Copper & Bronze Age Steppe people (PIE) had mixed light and dark pigmentation

The sample size is small, but that could mean that blue eyes were not present in the Pontic Steppe before the Early Bronze Age, and that there was therefore a migration of people from outside the steppes, or a dramatic expansion from one small part of the steppes.

There's no reason to assume that these samples are representative of the Proto-Indo-Europeans (PIE). They might well be a mixed population with only minor mtDNA and autosomal PIE components from the generally accepted PIE zone to the northeast. See here (I can't post full links):

upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/20/Kurgan_map.png

Incidentally, this is more or less where the Andronovo people came from, not from the east Balkans or southern steppe, where most of the Wilde et al. samples are from, and they were pretty fair. So an extreme founder effect, and/or more intense selection for light eyes and hair in the more temperate Kurgan areas, which eventually encompassed much wider areas as the Indo-European expansion gained strength, is a possibility.

So I wouldn't jump to any conclusions based on such a southerly sampling strategy. I'd wait for complete genomes from across time and space of the Kurgan cultural horizon, including the Khvalynsk culture.

In any case, we're missing a lot of territory in Eastern Europe as things stand...

mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zm0B1VqcS1ZE.kixFYqDlP5v8
 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8570542.stm

If skeletons show signs of rickets do ancient skeletons from Europe show those signs?
 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8570542.stm

If skeletons show signs of rickets do ancient skeletons from Europe show those signs?

I thought this was an interesting question, and one I hadn't seen explored, so I did a little digging, but couldn't find very much.

This is an article on prehistoric medicine:
http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/6303/1/Prehistoric-Medicine.html

The author states that in prehistoric skeletons, "Bone wasting (osteomalacia) has been interpreted by some as a sign of poornutrition, but true rickets appears to have been rare, probably because living outdoors most of the time would have been preventive. Even the specimens claimed to be rickets were uncovered only in northern climes."

Unfortunately, he doesn't provide a citation to the study where this incidence of rickets in northern skeletons was found.

We do know that a rickets like disease was described in classical times, but whether it was true rickets or not, we don't know. Also, we don't know where these children were living. I wonder if they might have been poverty stricken residents of inland, lightless urban centers, sort of like the situation in industrialized Britain.

I did find this one reference to rickets in Bronze Age skeletons, but as they were found in Jordan, one would think they would have gotten enough sunlight, although perhaps they were not native to the region.
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+E...Burials+of+Bab+edh-Dhra',+Jordan.-a0226668383


In terms of modern populations, there does seem to be a higher incidence of rickets in African Americans, especially African American children, in more temperate climates, as compared to children of European descent:
http://jn.nutrition.org/content/135/2/332.full#ref-28
Common to almost all of these cases of vitamin D deficient rickets in young children is dark pigmented skin (2328), little exposure to sunlight (2325), little or no vitamin D supplementation in mother or child (2327), and exclusive breast-feeding (23,2528). Although areas of higher latitude seem to be at higher risk for vitamin D deficient rickets (2325,28), even in lower latitudes with areas of abundant sunlight, vitamin D deficient rickets has been reported (26,27).

I'm interested in the topic, so I'll keep looking.

Oh, here is that connection to fish again, as a preventative. Cod liver oil was the treatment of choice for rickets.

Also, don't take Tums for your acid indigestion. Apparently, calcium carbonate destroys all the Vitamin D in your body.
 
It's my understanding that the rs numbers refer to snps. SLC24A5 is the name of the gene on which this snp is found. They don't provide the info, but the SLC24A5 gene is found on Chromosome 15.

For example,

  • SNP rs1426654
  • Gene SLC24A5
  • Location Chr.15: 48426484


You can have either an "A" or a "G" allele for this snp. "G" is ancestral or "dark" for this snp. "A" is derived or "light". You have two alleles, one from your mother and one from your father.

The last column shows Sile's results for this snp. He is AA, which is saying both his alleles for this snp are derived or "light".

