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Thread: Blue-eyed, dark-skinned, earliest modern Briton.

  1. #711
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M View Post
    But to be brutally frank, those who cling to the idea that WHG people looked exactly like modern Europeans are living in a dream world. Every time a model is made public which shows an early European with darker skin than a modern European, no matter what exact shade of brown it is, screaming hysteria breaks out.
    But your statement is factually incorrect! Namely, because it was just shown in this very thread that Loschbour was predicted to have intermediate skin when using the 36 SNP panel with a probability of 90%. The specificity of the Intermediate skin color predictor is between 98-99%; so that means that he odds that Loschbour was actually not Intermediate in skin pigmentation are 10.9-11.8%. See Table-3 from the Walsh.et.al.2017 study:



    Moreover in the study that the 36 SNP panel was derived it shows that many modern day Europeans have intermediate skin pigmentation. Namely see Table-1 in the supplementary info session:

    https://static-content.springer.com/...MOESM1_ESM.pdf

    Therefore in spite of having a different genotype; Loshbour a full blooded WHG would have looked in terms of skin pigmentation similar to many of the darker modern day Europeans. Which also brings up the point that neither La Braña nor Cheddar Man had the complete panel of SNPs and as such had ambiguous classifications subject to speculation on the markers that were missing data; this can be seen by the extreme range of probabilities given in the supplementary info file. Also note that the team concluded that they couldn't tell the skin pigmentation one way or another.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M View Post
    It is only natural that it should come as a shock to those who have been brought up on reconstructions that just presumed that the earliest hunter-gatherers in Europe were as pale-skinned as Europeans today. But I think we have reached the stage where more and more people accept that there has been some human evolution over the last 10,00 years.
    Again, factually incorrect! Scandinavian Hunter Gatherers, Eastern Hunter Gatherers and to a lesser extent Baltic Hunter Gatherers and Balkan Hunter Gatherers have shown that some of their tribal members had the same pale-skinned pigmentation seen in Europeans today. While they are not the earliest Hunter Gatherers of Europe, they are certainly contemporary with many of the Western Hunter Gatherers that have had their face reconstructed! Isn't odd that no facial reconstruction has ever been done beyond computer models of the nonWHG Hunter Gatherers? Moreover, we also have that amongst Scandinavian Hunter Gatherers, namely Motala, and Samara from Eastern Hunter Gatherers the marker for blue eyes and blonde hair were found; and it is likely that they were not only faired skinned but also blonde and blue eyed. So my question to you is: Do you dispute the fact that in pre-Neolithic times there were people living who not only were as fair as modern day Europeans but had the complexion of the fairest(as in blonde hair+blue eyes) featured European. If so, please provide us with evidence to contrary.

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  3. #712
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    Forgive me if this has already been posted, I haven’t been following this thread that closely.


    The Mesolithic Cheddar Man and the Neolithic sample from Carsington Pasture Cave, Derbyshire (‘Sven’) had sufficient coverage to estimate heterozygosity. Consistent with recent ancestry from larger or more admixed populations, Sven showed slightly higher levels of heterozygosity than Cheddar Man (Supplementary Figure S10). None of the Mesolithic and Neolithic British individuals analysed here had a derived lactase persistence allele (see Supplementary Table S2). We predicted pigmentation characteristics for Cheddar Man and Sven using Hirisplex25 and a recently-developed method for predicting skin pigmentation26. Previously, predictions on the level of skin pigmentation were mostly derived using two SNPs in SLC45A2 and SLC24A5 that indicate lack of hypo-pigmentation when in the ancestral state18. However, here we integrate 36 rather than 2 SNPs allowing more precise prediction26. Cheddar Man is predicted to have had dark or dark to black skin, blue/green eyes and dark brown possibly black hair, whereas Sven most likely had intermediate to dark skin pigmentation, brown eyes and black possibly dark brown hair (see Pigmentation section in the Supplementary Materials for a detailed discussion of the results). This is in line with the current hypothesis that alleles commonly associated with lighter skin were introduced in Western Europe by ANFs19.

