UKC

/ 10.000 year old Briton had dark to black skin.

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Timmd on 07 Feb 2018
11
wercat on 07 Feb 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Well we got Brexit now!  Why is he still allowed to be here?

4
the sheep - on 07 Feb 2018
PeterM - on 07 Feb 2018
In reply to Timmd:

And Jesus wasn't no honky either...despite what all the pictures show these days....Science..proving racists wrong ..because it's worth it..

1
Bob Kemp - on 07 Feb 2018
In reply to PeterM:

> And Jesus wasn't no honky either...despite what all the pictures show these days....Science..proving racists wrong ..because it's worth it..

Yes, but unfortunately racism isn't based on rationality.

Timmd on 07 Feb 2018
In reply to the sheep:

I'm curious about the singular dislike to my OP, I carefully kept it about science finding things out about our past, rather than anything to do with present politics and isms, and somebody still doesn't like that an ancient Briton had dark to black skin colour. Ha ha. 

Post edited at 16:11
18
Ridge - on 07 Feb 2018
In reply to Timmd:

It's certainly fascinating stuff, particularly the blue eyes bit.

Apart from upsetting the BNP, (fun though that is), I'm not sure what the big furore is all about.

It's generally accepted that hominids probably originated in Africa, so why wouldn't early humans be black?

There seems to be an assumption being drawn from a couple of genes from a single skeleton that everyone in Northern Europe at that time must have been 'black'. Maybe they were, which is surprising giving the relatively short timespan, but so what?

It disproves the 'indigenous british' myth, but then again there are no such thing as indigenous 'races' anywhere in the world.(Apart from the bit where early man originated from).

Migration is a part of human history, but so is invasion, war, genocide and the strong enslaving the weak. I'm just baffled as to what the profound, earth shattering revelation is supposed to be.

1
dread-i - on 07 Feb 2018
In reply to Timmd:

>somebody still doesn't like that an ancient Briton had dark to black skin colour. Ha ha.

Perhaps they've realized that as a true Brit (born and bred), their ancestor wasn't French or German or Scandinavian or Celtic or from the Roman empire or Phoenician or other misc historic visitor to our land. It puts them in an awkward position, as to who to dislike.

1
DenzelLN - on 07 Feb 2018
In reply to Ridge:

> I'm just baffled as to what the profound, earth shattering revelation is supposed to be.

I agree

 

ClimberEd - on 07 Feb 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Surely it is absolutely about the amount of time spent outside, and this is the determining factor.

(I don't mean a tan.........)

Stichtplate on 07 Feb 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

> Surely it is absolutely about the amount of time spent outside, and this is the determining factor.

> (I don't mean a tan.........)

More about white skin more efficiently synthesising vitamin D from weak Northern hemisphere sunlight isn't it?

thomasadixon - on 07 Feb 2018
Timmd on 07 Feb 2018
In reply to Stichtplate:

> More about white skin more efficiently synthesising vitamin D from weak Northern hemisphere sunlight isn't it?

Dark skin is less efficient, so that sounds plausible, with changes in DNA being favoured by the environment over time. 

1
Nevis-the-cat - on 07 Feb 2018

 

 

Have a read of the comments in the Daily Telegraph article. 

 

Grim

 

These people walk amongst us

 

 

Post edited at 18:24
cb294 - on 07 Feb 2018
In reply to Ridge:

Ha, let´s resurrect that topic again!

Of course there are races, skin colour is just not a very good marker for them (as this research demonstrates): It reflects just one little mutation affecting pigment formation that gets fixed rapidly in any population in regions where vitamin D is limiting, and would conversely by equally quickly eliminated in regions where sunburn and skin cancer would be the bigger problem.

This disappears against all the other variants these groups have accumulated over the millennia spent at ultra low population densities, which eventually led to genetically distinguishable races (i.e. populations with limited introgression of other haplotypes). 

The interesting bit is that the ancient dark skinned (but blue eyed!) person is clearly related to some modern Britons, but not others, who are presumably descended from later migrations. That you can actually make this conclusion kind of proves my point (even though obviously these early immigrants were no separate race, for the reverse argument). 

I find it surprising that this particular trait got fixed so late, after all, many Neanderthals already were ginger and light skinned (due to the same selective pressures) and had previously contributed to the Eurasian gene pool. 

I suspect that the population at the time exhibited a wild mixture of traits, which of course you cannot prove by sequencing just one individual.

CB

1
ClimberEd - on 07 Feb 2018
In reply to Stichtplate:

Well possibly yes, I was giving the non scientific 'now we spend less time outside, and further from the equator, our bodies (i.e. skin) will have adapted to that.' 

Ridge - on 07 Feb 2018
In reply to cb294:

> ...genetically distinguishable races (i.e. populations with limited introgression of other haplotypes).