As the authors in this paper discuss, they're not yet sure whether these are co-dominant, dominant, or recessive. (I didn't go back and check this, so this is from memory.)

People in this hobby, including me, are sloppy, and will say SLC24A5, when they should say, for example, rs1426654 on SLC24A5.

The results from the steppe for light pigmentation which we have been discussing include gene SLC45A2 on which is found SNP rs16891982 and the "light" derived allele is "G". Oetzi was GG.

Ed. I know I am sometimes lacking in patience...which is why I never became a teacher, but I hope I have here redeemed myself somewhat. :)

THANK YOU VERY WELL (as I learned in school)
I was aware we get a copy (good or bad executed) from every parent, of a gene (autosomals)- but I was confused by all these names not very synonymous -
what you call a SNP would be a pair of alleles on the gene (a nucleotid?), with a numero indicating its position in it? the mutation would be named "SNP"? if you are not pedagogic then the net sites of vulgarization are not better!
What would please me would be the answer to: are all the pigmentation regulating genes on the same chromosome, or even on the same portion of chromosome (what seems evident for the most of them?)
good evening - buona sera - noswezh vad deoc'h -

 
@Angela
"I thought this was an interesting question, and one I hadn't seen explored, so I did a little digging, but couldn't find very much."

Ty, yes hard to find much. It does seem to require more than one factor, light skin can still get it, dark skin doesn't necessarily get it but it seems (until recently) to have mostly disappeared before it got much research.


"
Oh, here is that connection to fish again, as a preventative."

Yes, fish seems key, dairy works as an alternative but that only comes later.

(On a separate but related note the importance of fish reinforces the idea of the importance of coastal migrations.)

 
@Angela
"I thought this was an interesting question, and one I hadn't seen explored, so I did a little digging, but couldn't find very much."

Ty, yes hard to find much. It does seem to require more than one factor, light skin can still get it, dark skin doesn't necessarily get it but it seems (until recently) to have mostly disappeared before it got much research.


"
Oh, here is that connection to fish again, as a preventative."

Yes, fish seems key, dairy works as an alternative but that only comes later.

(On a separate but related note the importance of fish reinforces the idea of the importance of coastal migrations.)




Dairy wasn't a solution until milk products were artificially fortified with Vitamin D in the very recent past.

This is a good resource about foods containing Vitamin D, although I don't endorse the Marshall Protocol.
http://mpkb.org/home/food/vitamind/notes_vitamin_d_in_food

The only Vitamin D in milk that is present is in the fat, because Vitamin D is stored in the fat of all mammals. However, the amount of Vitamin D in milk fat products, such as cheese made from unfortified milk, as in all other animal fat products, is very low.


These are the foods with high Vitamin D levels:
View attachment 6324

I'm not even sure if that 6 IU units for 1 slice of cheese is accurate, because I don't know if the milk from which it was made was fortified.

Also, although organ meats and animal fat obviously provide some Vitamin A, herders aren't going to be slaughtering large numbers of their animals to feed their families, and neither are farmers, otherwise they're going to wind up starving to death within a very short time.
 


The only Vitamin D in milk that is present is in the fat, because Vitamin D is stored in the fat of all mammals. However, the amount of Vitamin D in milk fat products, such as cheese made from unfortified milk, as in all other animal fat products, is very low.
True, however in our past, and say in poor northern village, if consumption of milk reached 1 liter a day (from lack of other foods), it might have been enough to supply few hundred IU of vitamin D a day. Perhaps just enough not to get rickets, just to survive.
I don't remember accurate numbers for D3 in natural full milk at the moment, but I remember that it was at lower level of human needs to survive, to supplement through winter.
 