    We also analysed two previously-published WHGs, and find potential temporal and/or geographical variation in pigmentation characteristics. Loschbour22 from Luxembourg is ~2000 years younger than Cheddar Man, and is predicted to have had intermediate skin pigmentation. Furthermore, the Loschbour individual most likely had blue/green eyes. In contrast, La Braña18 from northern Spain who is slightly later than Loschbour is predicted to have had dark to dark to black skin and hazel/green eye colour. Both La Braña and Loschbour were predicted to have had black, possibly dark brown hair. These results imply that quite different skin pigmentation levels coexisted in WHGs at least by around 6000 BC.

    - Population Replacement in Early Neolithic Britain
    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/bior...67443.full.pdf
    Last edited by JMcB; 02-19-2018 at 07:06 PM.

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  5. #713
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    I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that European culture heritage is far beyond skin color and part of a Macro-family. Skin pigmentation and all phenotype traits for that matter are but a subset of human variation which goes well beyond superficial traits. At the same time it is worth pointing out the your average human is 99.9% similar to one another. However, do not be fooled as to the 0.1% difference encompasses over 11 million of mutations that have accumulated. To label all Europeans under the umbrella of a skin pigment does a great disservice to the vast cultural diversity that enriches European countries; and I agree that we should be fighting to ensure European cultures, each and everyone of them survives; not because they are European, but because they are part of the big umbrella of human cultures. The same way we must ensure that all countries on the planet regardless of where they are from survive colonization and invasion.

    As a scientist I care about the facts and the pursuit of truth; but let's not confuse that with some sort of supremacy ideology. A quick example to show that characterizing people by their skin color fails to discriminate(no pun intended) genetic diversity; is the fact that many farmers from the LBK culture would likely have had the same skin pigmentation as many European Hunter Gatherers; yet their genetic distance (Fst) is as large as the genetic distance from a modern day European and a person of East Asian descent. The core European genome did not form until very recently; circa 2500 -1500 BC and is made up of the intermixture of Early European Farmers (EEF) likely originally from Northwest Anatolia or the Southern Balkans; Western Hunter Gatherers (WHG) which were the people who migrated to Western Europe after the last Glacial Maximum; Eastern Hunter Gatherers (EHG) the inhabitants of the Eastern periphery of Europe and Caucasian Hunter Gatherers (CHG) which were people living in the Northern Caucasus regions. The proportions might vary from European country to country; but ultimately with a few exception those are the raw ingredients that makes up the core component of Europeans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    I am surprised people are still going on about Cheddar Man and his Coppertone tan. (I'm a poet and didn't know it. Just look at my feet: They're long fellows.)

    Makes a change from some other very familar subjects. I think this guy may have been U106 - it's in the mix, eyes of blue, whoppee doo !.

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  9. #715
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    The Cheddar Man skin pigmentation predictions used a model that appeared in a May 2017 Walsh et al paper (doi 10.1007/s00439-017-1808-5). This was a "binomial model based on carefully [pre]-selected SNPs". The study itself even emphasizes the fundamental weakness of this approach:

    These preliminary data indicate that the DNA markers and the prediction model we have developed in this study may achieve DNA-based global skin colour prediction regardless of bio-geographic ancestry, which, however, requires further investigation in additional individuals from around the world. In addition, as with all pigmentation traits, a move to a more continuous skin colour prediction would inevitably improve accuracy overall. However, additional global skin colour markers must be unearthed first via large-scale GWAS’s.
    Thankfully, a new study that did utilize a large scale Genome-Wide Association Survey appeared in Oct 2017 (N.G. Crawford et al, doi 0.1126/science.aan8433), and unlike previous studies that fell short by focusing on simple European/African or European/Amerind dichotomies, the Crawford survey actually discovered one of these "additional markers" (as others in this thread have noted), including at least 4 highly significant SNPs on the MFSD12 gene, which were strongly associated with dark/very dark skin color.

    The region with the second strongest genetic association with skin pigmentation contains the Major Facilitator Super family Domain Containing 12 (MFSD12) gene on chromosome 19....The SNPs upstream of MFSD12 with highest probability of being causal are rs112332856 (F-test, p-value "' 3.8 x I0-16) and rs6510760 (F-test, p-value = 6.5 x w-15).

