Minoan and Mycenaean DNA Show Nordic and Western European Origins

For the first time in history, geneticists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have obtained and analyzed the genomes of the founders of two of Europe’s earliest civilizations. These ancient cultures known as the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations, existed during the Bronze Age, some 3,000 years ago. In an article posted in Science Daily on August 2, 2017: “The new analysis suggests that the Minoans and Mycenaeans share a great deal of their genetic heritage. . . Who these Bronze Age people were – the people who lived in a world dimly remembered in the poetry of Homer – has been a great mystery,” explains Dr. David Reich, an evolutionary geneticist at Harvard Medical School. “We set out to investigate the origins of these ancient civilizations.”

Early Mycenaean Historical Origins

The Greek mainland was long thought to be inhabited by Old European Mediterranean types. In the Second Millennium B.C., an Indo-European group called the Mycenae invaded the Peloponnesus, and established the Mycenaean civilization. This period is what historians call the Homeric Age, so named because little is known about this epoch except what is gleaned from Homer’s epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey. It was the Mycenaean people who were featured in the epic poems by Homer and they are considered the true predecessors of later Greek civilization. The Mycenaean culture traded with the Hittites, who were another group of Aryans that built a thriving civilization in what is now Turkey. The Mycenaean civilization established a presence on the Western Coast of Turkey and extended their influence as far West as what is now Morocco and as far East as Syria. The coastal civilization in Turkey was known as Ionia and it would become the center of the great tradition of free-thinking scientists like Democritus, Anaximander, Eratosthenes, Euripides, Aristarchus, and many others. Pythagoras was also among them, though his teachings led to more to mysticism and esoteric forms of speculation than hard science. This is one of the earliest examples of Aryan accomplishment. Anyone who does not think the White world contributed to our global civilization, need only start by looking at the Greeks. According to Arthur Kemp in March of the Titans: The Complete History of the White Race: “Mycenaeans are regarded as the forerunners of the classic Greek civilization. They left a magnificent city at Mycenae, whose most famous inhabitant was King Agamemnon. Mycenae was sacked and destroyed in 1100 B.C. by an invasion of another Indo-European tribe, the Dorics.” (Kemp 31)

Origins of the Minoan Civilization of Crete

In a recent study, researchers analyzed ancient DNA from human remains discovered on the Greek island of Crete, not far from the famed palace of Knossos discovered by the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans. Most archaeologists and scholars until 2013 continued to support the non-European model for the origin of Minoan civilization. This stated that the culture-founding population of Crete, which had been considered Europe’s first true civilization, was believed to have come from Africa or the Middle East, anywhere but mainland Europe. An earlier study of Minoan DNA conducted in 2013 had put an end this never-ending controversy. According to BBC News, scientists analyzed the DNA of 37 individuals from burials throughout the island of Crete. These burials were thought to date to the middle of the Minoan period – around 3,700 years ago. The study focused on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from the teeth extracted from skeletal remains. This type of DNA is passed down unchanged from mother to child. They then compared the mtDNA with that of over 130 populations worldwide. The end result was that their DNA matched not with African or Semitic peoples, but with Western and Northwestern Europeans. The closest matches were Sardinia, Iberia, Northwestern France and Scandinavia – not Africa, Canaan (Israel) or the Middle East.

This new evidence now suggests an alternative racial origin for the Old Europeans or Pre-Aryans, as Marija Gimbutas called them. By examining the DNA of human remains on the island of Crete, which archaeologists class as one of the chief Old European civilizations, it now appears that the Pre-Aryans were not of a different racial stock from the Indo-Europeans at all. Rather, they were of Nordic and Atlantic-Iberian origins from Western Europe and the Scandinavian peninsula. The Pre-Aryans and Indo-Europeans are both the same racially speaking, as the Indo-Europeans. The Aryans and Pre-Aryans were not racial populations at all, but separate cultural and religious groups created by the genius of the White race. Rather than calling an end to our emphasis on Aryan origins, it just further stresses that we are a united race that once inhabited the far north then swept down and occupied much of the ancient world. In this respect, Old Europeans are not the same as the Mediterranean peoples, which now are evidently of mixed race. In ancient times, the phenotype of Europeans was homogenous, and undeniably Nordic. Since we are without a question a race which, predominately, speaks an Aryan language and is part of an Aryan culture, the best word describing our ancient heritage is “Aryan”. Further studies done on DNA samples taken from North America to the Central Asian steppes indicates one fact: at one time the White race was the dominant force on planet Earth, and that our seemingly impending demise has been in the works since the beginning of our racial history. Hitler pointed out that since the first stirrings of human civilization, it has been the Jews, and the Jews alone, who have maintained their true grip on world history.  It is now time that we take control of the world ourselves, and put the Jew in his place now and forever. Hitler pointed out that a victorious Jew would be “the funeral wreath of humanity.”