Rickets (Rachitis) was also common in Germany during the industrialization in the industrial areas; Children would often get it especially those designated as Kellerkinder (Factory/Basement kids) i.e. those who hardly saw daylight; In Germany it was thus combated with Lebertran (all kids had to drink it) in English its the 'Cod-liver oil' which is very rich in Vitamin D; Especially after each world war Lebertran became a stable nutrition for children in Germany;
 
Rickets (Rachitis) was also common in Germany during the industrialization in the industrial areas; Children would often get it especially those designated as Kellerkinder (Factory/Basement kids) i.e. those who hardly saw daylight; In Germany it was thus combated with Lebertran (all kids had to drink it) in English its the 'Cod-liver oil' which is very rich in Vitamin D; Especially after each world war Lebertran became a stable nutrition for children in Germany;
Same in Poland, my parents had to take cod oil daily after the war.
Perhaps for us it is hard to appreciate importance of vitamin D, when we have so many products fortified with it, and easily get the minimum without even realizing it. Stories from not so far past are telling us huge importance of it for human health.
 
It was the same in Canada while I was growing up - even though we lived in the country and had eggs and milk, cod liver oil was considered necessary for one's health. And I still take fish oil each day - it's more essential in a northern climate.
 
It was the same in Canada while I was growing up - even though we lived in the country and had eggs and milk, cod liver oil was considered necessary for one's health. And I still take fish oil each day - it's more essential in a northern climate.
I take supplements for most of the year till I suntan in sommer. 4,000 IU a day through winter. There still no agreement amongst experts how much IU adult needs daily. By some experts' educated guesses about 5,000 IU.
 
True, however in our past, and say in poor northern village, if consumption of milk reached 1 liter a day (from lack of other foods), it might have been enough to supply few hundred IU of vitamin D a day. Perhaps just enough not to get rickets, just to survive.
I don't remember accurate numbers for D3 in natural full milk at the moment, but I remember that it was at lower level of human needs to survive, to supplement through winter.


If this is correct, you would have to drink a great deal of milk indeed as a supplement did you not get enough Vitamin D from sun exposure..."A significant amount of vitamin A and some vitamin D are naturally present in whole milk -- an 8-ounce glass of unfortified whole milk provides about 8 percent and 1 percent of the daily values for vitamins A and D, respectively, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

I believe the recommended daily value is 400 I.U. A slice of cheese, which is usually made from unfortified milk, contains 6 I.U. according to the table above, so this makes sense.

However, I think scientists are going to discover we need a whole lot more than that for optimal health.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20053937
[h=3]Abstract[/h]Cutaneous cholecalciferol synthesis has not been considered in making recommendations for vitamin D intake. Our objective was to model the effects of sun exposure, vitamin D intake, and skin reflectance (pigmentation) on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) in young adults with a wide range of skin reflectance and sun exposure. Four cohorts of participants (n = 72 total) were studied for 7-8 wk in the fall, winter, spring, and summer in Davis, CA [38.5 degrees N, 121.7 degrees W, Elev. 49 ft (15 m)]. Skin reflectance was measured using a spectrophotometer, vitamin D intake using food records, and sun exposure using polysulfone dosimeter badges. A multiple regression model (R(2) = 0.55; P < 0.0001) was developed and used to predict the serum 25(OH)D concentration for participants with low [median for African ancestry (AA)] and high [median for European ancestry (EA)] skin reflectance and with low [20th percentile, approximately 20 min/d, approximately 18% body surface area (BSA) exposed] and high (80th percentile, approximately 90 min/d, approximately 35% BSA exposed) sun exposure, assuming an intake of 200 iu/d (5 ug/d). Predicted serum 25(OH)D concentrations for AA individuals with low and high sun exposure in the winter were 24 and 42 nmol/L and in the summer were 40 and 60 nmol/L. Corresponding values for EA individuals were 35 and 60 nmol/L in the winter and in the summer were 58 and 85 nmol/L. To achieve 25(OH)D > or =75 nmol/L, we estimate that EA individuals with high sun exposure need 1300 iu/d vitamin D intake in the winter and AA individuals with low sun exposure need 2100-3100 iu/d year-round.