Erm.....

I never realised there was a precise definition of what constitutes a 'race', that's interesting.

So am I correct in understanding that geographically isolated communities fairly rapidly developed common traits, (skin pigmentation, ginger hair etc), in response to environmenral factors?

mypyrex - on 07 Feb 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Where does Mrs num num fit in to all this?

Andy Hardy on 07 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

Wherever she likes.

Andy Hardy on 07 Feb 2018
In reply to Nevis-the-cat:

Fortunately hidden behind a paywall

deepsoup - on 07 Feb 2018
In reply to Timmd:
> I'm curious about the singular dislike to my OP

Don't worry it was probably just a racist who likes cheese, annoyed now he's seen the photo of "Cheddar Man" that he'll have to boycott his favourite sandwiches and have egg instead.

3
DerwentDiluted - on 07 Feb 2018
In reply to deepsoup:

> Don't worry it was probably just a racist who likes cheese, annoyed now he's seen the photo of "Cheddar Man" that he'll have to boycott his favourite sandwiches and have egg instead.

Chedder man is nowt, wait for them to discover Wensleydale Woman.

Minneconjou Sioux on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to Ridge:

> > It's generally accepted that hominids probably originated in Africa, so why wouldn't early humans be black?

Because everyone knows that Adam and Eve were white. You just have to look at the pictures

Big Ger - on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to Timmd:

I wonder where and who these imaginary racists, who so many here know the thoughts of, are?

2
Andy Hardy on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to DerwentDiluted:

I've stopped believing in nominative determinism since learning that cheddar man was lactose intolerant. 

Pete Pozman - on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to Timmd:

At least he had blue eyes... and he was a man... That's two back for our side. 

cb294 - on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to Ridge:

More or less. The definition I gave is roughly how a zoologist would define races or subspecies, i.e. categories by which populations can be grouped that show clear and long time stable genetic differences, while at the same time clearly belonging to the same species.

Of course, the new trait does not "arise" in response to environmental pressures, but if it does by chance, it can get fixed quite rapidly by Darwinian evolution, especially in small populations. You need a surprisingly small advantage in having successful offspring for a gene variant to become common or even dominant in such a population quite quickly. 

The better studied example is milk sugar tolerance in adults, which became rapidly fixed, presumably from rare, independent mutations that caused the gene encoding the relevant enzyme to stay switched on after the end of breast feeding, in almost all populations that switched to a cattle herding lifestyle, in most cases also less than 10.000 years ago. Indeed, sequencing ancient DNA from 20 or so individuals living in central Europe 8.000 to 5.000 years ago (including Ötzi) shows that no one was lactose tolerant. 1500 years ago quite a few individuals were tolerant, in the middle ages already the majority, but still a smaller fraction than today, so selection still seems to operate at least until recently!

Studies from Hungary and Ukraine, where the herder lifestyle started much earlier, showed that lactose tolerance took a few thousand years to become dominant.

I am therefore surprised that the first person tested who lived in Britain around that time still had dark skin (look now, and light skin is almost completely fixed in all Northern populations, as Vitamin D deficiency could really be a problem). There was quite some time between the first settlers in central Europe (who judging from our appearance today also would have benefited from light skin) and Cheddar man!

Also, while geographical isolation would do the job, it is not 100% necessary for races to form, any form of isolation that would result in assortative marriage would do the job, could well be cultural, economic, or religious (think of Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda, farmers vs. herders). Of course, at our current population densities formation of new races would not work anymore, too much intermingling for this to happen (this is not a value judgement, before someone gets the wrong idea, but just stating the fact that gene flow increases with population density and mobility. 

The mechanism for sympatric and allopatric species formation (same as for races, but with a larger difference at the end) are of course better studied in zoology. 

CB

Nevis-the-cat - on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

Paywalled now, but the comments under the Telegraph article were utterly grim.

 

A run through the Independent will yield similar results. 

There's nothing imaginary about what a worrying number of people genuinely think anyone who's not white and Christian. 

 

Bjartur i Sumarhus on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to Nevis-the-cat:

Thx for sending me to take a look at the comments

"Thats Madge from Benidorm isn't it?!"

PMSL

http://benidorm.wikia.com/wiki/Madge_Harvey

 

 

 

 

Post edited at 13:48
Ridge - on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to cb294:

Thanks for the explanation CB, fascinating stuff!

deepsoup - on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:
> As I understand it no one had white skin at the time...

No Homo Sapiens maybe, but some of the Neanderthals were ginger weren't they?

Rock The Lobster - on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to deepsoup:

I feel personally affronted by your gingerist agenda!