I mentioned that the White racial presence extended as far as Japan. There were, in fact, Aryan-speaking Nordics in Japan and parts of the Pacific that do not exist today. Now little remains of the once dominant Caucasian populations that thrived there. However, the power and intensity of Caucasian artistic and technological brilliance, at least in China and Japan, still exists today and those cultures owe such accomplishments to a lost Caucasian race.

The White race manifests itself in many different cultural, religious and linguistic forms. The inherent biology of the White race, with its superior intellect and a profound creative power, is the product of tens of thousands of years. The sequencing of the Minoan genome from Crete shows, for the first time, that the Minoans were of Nordic racial heritage and that is undeniable. More importantly, it shows that Nordic peoples had contact with the Mediterranean world in ancient times, a fact that has been suppressed by academia and the Jewish Marxist establishment for well over a century. That is a significant find, as it opens the doors for further research that will undoubtedly reveal that many of the civilizations of our ancient past, thought to be indigenous or the by-product of non-whites, were not only white in origin, but born from Aryan-speaking Nordic invaders. It now seems that the White race itself is the proverbial spark that started all human effort and civilization.

Geneticists Decode the European Genome

Geneticists Decode the European Genome

A team of geneticists were recently successful in sequencing a 37,000 year old European genome in Copenhagen. This permitted them to determine the genetic history of Europe’s earliest modern humans. Analysis revealed that Scandinavians were most closely related to the prehistoric Cro-Magnon peoples, who are most famous for their ancient cave-wall paintings in southern Lascaux, France. The Cro-Magnon lived in Europe from 20,000 – 50,000 B.C, only a fraction of the 400,000 years the Neanderthals inhabited Europe, Western Asia and North Africa. There was indeed a very narrow window of time in which the two cohabited the continent together. What is not known is what led to the demise of the Neanderthal, whether they simply could not compete for resources with a more intelligent and resourceful Cro-Magnon or whether there was a more aggressive reason all together. The test also revealed that other traits thought shared by both Middle Easterners and Europeans, and were believed to be the by-product of interbreeding some 7,000 years ago, had already existed in Europeans at a very early date. This, of course, is our white skin, which geneticists used to believe was brought by farmers from Syria. This study clearly establishes the long history of the two trademarks of of the northern European, or Nordic, phenotype, light-skin and blue eyes. This study, recently published in Science, not only illuminates many key issues concerning the origin of ancient white Europeans, but also demonstrates that white Europeans were a distinct species from Africans.

Another study, done the same year, was even more conclusive. A recent DNA study conducted by Dr. David Reich of Harvard University Medical School proves that 90 percent of those claiming white European descent, can trace their ancestry back to a single founding population that lived in Europe 35,000 years ago. This group inhabited a region of northwestern Europe in what is today Belgium. Another independent study not done by Dr. Reich, confirms that 34,000 years ago early humans apparently, contrary to what we have been told, were aware interbreeding between gene pools can also cause significant problems for future populations if they are truly of a different species or race. There seems to be evidence, widespread practice from Africa and through Eurasia including Europe of mating networks to select the ideal mate. This was also used to curb inbreeding as well, which, according to the article, was also seen as a threat to the gene pool. Thus, as far as Europeans are concern, we see evidence at a very early time, a distinct concept of racial awareness, at a time secular progressives claim there was no concept of race itself. These mating parties or networks, thus seemed to serve two very special functions, both to produce healthy, rich gene pools, but also to maintain group identity and integrity and to function as the organic expression of the race.