In my digging I also found this, which supports the point of the importance of enough Vitamin D intake:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17909164#
[h=3]Abstract[/h]Individuals are capable of producing vitamin D with proper exposure to sunlight. However, several factors can interfere with the effectiveness of this process. Most sunscreens filter out UVB light, thus inhibiting vitamin D production. Individuals with more darkly pigmented skin have greater difficulty producing vitamin D because melanin acts as an effective natural sunscreen, requiring longer sun exposure to produce an adequate daily allotment of vitamin D. Additionally, solely breastfed infants whose mothers suffered from vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency when pregnant have smaller reserves of the nutrient and are at greater risk of developing nutritional rickets. Vitamin D deficiency leads to rickets, osteomalacia, and osteoporosis. Long-term vitamin D insufficiency can lead to paracrine effects such as type 1 diabetes, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. This article reviews the current literature on vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency and their relation to different disease states. Potential areas for research are discussed.

I also saw a study by Danish scientists that linked Vitamin D deficiency to depression and schizophrenia. I wonder if that might be one cause of the elevated suicide levels in northern countries?

Just another factoid I came across...from Harvard Medical School...
And researchers at Boston 's Children's Hospital recently reported that 24% of Boston-area adolescents, especially African Americans, are vitamin D deficient.
 
If this is correct, you would have to drink a great deal of milk indeed as a supplement did you not get enough Vitamin D from sun exposure..."A significant amount of vitamin A and some vitamin D are naturally present in whole milk -- an 8-ounce glass of unfortified whole milk provides about 8 percent and 1 percent of the daily values for vitamins A and D, respectively, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

I believe the recommended daily value is 400 I.U. A slice of cheese, which is usually made from unfortified milk, contains 6 I.U. according to the table above, so this makes sense.

However, I think scientists are going to discover we need a whole lot more than that for optimal health.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20053937

IIRC a glass of raw milk contains 40 IU, so liter will be 160 IU, nine eggs (another staple of poor villagers) that's another 160 IU, plus some extra from tanning in the summer, and probably this was a bare minimum to survive.

Abstract

Cutaneous cholecalciferol synthesis has not been considered in making recommendations for vitamin D intake. Our objective was to model the effects of sun exposure, vitamin D intake, and skin reflectance (pigmentation) on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) in young adults with a wide range of skin reflectance and sun exposure. Four cohorts of participants (n = 72 total) were studied for 7-8 wk in the fall, winter, spring, and summer in Davis, CA [38.5 degrees N, 121.7 degrees W, Elev. 49 ft (15 m)]. Skin reflectance was measured using a spectrophotometer, vitamin D intake using food records, and sun exposure using polysulfone dosimeter badges. A multiple regression model (R(2) = 0.55; P < 0.0001) was developed and used to predict the serum 25(OH)D concentration for participants with low [median for African ancestry (AA)] and high [median for European ancestry (EA)] skin reflectance and with low [20th percentile, approximately 20 min/d, approximately 18% body surface area (BSA) exposed] and high (80th percentile, approximately 90 min/d, approximately 35% BSA exposed) sun exposure, assuming an intake of 200 iu/d (5 ug/d). Predicted serum 25(OH)D concentrations for AA individuals with low and high sun exposure in the winter were 24 and 42 nmol/L and in the summer were 40 and 60 nmol/L. Corresponding values for EA individuals were 35 and 60 nmol/L in the winter and in the summer were 58 and 85 nmol/L. To achieve 25(OH)D > or =75 nmol/L, we estimate that EA individuals with high sun exposure need 1300 iu/d vitamin D intake in the winter and AA individuals with low sun exposure need 2100-3100 iu/d year-round.
Nice experiment. What is hard to find, and I was searching already few times, is what is the healthy level of vitamin D3? There is more information about bare minimum (400 IU a day), but almost nothing about a healthy level. At least this research points to sort of normal level of 1300 IU for white people. Of course, if summer dose was adequate to start with. Perhaps experiment should have been done on farmers who spend more time outside in summer (more than city folks), and farming was the norm for our ancestors. After all we are their genetic copies. What was good for them should be good for us. Generally speaking of course.

