Europeans had difficulties digesting milk around 5,000 years after the introduction of farming. It took at least that long for their genes to evolve until they were no longer intolerant to lactose, the natural sugar in mammalian milk, scientists suggests.
Researchers looked at ancient DNA extracted from 13 individuals buried at archaeological sites in the Great Hungarian Plain - a region known to have been at the crossroads of cultural change in European prehistory.
The samples were dated from 5,700 BC to 800 BC, ranging across the Stone, Copper, Bronze and Iron Ages.
'Our findings show progression towards lighter skin pigmentation as hunter and gatherers and non-local farmers intermarried, but surprisingly no presence of increased lactose persistence or tolerance to lactose,' said Professor Ron Pinhasi, from University College Dublin's Earth Institute. 'This means that these ancient Europeans would have had domesticated animals like cows, goats and sheep, but they would not yet have genetically developed a tolerance for drinking large quantities of milk from mammals.' To read or download the whole article please click here
In 2005 four multiple burials were discovered near Eulau, Germany. The 4,600-year-old graves contained groups of (Black) adults and children buried facing each other. Skeletal and artifactual evidence and the simultaneous interment of the individuals suggest the supposed families fell victim to a violent event. Genetic analysis of four bodies found in a 4,600-year-old grave shows that they belonged to a mother, a father and their two sons, who were buried together in one another's arms. The neolithic remains, which belong to a man aged between 40 and 60, a woman aged between 35 and 50, and boys aged 4 to 5 and 8 to 9, provide the earliest firm evidence for the existence of nuclear family units.
They may also bear witness to an ancient massacre: they were interred along with nine others in four graves, and many of the bodies show signs of a violent end. One female had a stone projectile head embedded in a vertebra, another had a fractured skull, and others had cut-marks on their hands and forearms consistent with self-defense. Most of the dead were children or women, and only one of the bodies belonged to a man in his prime.
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It is likely that these people were murdered in a raid by a rival tribe, before the survivors returned to bury their dead.
A second grave may also hold a less conventional family unit: it contains the bodies of an infant girl, two brothers aged 4 to 5 and 7 to 9, and a woman aged between 30 and 38.
DNA tests show that the other two boys were probably brothers, and although the woman could not have been their mother, she is thought to have been a paternal aunt or stepmother.
The baby's body has been too badly preserved for a family relationship to be established.
Wolfgang Haak, of the University of Adelaide, who led the research, said that in each grave, the bodies were arranged in positions that appear to have been symbolic of their relationships.
In the case of the nuclear family, the man and woman were placed face-to-face with arms and hands linked, and the two boys were also facing one another.
This is unusual for graves from this period, known as the Corded Ware Culture after its typical pots decorated with twisted cords.
Results of the DNA tests indicate that in the Nuclear family, the Father was Y-dna R1a, the Mother was MTdna - K
As would be expected, finding Black people with the R1a gene has thrown White genetics into a tailspin.
(It was long thought that haplogroup "R" was a White clade, introduced into Europe with the Kugan (White people) migrations from Central Asia which started at about 1,500 B.C.).
Therefore a NEW theory was needed!
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