First Whites of the Paleolithic Age

In May 2005 bones at Mladec, a site in Moravia in the Czech Republic that was first excavated 100 years ago, was further examined and carbon 14 dated. The research team was led by anthropologists from the Natural History Museum in Vienna, from University of Vienna in Austria and from the Washington University, USA. They accomplished the first successful direct dating of the remains. Others had failed. According to Science Daily: “The Mladec remains are universally accepted as those of early modern humans. However, there has been an ongoing debate as to whether they exhibit also distinctive features, indicative of some degree of Neanderthal ancestry, or morphologically aligned solely with recent humans and therefore document only a dispersal of modern humans into Europe.” The bones were found to be 31,000 years old. The findings correspond with dates from other sites throughout Western and Eastern Europe that yielded artifacts linked to the Aurignacian culture. Those discoveries date from between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago. The Mladec find, however, represents an entire community of early Europeans consisting of dozens of individuals. This is hard evidence for a long-standing biological presence of our race in Europe at a very early time. Even more significant, experts have traced the actual emergence of the White race to remote antiquity. According to this study, our race entered Europe in a vast migration from the steppes of Western Asia 65,000 – 40,000 years ago.

Negroids in Western Asia in Prehistory?

In her book Ancestral Journeys: The Peopling of Europe From The First Venturers to the Vikings, author Jean Manco mentions a find that has recently re-surfaced in Russia, that sheds some light on the early demographics of Europe. This site known as Kostenki 14, is part of a vast complex of archaeological sites located in the Don River valley. Manco writes:

At this site a complete skeleton of an ancient man was found. Recent radiocarbon dating to between 38,700 and 36,200 years ago has made his the earliest Homo sapiens skull found in Europe. The characteristic differences between the skulls of various hominids places him within our species. Now that his remains have yielded a large amount of DNA, the man from Kostenki 14 can tell us more. He shares a close ancestry with later European hunter-gatherers, but also with a 24,000 year old boy from Mal’ta in central Siberia. His Y-DNA turned out to be haplogroup C1, almost unknown in Europe today, while his mtDNA haplogroup was U2. This ancient man’s DNA is even more closely related to those living in modern Africa. In fact, he is not alone. Many Paleolithic European specimens exhibit the same connection with currently existing negroid populations. This is also seen in a strong morphological resemblance to Negroes as seen in the facial reconstruction of the Kostenki 14 remains. The only thing to conclude is that in remote prehistory, Europe had a number of distinct racial populations in the remote past.”

Oldest Europoid Skull Ever Found

In 1959, Northern Greece became the location of a discovery that challenged the idea of common African origins. There, a 700,000 year old skull, “Petralona Man,” was found resembling that of the earlier hominid species known as Homo Erectus with a few notable differences: it is the oldest hominid that exhibits identifiable Europoid or, in other words, Caucasian or white European features, and pre-dates Neanderthals at nearly 1 m/y old. It is a separate species, and suggests an independent line of evolution, separate from that proposed to exist in Africa. Dr. Aris Poulianos, a tenured anthropologist and member of the UNESCO’s International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences and founder of the Anthropological Association of Greece, was assigned a research team to study the cave and skull. Dr. Poulianos had received previous recognition for his thesis on “The origin of the Greeks”. This thesis was based on craniological and anthropometrical studies of Modern Greek populations, which proved that Greeks are in fact a genetically distinct people and indigenous to Greece itself and did descend from parent Slavic tribes as previously believed. His conclusion regarding the 700,000-year-old skull, was that the “Petralona man” was part of an independent line of evolution, not a descendant of a species that came out of Africa, but a direct ancestor to Europeans and Europeans alone. His arguments were based on good anatomy and excellent racial science. They included the skull’s almost perfect orthography, the shape of its dental arch, and the occipital bone construction. What makes this find significant is its uniquely European features at the staggering age of 700,000 B.P. Being older than the oldest known Neanderthal, this calls into question the current paradigm of mankind’s evolution.