IIRC, new guidelines from Health Canada set 2,000 IU daily as recommended supplement during winter and 4,000 IU for people over 50 years old. However they don't incorporate body mas in these guidelines.
 
But samples from the Andronovo Culture, who were Indo-Europeans who lived in Kazakhstan and were ancestors of the Aryans and Iranians who invaded Iran and India, showed that most of them had blue eyes.
 
But samples from the Andronovo Culture, who were Indo-Europeans who lived in Kazakhstan and were ancestors of the Aryans and Iranians who invaded Iran and India, showed that most of them had blue eyes.
Pseudoscience too much?
 
Their low percentage of light eyes probably means they had a small amount of Mesolithic European ancestry since Motala12, Loschbour, and La Brana-1 had light eyes while Otzi and Stuttgart had brown eyes. I really doubt they had alot of common ancestry with the north European-like pigmented bronze and iron age Indo Iranians from south Siberia.
 
http://www.scientificfund.kz/index....thropology-of-kazakh-people-and-their-genesis

Kazakhstan.png


Bronze Age Andronovo Culture in the area of modern Southern Russia and Kazakhstan were mostly light-haired (brown or blond) and blue- or green-eyed people:

Individuals with probably blond hair were identified at archaeological sites of Oust-Abakansty (Khakassia Republic, Russia) and Solenoozernaïa IV (Krasnoyarsk Region, Russia). They died around 1800 BC - 1400 BC and belonged to Andronovo Culture. Their skin pigmentation was identified as fair or medium and their eyes as blue or green. Their hair was blond. Two other individuals from the same burial site at Solenoozernaïa IV were identified as having brown hair - one of them had brown eyes and fair or medium skin. Another individual from Andronovo Culture - found at Tatarka cemetery (Charypovsky Region, Russia) - was identified as fair or medium skin, dark brown hair and brown eyes. Two individuals of Karasuk Culture, 1400 BC - 800 BC (Oust-Abakansty and Bogratsky, both in Khakassia) were blue or green eyed:

http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/autosomaladna.shtml#pigmentation

This guy died around 1010 BC:

http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/ancientdna.shtml

Mongolia - Takhilgat Uzuur-5 [TU34] - Dark blond/brown hair; brown eyes - Male - R1a1a1b2-Z93

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andronovo_culture#Ancient_DNA

Out of 10 human male remains assigned to the Andronovo horizon from the Krasnoyarsk region, 9 possessed the R1a Y-chromosome haplogroup and one the haplogroup C-M130 (xC3). mtDNA haplogroups of nine individuals assigned to the same Andronovo horizon and region were as follows: U4 (2 individuals), U2e, U5a1, Z, T1, T4, H, and K2b.

90% of the Bronze Age period mtDNA haplogroups were of west Eurasian origin and the study determined that at least 60% of the individuals overall (out of the 26 Bronze and Iron Age human remains' samples of the study that could be tested) had light hair and blue or green eyes.[19]

A 2004 study also established that, during the Bronze/Iron Age period, the majority of the population of Kazakhstan (part of the Andronovo culture during Bronze Age), was of west Eurasian origin (with mtDNA haplogroups such as U, H, HV, T, I and W), and that prior to the thirteenth to seventh century BC, all Kazakh samples belonged to European lineages.[20]

So were their R1a haplogroup IE Scythian descendants from Tuva Republic, Western Mongolia, during the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.

Some of IE Tocharians (Tarim mummies), on the other hand, appear to be red-haired.

Caucasoids extended as far east as Mongolia and Xinjiang (China) during the Bronze Age, as evidenced by Tocharian and Scythian remains.