    The derived rs56203814 and rs10424065 (T) alleles associated with dark pigmentation are present only in African populations (or those of recent African descent) and are most common in East African populations with Nilo-Saharan ancestry (Fig. 1 and fig. S4). Coalescent analysis of the SGDP dataset indicates that the rs10424065 (T) allele predates the 300 kya origin of modern humans (26) (estimated TMRCA of 612 kya, 95% CI 515-736 kya) (Fig. 4). At rs6510760 and rs112332856, the ancestral (G) and (T) alleles, respectively, associated with light pigmentation, are nearly fixed in Europeans and East Asians and are common in San as well as Ethiopian and Tanzanian populations with Afroasiatic ancestry (Fig. 1 and fig. S4). The derived rs6510760 (A) and rs112332856 (C) alleles (associated with dark pigmentation) are common in all sub-Saharan Africans except the San, as well as in South Asian and Australo-Melanesian populations (Fig. 1 and fig. S4). Haplotype analysis places the rs6510760 (A) allele (and linked rs112332856 (C) allele) in Australo-Melanesians on similar haplotype backgrounds relative to central and eastern Africans (Fig. 5 and fig. S6), suggesting they are identical by descent from an ancestral African population.
    Here we have the discovery of four new SNPs associated with dark pigmentation, and crucially, two of these SNPs are shared across dark-skinned Africans and non-Africans, while (equally crucially) being absent in the lighter-skinned Khoe-San.

    In other words, the evidence now points to West/East Africans and Ancestral South Eurasians developing dark/very dark skin from a series of mutations & selection on the MFSD12 gene, while northern Europeans' lighter skin resulted from a analogous process primarily on the SLC24A5 gene. Some Northeast Asians (particular Tungusic-speakers and the [likely related] population referred to by Japanese as the "Yayoi" type) appear to have developed their own lighter skin based on an as yet-undiscovered gene distinct from SLC24A5.

    Why did the Cheddar Man study neglect the Crawford et al paper, which was released 5 months prior? Why did the Cheddar Man authors go out of their way to revisit the skin color debate for WHGs (they seemed to feel the need to "correct" the Loschbour study by asserting that Loschbour, too had "very dark" skin) and Anatolian Farmers without even bothering to test literally the only SNPs known to cause "dark to very dark" skin color in non-Africans???

    The authors simply start from the faulty assumption that dark/very dark skin was the ancestral phenotype for all human populations everywhere, when the reality seem that this trait is just as derived as light skin. Totally unacceptable from an academic viewpoint.

    If Cheddar Man lacked the variant SNPs on MFSD12 (as expected), the chances are extremely high that he possessed "intermediate" skin coloration, likely within the range found in the modern Near East.



    Does anyone have the genotype data for Loschbour or LaBrana? I wonder what alleles do they show at these 4 SNPs on the MFSD12 gene?
    rs112332856
    rs6510760
    rs56203814
    rs10424065
    Last edited by K33; 02-19-2018 at 08:33 PM.

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  11. #716
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    Quote Originally Posted by K33 View Post
    The authors simply start from the faulty assumption that dark/very dark skin was the ancestral phenotype for all human populations everywhere, when the reality seem that this trait is just as derived as light skin. Totally unacceptable from an academic viewpoint.

    If Cheddar Man lacked the variant SNPs on MFSD12 (as expected), the chances are extremely high that he possessed "intermediate" skin coloration, likely within the range found in the modern Near East.
    I have been confident since day one the news came out that there is possibly some kind of hidden agenda by people involved in the study, accuracy and consistency should be paramount in historical matters. I am certainly not saying spin and agenda is their primary incentive, but I still feel they included it as a political perk.

  12. #717
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    This might be a far out theory, but I thought I may share it anyway.

    Gough's Cave, to my knowledge, appears to have had a strong ritualistic purpose and skull cups and evidence of cannibalism has been found there amongst the dead.

    I believe it may be possible that Cheddar Man was making some kind of pilgrimage to this site, which may have actually had ancestral significance.

    Has anything been revealed on the cause of Cheddar Man's death? Seeing as he died in his early 20s this may be important to further understanding him as a specimen.

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