Evidence Shifts from Africa to Europe as Hotspot of Evolution

On August 31 2017, Uppsala University posted an article in Science Daily:

Newly discovered human-like footprints from Crete may put the established narrative of early human evolution to the test. The footprints are approximately 5.7 million years old and were made at a time when previous research puts ours ancestors in Africa – with ape-like feet.”

The article continues to say:

Human feet have a very distinctive shape, different from all other land animals. The combination of a long sole, five short forward-pointing toes without claws, and a hallux (“big toe”) that is larger than the other toes, is unique. The feet of our closest relatives, the great apes, look more like a human hand with a thumb-like hallux that sticks out to the side. The Laetoli footprints, thought to have been made by Australopithecus [“Southern Ape of Africa”, supposedly one of our ancestors], are quite similar to those of modern humans except that the heel is narrower and the sole lacks a proper arch. By contrast, the 4.4 million year old Ardipithecus ramidus from Ethiopia, the oldest hominin known from reasonably complete fossils, has an ape-like foot. The researchers who described Ardipithecus argued that it is a direct ancestor of later hominins, implying that a human-like foot had not yet evolved at that time. The new footprints, from Trachilos in western Crete, have an unmistakably human-like form.”

In the past decade, there has been an explosion of discoveries which are overturning nearly three decades of Out of Africa dogmatism. This footprint, then, is the oldest humanlike footprint ever found anywhere in the world, including outside Africa. It has widely believed that the Laetoli footprints found in East Africa were exemplary of our prehuman ancestors, and much to the chagrin of those in support of the Out of Africa Theory, the Crete footprints actually matched human frootprints more closely and were far older. Australian historian Greg Jeffreys writes:

The whole Our of Africa Theory has its roots in the mainstream academic campaign in the 1990s to remove the concept of Race. When I did my degree they all spent on the Out of Africa thing buts it’s been completely disproved by genetics. Mainstream still holds on to it.” (Sepehr 20-21)

Out of Africa Both Supported & Debunked on Grounds of Genetics

Geneticist Anatole A. Klyosov and a number of other distinguished Russian scientists put together a paper entitled Re-Examining the “Out of Africa” Theory and the Origin of Europeoids (Caucasoids) in Light of DNA Genealogy. The study offers a growing body of evidence in support of multiregional origins, even the polygenesis model for the origin of humankind. It offered clear proof that Europeans did not descend from Africans, or an Out-of-Africa migration. Furthermore, it places the point of origin for the White race somewhere between Central Europe in the West and West-Central Russia in the East and as far south as the Levant. To clarify their position, the writers of the paper, Dr. Kylosov and Igor L. Rozhanskii concluded as follows:

The finding that the Europeoid haplogroups did not descend from “African” haplogroups A or B is supported by the fact that bearers of the Europeoid haplogroups, as well as all non-African haplogroups do not carry either SNPs M91, P97, M31, P82, M23, M114, P262, M32, M59, P289, P291, P102, M13, M171, M118 (haplogroup A and its subclades SNPs) or M60, M181, P90 (haplogroup B), as it was shown recently in “Walk through Y” FTDNA Project (the reference is incorporated therein) on several hundred people from various haplogroups . . . Thanks largely in part to geneticists, the “Out of Africa” concept was popularized during the last two decades, yet it was never directly proven; however, for many specialists its appeal was undeniably convincing. The concept was based primarily on the premise that Africa possesses the highest variability, or variance, of the human DNA and its segments. Set apart, it is not a strong argument because a mix of different DNA lineages also results in a high variability and, as we show below, it is largely what occurs in Africa. Moreover, a genomic gap exists between some Africans and non-Africans, which has also been interpreted as an argument that the latter descended from Africans. A more plausible interpretation might have been that both current Africans and non-Africans descended separately from a more ancient common ancestor, thus forming a proverbial fork. A region where this downstream common ancestor arose would not necessarily be in Africa. In fact, it was never proven that he lived in Africa. Research into this question has served as the basis for and the subject of our work. We have found that a great diversity of Y chromosomal haplotypes in Africa is a result of the mixing of several very distant lineages, some of them not necessarily African, and that Europeiods (at least) do not contain “African” SNPs (those of haplogroups A or B). These important findings put a proverbial dent in the “Out of Africa” theory.”