Yellow = Eurasian steppe, red is area of Tocharians and north of them lived Bronze Age and Iron Age (Pazyryk Culture) Scythians:

rejon-znajdowania-mumii-biac582ych-w-takla-makan-foto-108.jpg


Photos of Bronze Age IE mummies from Kazakh-Russian-Mongolian-Chinese borderlands:

Burial of an individual with Caucasoid features, dark blond hair and R1a haplogroup was discovered at Takhilgat Uzuur-5, Mongolia.

Also in Tuva Republic, near Russian-Mongolian border, there were kurgan burials of Scythians, including this one:

IE_individual_from_Russia.png


2500-tattoo-warrior-mummy.jpg


Red-haired Tocharian mummies from Xinjiang:

redhairedmummieschinagoldilocks1a.jpg


redhairedmummiesloubeaut.JPG


Two other Tocharian mummies from Xinjiang, Takla Makan Desert, Western China:

3-8.jpg


Tarim-mummies-14.jpg


Blond Scythian guy from Arzhan, Afghanistan, near the Russian border (near Tuva Republic):

arz-nn-krol-tatuowany-hbfve5xs_pxgen_r_1100xa.jpg


Indo-European Caucasoid mummy, buried in Issyk Kul Province of Kyrgyzstan (capital city is Karakol):

image008.jpg


Red-haired Indo-European and Caucasoid mummy from Cherchen region in Western China:

czerczen-koc582pak-z-mogic582-czerczen-koc582pak-scytyjski-krc3b3lewski-foto-127.jpg


Reconstruction of that female mummy from Cherchen:

poulanskaja-krasawica-tochar-foto-114.jpg


Cherchen, Xinjiang province of China - face from painted clothes of one of Indo-European mummies:

czerczen-malunek-z-odziec5bcy-biac582ego-czc582owieka-foto-121.jpg


Scythian art from Ukok Plateau - Pazyryk Culture:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pazyryk_burials

Scythian_Pazyryk.png


Scythian Ukok Princess - she was buried together with two men, in the Ukok Plateau (border between Russia-China-Mongolia):

http://artislimited.wordpress.com/2...ill-be-displayed-publicly-for-the-first-time/

PDF article to download about Scythians of Pazyryk Culture: http://www.google.pl/url?sa=t&rct=j...7CFSJRqfY-SmCLi_LIBRKig&bvm=bv.74115972,d.d2s

Western Mongolia was the area of a melting pot between Western Eurasian and East Asian populations during the Bronze Age:

http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2014/06/west-east-admixture-in-mongolian-altai.html

http://www.fsigenetics.com/article/S1872-4973(14)00116-1/abstract

West-East admixture in Mongolian Altai in the Bronze Age

(...)

In the same way, the patrilineal gene pool revealed the presence of different haplogroups (Q1a2a1-L54, R1a1a1b2-Z93 and C), probably marking different origins for the male paternal lineages. To go further in the search of the origin of these ancient specimens, phenotypical characters (i.e. hair and eye color) were determined. For this purpose, we adapted the HIrisPlex assay recently described to MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. In addition, some ancestry informative markers were analyzed with this assay. The results revealed mixed phenotypes among this group confirming the probable admixed ancestry of the studied Altaian population at the Middle Bronze Age.

Scythians of Tuva Republic:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Tuva#Early_history

Iron Age Satem Indo-European Pazyryk Culture:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pazyryk_culture

============================================

Map: http://s29.postimg.org/fbpcibyef/Bronze_Age_IE_extent.png

Bronze_Age_IE_extent.png
 
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the north European-like pigmented bronze and iron age Indo Iranians from south Siberia.

Indo-Iranians from Siberia (my post above is basically about them, as well as about Tocharians) were not north European-like pigmented.

That's because Northern Europeans of that time (and earlier times) were rather not pigmented the same way.

Unlike those IE folks from Siberia, so far no hunter-gatherer pre-Indo-European remains from Scandinavia were identified as having blond hair.