To be serious though, it's just not in the domain of comment sections of right-wing rags that racism is alive and well. The comment section of YouTube videos is often a total disgrace (and from both sides of the 'race divide'). It seems ironic that Google don't apply anywhere near the same criteria to their users as they do to their employees.

deepsoup - on 08 Feb 2018
Rock The Lobster - on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to deepsoup:

Sorry DS, it doesn't work, probably due to my outdated operating system. Would I laugh?

Wanderlust - on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to Timmd:

> somebody still doesn't like that an ancient Briton had dark to black skin colour. Ha ha. 

Or perhaps they just think it's a crap post?

What are we all supposed to say? "yes, isn't science amazing Timmd" (rather boring and pointless)...or were you hoping for a race row?

 

1
deepsoup - on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to Rock The Lobster:

Really?  You can post on here but can't see xkcd?  Seems very strange. 
(But maybe it isn't, I no nuffink about computers.)

It's just a daft little cartoon that seemed apt about the Youtube thing.  Perhaps you can see it if I just post the image itself: http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/listen_to_yourself.png

cb294 - on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to deepsoup:

Exactly. Neanderthals were light skinned and quiet a few of them were ginger. Not surprising at least for the ice age populations.

Who knows how many of us had white skin 10.000 years ago, all we know is that one guy had an eclectic mix of phenotypes! Certainly while still in Africa we were all black, but Ötzi already was white and brown eyed (and apparently has male lineage relatives in current day Sardinia and South Germany...).

As I said above, early settlers into Europe and Britain (continuous via Doggerland) probably showed a wild mix of phenotypes before the light skin got fixed.

CB

Rock The Lobster - on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to deepsoup:

Yeah, got it. Made me smile - ta!

Nevis-the-cat - on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

Soz

 

The ones that have the IQ of moss are not the worry, it's the bright ones, who probably frequent the far right websites I used to lurk on, horrified, that are the concern. 

There are people for whom a Skrewdriver gig is like a Corbynite hugfest, they are really that twisted. 

 

Timmd on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to Wanderlust:

> Or perhaps they just think it's a crap post?

> What are we all supposed to say? "yes, isn't science amazing Timmd" (rather boring and pointless)...or were you hoping for a race row?

Hmm, there's little to dislike about an ancient Briton having a dark skin colour, compared to, for example, a political opinion one doesn't agree with, or somebody being unpleasant, it simply 'is' in being an insight into our past. 

Post edited at 17:13
Wanderlust - on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to Timmd:

> Hmm, there's little to dislike about an ancient Briton having a dark skin colour, compared to, for example, a political opinion one doesn't agree with, or somebody being unpleasant, it simply 'is' in being an insight into our past. 

I agree.

My point stands that the dislikers may have just found your post boring (or whatever) - I don't see the sense in assuming that all your dislikers are racist or aren't happy that this person was black.

You're a valuable contributor to the forums and there are some interesting replies (or at least 1 interesting reply) above, as it turns out, so whatever

Post edited at 17:36
Timmd on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to Wanderlust:

Me, a valuable contributor? Nah.  

Wanderlust - on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to Timmd:

> Me, a valuable contributor? Nah.  

A topic for another thread, perhaps? ;)

FactorXXX - on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to Timmd:

> Hmm, there's little to dislike about an ancient Briton having a dark skin colour, compared to, for example, a political opinion one doesn't agree with, or somebody being unpleasant, it simply 'is' in being an insight into our past. 

I'm guessing that the 'Dislikes' aren't for the content, but for the wording and in particular, the 'Fancy that' opening statement which comes across as if you're engaging in some sort of point scoring.
I didn't Dislike it by the way...

wintertree - on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to Wanderlust:

> What are we all supposed to say?

I’d been contemplating a post asking how anyone knows that this person was a native and not a traveller from afar.  As I understand it, boats and long distance littoral travel (10k years ago we were part of the European mainland) are increasingly thought to predate all recorded history.  

I didn’t post in the end as I wondered if anyone would immediately jump on me with veiled allegations of racism.  

1
jkarran - on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to wintertree:

> I’d been contemplating a post asking how anyone knows that this person was a native and not a traveller from afar.  As I understand it, boats and long distance littoral travel (10k years ago we were part of the European mainland) are increasingly thought to predate all recorded history.  

It's a valid and interesting question. If there are teeth then an isotope analysis may have provided some insight. I suspect the data from people of that era is limited and results mostly fitting the rather non-specific fluvial/costal profile but I'm well out of my limited expertise there.

Jk

elsewhere on 08 Feb 2018
In reply to wintertree:

Locals usually outumber incomers so he was more likely to be a local.

Was Northern Europe was depopulated and recolonised with every ice age?

The people who followed the retreating ice north may not have been the same people who were pushed south ten thousand years earlier at the start of the ice age.

Amazing that science can start to answer these sorts of question.


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