Forgotten Cradles of the White Race

A discovery in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, made a few decades ago, is yet another fossil found in the vicinity of Europe, that links a major phase in human evolution to Europe, not Africa. This discovery is a portion of a skull that exhibits features similar to a Homo Habilis. What perplexed those who found the skull was the fact that a very primitive hominid species, which was 3.7 million years old, had been found in Europe at a time prior to the supposed colonization of the Old World by Homo Erectus. According to mainstream science, 3.7 mil­lion years ago was the time of Lucy, a more primitive hominid called Australopithecus; more advanced hominid species were not in Europe at that time. (Gore 2002)

This find in Georgia suggests that Europe played a pivotal role in the evolution of the human species and that many of us share a direct lineage from Europe. The Dmanisi fossils have not been conclusively identified, but they may be an earlier form of Homo erectus, or possibly a new species, Homo georgicus. It now seems possible that the first of our species to become a habitual upright walker did so in Eurasia, in a region whose climate at the time, 3.7 million years ago, was similar to that of modern-day Europe. (Gore 2002)

The accepted paradigm of human evolution, maintained for half a century, says that fully evolved specimens of Homo erectus left Africa over a million years ago to establish themselves throughout Europe and Asia. But the Dmanisi finds change all of that. Now it seems that more primitive forms of hominids made it as far as Europe and the Caucuses, and once there continued to evolve into more modern forms.

It would have seemed preposterous just a few short years ago to even suggest that Europe, not Africa, could play such a decisive role in human evolution or that the birthplace of the Proto-Indo-Europeans could also be the nursery of our human ancestor. And this is largely due, not to scientific concerns, but to the hold political correctness has on scientific correctness, as Robert Sepehr reminds us.

Neanderthals and the Mythical Atlantis

An excavation by Ralph Solecki and his team from Columbia University from 1957 to 1961 yielded the first adult Neanderthal skeletons in northern Iraq, dating to approximately 80,000 BCE to 60,000 BCE. Located in the Zagros Mountains near Kurdistan, these burials contained what appeared to be carefully laid-out human remains and grave goods, including bear skulls, which launched speculation about possible Neanderthal bear cults. In Santa Claus, Last of the Wild Men, Phyllis Siefker says, “Some of these bear skulls had little stones arranged around them; others were set on slabs; one very carefully placed, had the long bones of a cave bear (no doubt its own) placed beneath its snout; another had the long bones pushed through the orbits of its eyes” (Siefker 1997, 193). In The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology, Joseph Campbell makes mention of bear-worship in Europe dating from about 75,000 BCE among lateNeanderthal populations, to 30,000 BCE with the Cro-Magnons (Campbell 1959, 123).

Religious artifacts produced by the Neanderthal’s successors, the Cro-Magnon, including their beautiful cave paintings, displayed mixed human and animal imagery and symbolism that reflected the concept of a god or goddess. This in itself allows for speculation and wonder. Even though the hard evidence has yet to be revealed, these finds indi­cate that some sort of religious activity took place among these prehis­toric people. If this is so, it is not hard to imagine a primitive human community seeking shelter from the cold.

During the Mesolithic period, 11,000–10,000 BCE, a number of advances were made, including the growth of populations and the dis­persal of archaic peoples to even more remote regions of the world. This age ended with the proto-Neolithic period, in which a limited agricul­tural technology prevailed. This was a pivotal moment in the evolution of the human race.

The Mesolithic period brought new innovation and an increas­ingly sedentary lifestyle for many peoples in India, the Near East, and Europe. China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia experienced similar evolutionary adaptations. Some of the protomegalithic monuments found in Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia, and France date to this transi­tional period, though they were not as fully developed as those of the Neolithic period. Two such examples include Stonehenge (England, circa 8000 BCE) and Carrowmore (Ireland, circa 5400 BCE). Around 9000 BCE, the short-lived Mesolithic cultures of Europe were sup­planted by the proto-Neolithic cultures; they began in the Near East and spread throughout the west.

