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View Full Version : Who was really Ötzi ? Your guesses about various genes



Maciamo
12-09-11, 20:35
We've already got a poll about Ötzi's Y-haplogroup (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?26763-Poll-What-will-%C3%96tzi-s-Y-DNA-haplogroup-be). Let's now try to guess some of his physical features (those not identifiable from forensics) as well as invisible traits (such as lactose intolerance) and his autosomal admixtures (if we can run his DNA through the Dodecad calculator).

Regarding his eye color, some sites (including Wikipedia) say that he likely had brown eyes, while other say he had blue eyes. I would rather go for brown eyes because he was, in my opinion, pre-Indo-European, non-Nordic, and probably descended from Anatolian/Caucasian immigrants rather than Paleolithic Europeans.

The hair colour has been described as dark brown. I would also go with dark brown or black. The new reconstruction of Ötzi (http://oetzi20.it/?lang=en) depicts him as having thin, fairly damaged hair. I think that on the contrary he had thick and rather straight hair (more Asian-like).

I am convinced that he was lactose intolerant as the mutation for lactase persistence appeared not too long before his life in the Pontic-Caspian steppe.

Autosomally I expect Ötzi to be predominantly West Asian and Mediterranean; perhaps 50-50, or up to 70% West Asian, although it's hard to say since it is unclear what the Dodecad "Mediterranean" element comprises.

sparkey
12-09-11, 22:33
My guesses:

Eye color: brown (probably too southwestern for blue)
Hair color: dark brown (not black but certainly not blond and probably not thin)
Lactose intolerant via similar reasoning as Maciamo
Autosomally more mixed than may be expected, since I don't think that Dodecad components represent specific ancient populations precisely... I'll be contrary to Maciamo and guess that Mediterranean is higher than West Asian, with my thought being that R1b peoples (presumably post-Ötzi) probably brought a sizable amount of the current West Asian component in the area.

Knovas
12-09-11, 22:43
If he was a recent inmigrant from Anatolia, I don't expect more than 30% Mediterranean in him since it's clearly linked to Europe. My guess is he might be 60% West Asian, 15% Mediterranean, 15% West European, 5% East European...and the rest Southwest Asian. I supose he was a bit mixed with locals.

Bodin
13-09-11, 02:12
Dark eyes and hair , he could have tin hair ( it depends of the diet not only origin ) , lactose intolerant , 60% Mediteranian , 20% West Asian , 20% East European

Maciamo
13-09-11, 08:25
If he was a recent inmigrant from Anatolia, I don't expect more than 30% Mediterranean in him since it's clearly linked to Europe. My guess is he might be 60% West Asian, 15% Mediterranean, 15% West European, 5% East European...and the rest Southwest Asian. I supose he was a bit mixed with locals.

I don't expect any East European admixture at all, since Ötzi predates the Bronze Age expansion of R1a.

The West European admixture is more complex. It includes genes coming from I1, I2b and R1b1b2a people, but it is unclear in what proportion. I have posited that a good deal of the Mediterranean admixture in northern Europe actually came from R1b, since it originated in Anatolia. But is the West European mostly R1b (in which case it is a subtype from Anatolia) or mostly I1-related people (including all the maternal lineages taken by R1b) ? I think we can reasonably expect that some of the so-called 'West European' is a blend of two completely different population (Nordic and North Anatolian/North Caucasian) and therefore it wouldn't surprising to find a bit of 'West European' in Ötzi from earlier contact between G2a and R1b people in Anatolia. My guess is no more than 5% West European (perhaps just 1% or even 0%).

I don't expect much Southwest Asian, if any, because that element would have spread later 5Bronze Age, Iron Age, Arabic conquest) to Anatolia, unless there was a significant amount of E1b1b blended with the G2a, but I doubt that considering Ötzi's brachycephalic skull.

Knovas
13-09-11, 10:11
But, would it be possible to check Ötzi's full admixture? or we'll just know the Y-DNA and some traits?