Two hunter-gatherer individuals from Sweden - one from Gotland (Pitted Ware Culture) and one from Motala (Mesolithic) were identified as having blue eyes. The one from Gotland - despite blue eyes - had dark skin, while the one from Motala had probably fair skin, but it wasn't determined for sure (and hair colour also couldn't be established). Another Mesolithic individual with blue eyes was discovered at Loschbour in Luxembourg, but skin was dark and hair was dark brown or black. Yet another Mesolithic individual with blue eyes was discovered at La Braña-Arintero in Spain, but hair was dark and skin was dark. All in all, so far there is no evidence that blond hair was in Scandinavia earlier than it was in Russia.

There were Indo-European individuals with blond hair who lived in what is now steppe of Southern Russia, around the same time as Indo-European expansion into Scandinavia. So it seems more likely that blond hair spread together with Indo-Europeans.

Another likely possibility is that blond hair emerged in several places of Eurasia separately.

Red hair also most probably emerged in several places of Western Eurasia eparately.
 
Indo-Iranians from Siberia (my post above is basically about them, as well as about Tocharians) were not north European-like pigmented.

That's because Northern Europeans of that time (and earlier times) were rather not pigmented the same way.

Unlike those IE folks from Siberia, so far no hunter-gatherer pre-Indo-European remains from Scandinavia were identified as having blond hair.

Two hunter-gatherer individuals from Sweden - one from Gotland (Pitted Ware Culture) and one from Motala (Mesolithic) were identified as having blue eyes. The one from Gotland - despite blue eyes - had dark skin, while the one from Motala had probably fair skin, but it wasn't determined for sure (and hair colour also couldn't be established). Another Mesolithic individual with blue eyes was discovered at Loschbour in Luxembourg, but skin was dark and hair was dark brown or black. Yet another Mesolithic individual with blue eyes was discovered at La Braña-Arintero in Spain, but hair was dark and skin was dark. All in all, so far there is no evidence that blond hair was in Scandinavia earlier than it was in Russia.

There were Indo-European individuals with blond hair who lived in what is now steppe of Southern Russia, around the same time as Indo-European expansion into Scandinavia. So it seems more likely that blond hair spread together with Indo-Europeans.

Another likely possibility is that blond hair emerged in several places of Eurasia separately.

Red hair also most probably emerged in several places of Western Eurasia eparately.

This is all now established knowledge. I haven't researched any history stuff for months and months so I don't have a fresh mind about it. It's a very interesting mystery because Ancient DNA has shown the color of our ancestors was radically differnt from ourselves and changed recently. In my opinion north Euro-type pigmentation(very light skin, high amounts of blonde hair, and majority light eyes) is very young, and probably originated after the Neolithic age. Neither of Europe's two ancestral populations had it. Then we look at copper age Steppe people and find they were darker than west Asians. A source hasn't been discovered yet. The oldest instance of it in ancient DNA is in those bronze age Siberians, and they were apart of the Indo European expansion east of the Caspian are not the ancestors of any Europeans(if they are it's very minor).

If you think about it the north Euro-type pigmentation is very differnt from the type Neolithic farmers and Mesolithic hunters had. The light skin ultimately derives from the farmers, the light eyes from the hunters. The blonde hair is really what sets it apart, because both the hunters and farmers were uniformly dark haired. For some reason blonde hair became connected with light eyes(it's a proven fact there's a correlation), and both rose like crazy in frequencies. The light skin went to a new extreme.

I have no idea how the north Euro-type became so popular in north Europe within the last 6,000 years. Was it population movement or natural selection? My guess is that Indo Europeans are the common source, and natural selection was the main reason it became popular. Who knows though.

We'll probably learn in the next month what pigmentation Corded ware(proto-Balto-Slavic) culture had, and Neolithic central Europeans.

http://eurogenes.blogspot.com/
 

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