In the 1950s, Lithuanian-American archaeologist Marija Gimbutas first presented her Kurgan theory of the origins of the Indo-Europeans: that a matriarchal, Neolithic civilization of pre-Aryans lived in Europe before the invasion of Indo-European tribes in the third millennium BCE. She describes this race in her book Goddesses and Gods of Old The Earliest Europeans 137 Europe. The lost civilization of pre-Aryans covered the lands of what are now Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia, the Balkans, and northern Greece. These people established the first cities in Europe and made advances in primitive tribal law, but most important, they laid the foundations for a permanent religion (Gimbutas 1982, 1).

Gimbutas was drawn to the idea of her own native region of Lithuania as a possible northern frontier of the Old European civili­zation. In examining the archaeology of the area, she found evidence of a matriarchy, complete with a bird goddess and a bear goddess. She believed that feminine cults and goddess worshippers dominated all of Neolithic Europe. In this author’s opinion, these artifacts are remnants of a vanished Europe that we have long since forgotten. (These ideas have found a following among certain groups of feminists as well as the feminine faction of the Wicca faith, a form of reconstructed paganism, or neopaganism.)

In Old Europe proper—in the Balkans, Adriatic, and Aegean, as well as nearby Eastern Europe—an upsurge in creativity and imagina­tion led to more complex deities. The Neanderthals, after they evolved, ruled Europe for over two hundred thousand years. They truly were the first Europeans, and they were uniquely adapted to its cold climate, especially the frigid centuries of the European ice ages. A November 30, 2007, article in Science details variations in skin color, eye color, and hair type among the main classic Neanderthal populations, indicating they were as diverse in physical characteristics as modern humans. The article’s abstract explains:

The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) regulates pigmentation in humans and other vertebrates. Variants of MC1R with reduced function are associated with pale skin color and red hair in humans of primarily European origin. We amplified and sequenced a frag­ment of the MC1r gene (mc1r) from two Neanderthal remains. Both specimens have a mutation that was not found in modern humans analyzed. Function analyses show that this variant reduces MC1R activity to a level that alters hair and/or skin pig­mentation in humans. The impaired activity of this variant suggests that Neanderthals varied in pigmentation levels, potentially on the scale observed in modern humans. Our data suggest that inactive MC1R variants evolved independently in both modern humans and Neanderthals (Lalueza-Fox et al. 2007).

British anthropologist Chris Stringer was one of the first to cham­pion the “Out of Africa” theory. Both Stringer and his theory were mentioned previously: that modern peoples originated in Africa and then displaced all other peoples of the world. Stringer, in an interview with NOVA, explained, “If we look at the fossil record, Africa is the place that has the oldest modern humans, and so Africa, I think, is our original homeland. Within the last 100,000 years, from that homeland, our ancestors dispersed across the world. They replaced archaic peoples, and gave rise to the people we find everywhere today” (NOVA 1997).

Australian anthropologist Alan Thorne strongly disagrees. He believes that isolated populations of Homo erectus evolved locally into what we now consider Homo sapiens. Thorne says:

I think we all agree that there’s an Out of Africa, but I feel strongly that Out of Africa has to be at least a million years ago. So, you know, since that time, over the last million years, with people in Africa and Asia, Europe and Southeast Asia, various populations are making their own adaptations to different environments and landscapes, but all are the same evolving and expand­ing species” (NOVA 1997).