Maciamo
17-10-11, 23:36
National Geographic has released some autosomal information about Ötzi (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/11/iceman-autopsy/hall-text). It looks like I was right on all the line so far : brown hair, brown eyes, lactose intolerant and similar to Southern European (who have a lot of Mediterranean and West Asian admixture - I doubt there will be much West European or East European as Ötzi predates the IE migrations, but we will see in a few days).


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 milk—somewhat 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 DNA—making the Iceman the earliest known human infected by the bug that causes Lyme disease.

sparkey
17-10-11, 23:48
National Geographic has released some autosomal information about Ötzi (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/11/iceman-autopsy/hall-text). It looks like I was right on all the line so far : brown hair, brown eyes, lactose intolerant and similar to Southern European (who have a lot of Mediterranean and West Asian admixture - I doubt there will be much West European or East European as Ötzi predates the IE migrations, but we will see in a few days).

So far so good for my guesses as well. And saying that he is close to modern Sardinians makes me think that my prediction of him having higher Mediterranean than West Asian admixture is going to be correct. We'll see!

Wilhelm
17-10-11, 23:57
Having haplogroup G2a doesn't necessarily mean he is a pure neolithic migrator, he could have as well paleolithic ancestry on the mix. We'll see.

Maciamo
18-10-11, 09:49
So far so good for my guesses as well. And saying that he is close to modern Sardinians makes me think that my prediction of him having higher Mediterranean than West Asian admixture is going to be correct. We'll see!

Hmm, actually they said that he was close to the populations of modern Sardinia, Sicily, and the Iberian Peninsula. That is strange since Sicily is mostly Greek with some Arabic, North African and Norman ancestry, while Sardinia is everything but that (mostly unchanged since the Neolithic, apart from a bit of Phoenician, Roman and Corsican influence). Dodecad admixtures for Sicilians show 24% of West Asian and 10% of Southwest Asian, while Sardinians only have 4.5% and 6% respectively. In terms of haplogroups, Sardinia is mostly I2a, G2a and R1b-S28. Sicily is mostly J2, E1b1b, T, J1, I1, I2b... They have very little in common. Iberia is even more diverse, especially when one compares South Portugal and the Basque country.

Obviously Ötzi couldn't be like modern Sicilians since they descend mostly of people who settled on the island in the last 3000 years. Sardinia sounds more credible, but without the Phoenician, Roman and other historical admixtures (so that leaves essentially the Mediterranean admixture).

There is also the possibility that they didn't run any autosomal comparison yet, and that they just mentioned places where G2a4 is found today (with access to a database of G2a subclades that we don't have).

If he turns out to have more Mediterranean than West Asian, then he probably didn't originate from the Danubian Chalcolithic cultures, as he copper axe suggested, but from Italy (and may have stolen the axe from a dead enemy).

Knovas
18-10-11, 11:33
The "autosomal" description is quite confusing. Similar to Southern Europe is possible, but placing him in Iberia and the other regions...there's precisely very low West Asian in modern Iberians, so he must have not incredibly high West Asian and, of course, should have West and East European (this one probably less). With only the Mediterranean is very difficult to obtain such "clear" match, without considering he must have very high Southwestern, rather than Southeastern.

Another thing is the claims could be wrong. National Geographic seems reliable, but who knows...I'll really trust when more especific data comes out.

Wilhelm
18-10-11, 16:17
I seriously don't understand what have Sardinia, Siciliy, and Iberia all in common to say he has connections. Seriously, sometimes scientists can make weird assumptions. Maybe they said that only because of him being G2a ? But that is low in Iberia, compared with other parts of Europe. Who knows.

Mzungu mchagga
18-10-11, 19:47
It said isolated populations of Iberia, whatever that isolated population is!

Knovas
18-10-11, 20:25
The most isolated populations of Iberia are in the Northeast side, being Basques the most representative. There are surely very interesting samples between Navarrans, Aragonese and Catalans. Also the Pasiegos are well known for this, and perhaps Cambria knows something about Portugal.

But, to make it short, I highly doubt Otzi had huge similarities with the mentioned groups, considering some of the features they show. I wouldn't bet for it.