View Full Version : Facial reconstruction of 5,500-year old 'Stonehenge man' may be wrong

18-12-13, 10:35
Stonehenge (http://www.eupedia.com/england/stonehenge.shtml), Europe's most famous Megalithic monument, has been endowed with a brand new visitor centre at the cost of £27 million, due to be inaugurated today. One of the prime attractions is the facial reconstruction of a 5,500-year old 'Stonehenge man' (pictured below). The reconstruction is based on a skeleton found buried in a long barrow 2 km from Stonehenge and dating from the Neolithic period.


Little information has been published as to how the reconstruction was made. But, in my opinion, the pigmentation used for this reconstruction is probably not correct. I doubt that red hair was already present in Neolithic Britain, as I have explained in my article The origins of red hair (http://www.eupedia.com/genetics/origins_of_red_hair.shtml). Red hair would have arrived with the Indo-Europeans and Y-haplogroup R1b during the Bronze Age. Neolithic Britons would have been genetically closer to modern Sardinians or to Ötzi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%96tzi), and therefore dark-haired.

Besides, this 'Stonehenge man' has remarkably light hair for a male adult, and his beard hair appear to be a blend of red and blond. That means that he carried genes for blond hair, which is all the more improbable. Blond hair arose in Northeast Europe, not in Northwest Europe, and was first diffused westward by the Proto-Indo-Europeans of the Corded Ware culture, which didn't reach the British Isles. Most blond hair genes in modern Britain came with the Anglo-Saxon and Viking invasions in the Middle Ages (hence the relative scarcity of blond hair in Wales).

The only way a Neolithic Briton would have blondish hair is if he/she had an unusually high percentage of Mesolithic ancestry descended from R1a hunter-gatherers. But as R1a was a minority in Western Europe even during the Mesolithic period, and Neolithic farmers outnumbered Mesolithic hunter-gatherers by a factor of approximately 100 to 1, it is dubious that the fraction of DNA they could have contributed to this 'Stonehenge man' could have a visible impact phenotypically. In other words, even if some Mesolithic Britons had blond hair (unproven yet) their genes would have been so diluted by dark-haired Neolithic farmers that hardly anybody would have had blond hair anymore.

18-12-13, 12:36
I think red hair originated with y-DNA R1b and blond with the I subclades....then again many R1a and R1b men have blond hair as well, but certainly I men have a high incidence of extreme blond hair, including my grandfather who was I.

18-12-13, 16:00
If I remember correctly Ötzi is said to had brown hair and brown eyes.

18-12-13, 17:41
He was y-DNA G and mtdna K.

18-12-13, 19:55
we are told he has Hazel eyes, this colour originates from central asia and the pontic steppes and also ancient black sea thraci lands. genetics says

The blue-eyed parent can only give bm to his children and the hazel-eyed parent can only give GM. So, all of their children will be GbMm or hazel-eyed carriers for green and blue eyes.

A team of researchers from Copenhagen University have located a single mutation that causes the mysterious phenomenon of blue eyes. All blue eyed people are genetically related to a person who lived in the Black Sea region (modern Romania) sometime between 6 – 10,000 years ago during the Neolithic revolution.

Blue eyes plus green eyes equal hazel eyes

18-12-13, 21:23
I'm fairly certain I saw that man begging for change outside a liquor store yesterday.

19-12-13, 01:33
I'm fairly certain I saw that man begging for change outside a liquor store yesterday.

not anymore, i gave me a few doubloons