Thorne envisions human evolution on a grand scale: Homo erec­tus spreading and evolving into the modern races of today in Europe, Asia, and most certainly Africa. Between three hundred thousand and thirty thousand years ago, the Neanderthals ruled as absolute masters of their domain. Scientists are now becoming aware of the unique role Neanderthals played in modern human evolution. The Neanderthal The Earliest Europeans 139 genome has been mapped, and it seems that about 4 percent of our DNA comes from Neanderthals. Many of the features of these early people hint at a common heritage. But more than a decade ago, such revelations were yet to come. Chris Stringer voiced the typical views of the day:

The Neanderthals had a long and successful evolutionary history. They evolved and survived in Europe over a period of at least 200,000 years. But in that time, they also developed their own special features, and these occur through the skeleton, but in par­ticular, they are concentrated in the face. The face is dominated by the nose, a very large and projecting nose, and the whole middle of the face is poured forwards, taking with it the teeth, as well. And for me, this, in particular, marks them off as something different, probably a different species from us. And this is difficult to grasp, in a sense, because we’re saying they were human beings; there’s no doubt about that. And yet, they were different kinds of human beings, different from us, not part of our lineage, not our ancestors (NOVA 1997).

Alan Thorne countered in a PBS interview:

When we look at the bones of the Neanderthals and other peoples, it’s easy to see the differences. But as living people with flesh on those bones, those differences would have been much less signifi­cant or noticeable. I mean, today, there are people of extraordinarily different physical characteristics: different skin colors, different face and eye shape, different hair forms that meet, marry and have chil­dren. When I look at Europeans, I see the evidence of that mixed Neanderthal parentage. So, Neanderthals must be a part of our spe­cies. They must be a part of us [Europeans] (NOVA 1997).

Amidst all of this debate, something quite unexpected happened in the study of these first Europeans. On Tuesday, April 21, 1999, BBC News reported: “A hybrid skeleton showing features of both Neanderthal and early modern humans has been discovered, challenging the theory that our ancestors drove Neanderthals to extinction.” The skeleton was of a young boy and it was found in Portugal. Erik Trinkaus of Washington University further stated: “This skeleton, which has some characteris­tics of Neanderthals, and that of early modern humans, demonstrates that early modern humans and Neanderthals are not all that different. They intermixed, interbred and produced offspring” (BBC News 1999).

In early 2010, DNA testing at the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary

Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, was undertaken in an effort to settle the Neanderthal/modern human hybrid theory. It was based on the collection of material found in Croatia during the 1980s. According to Gina Gomez, reporting for the Thaindian News: “A sample, the size of a small pill, was dug out from the center of an almost 38000 year old bone. This sample was then grounded and the powder was mixed with chemicals to release the DNA of the bone fragments. Small frag­ments of the DNA samples had to be multiplied a million times, only then could the scientists in Leipzig arrive at the conclusion” (Gomez 2010). Subsequent to this initial attempt to determine ancestry, the Neanderthal genome was successfully mapped and compared to modern humans. It now seems definite that Neanderthals and members of our own species mixed and produced offspring, and many Europeans, even peoples from other populations entirely, can now trace their ancestry to this group of hybrids.

Neanderthals are often depicted in modern art as having dark, matted hair, swarthy skin, and dark eyes. Genetic testing now indi­cates that Neanderthals were in fact fair-skinned and freckled, and had ginger or even blond hair. Their eye-color was predominately green or grayish blue.

In February 2010 a team of Polish scientists announced that they unearthed what they believed to be three Neanderthal teeth from Stajna Cave on the north side of the Carpathian Mountains. The teeth are similar to those of modern humans, indicating how close both species are to one another. Hammers made out of deer antlers were also discovered, and scattered around the area were the bones of woolly rhinoceros and woolly mammoths. Flint tools were also found throughout the site. From these discoveries, scientists can glean much about the eating habits, environment, and technology of these ancient peoples (Science News 2010). Even if the Neanderthals of one hun­dred thousand years ago were nothing more than primitive hunters, with only a slight inclination toward creativity, innovation, and inde­pendent thought, it still seems appropriate to think of them as some­thing else, something more likeus.

In Atlantis and the Kingdom of the Neanderthals, Colin Wilson reports on an excavation in 1989 conducted by a group of Israeli archae­ologists, led by Professor Naama Goren-Inbar. They discovered a price­less relic from the age of the Neanderthals:

It was a part of a planned and polished wooden plank, ten inches long and half as wide. It had obviously been ripped out of a larger plank, and the digger had cracked it across the middle. On its lower side, the plank was slightly convex and had obviously not been planed or polished. What was odd about the find? Only that the layer from which it came was half a million years old, the time Peking Man, who belonged to a species of early man—the first “true man”—called homo erectus. Presumably their brain was about half the size of modern man’s. Yet they had made this polished plank, which Professor Goren-Inbar confessed that she was unable to explain (Wilson 2006, 270).

Wilson cites a number of examples in which brave scholarly indi­viduals suggested that there was something more to the Neanderthals’ culture than previously thought. Stan Gooch, for instance, proposed that Neanderthals were the first “stargazers.” This idea was presented in Gooch’s book Cities of Dreams: The Rich Legacy of Neanderthal Man Which Shaped Our Civilization. According to Wilson (2006, 272), “This book challenges the orthodox view that nothing worth the name of civilization existed prior to the last Ice Age and the subsequent emer­gence of modern man some 30,000 years ago.” Wilson also mentions that Gooch inferred that the religion of the Neanderthals included a moon worship cult of immense sophistication. Finally, “Homo sapiens, he said, were not an evolutionary leap” beyond Cro-Magnon man, but only a gentle step from Neanderthal” (Wilson 2006, 275).


The story of the first Europeans is the story of our Western origins. It was the nations of Europe that went on to subdue and civilize the entire world. Without the evolutionary edge the earliest Europeans initially had, the history and fate of the world would have been quite different. By examining who the Neanderthals were, and what ulti­mately happened to them, provides guidance for us as a species. It pre­pares us for the task ahead, which is to survive and evolve into the splendid greatness that awaits us. The study of other races within the confines of Europe shows us that we are merely a link in a chain that goes back 800,000 years—and we are only now beginning to fully understand the significance of that heritage, a legacy as inexplicable as the evolutionary process itself.

Genes responsible for diversity of human skin colors identified

The human race began in Europe, some moved to africa and lost their IQ and turned tar colored

“If you were to shave a chimp, it has light pigmentation,” Tishkoff said, “so it makes sense that skin color in the ancestors of modern humans could have been relatively light. It is likely that when we lost the hair covering our bodies and moved from forests to the open savannah, we needed darker skin.

October 12, 2017
University of Pennsylvania
A study of diverse African groups by geneticists has identified new genetic variants associated with skin pigmentation. The findings help explain the vast range of skin color on the African continent, shed light on human evolution and inform an understanding of the genetic risk factors for conditions such as skin cancer.

This is a Mursi woman of Nilo-Saharan ancestry. Nilo-Saharan pastoralist populations possess some of the darkest skin in Africa. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found mutations associated with both light and dark pigmentation in a genome-wide association study of diverse African populations.
Credit: Alessia Ranciaro

Human populations feature a broad palette of skin tones. But until now, few genes have been shown to contribute to normal variation in skin color, and these had primarily been discovered through studies of European populations.

Now, a study of diverse African groups led by University of Pennsylvania geneticists has identified new genetic variants associated with skin pigmentation. The findings help explain the vast range of skin color on the African continent, shed light on human evolution and inform an understanding of the genetic risk factors for conditions such as skin cancer.

“We have identified new genetic variants that contribute to the genetic basis of one of the most strikingly variable traits in modern humans,” said Sarah Tishkoff, a Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor and the David and Lyn Silfen University Professor in Genetics and Biology with appointments in the Perelman School of Medicine and School of Arts and Sciences. “When people think of skin color in Africa most would think of darker skin, but we show that within Africa there is a huge amount of variation, ranging from skin as light as some Asians to the darkest skin on a global level and everything in between. We identify genetic variants affecting these traits and show that mutations influencing light and dark skin have been around for a long time, since before the origin of modern humans.”

The findings are published in the journal Science. Tishkoff, senior author, collaborated with first author and lab member Nicholas Crawford, a postdoctoral fellow, and a multi-institutional, international team.

Tishkoff has long studied the genetics of African populations, looking at traits such as height, lactose tolerance, bitter-taste sensitivity and high-altitude adaptation. Skin color emerged as a trait of interest from her experience working on the continent and seeing the diversity present across groups.

“Skin color is a classic variable trait in humans, and it’s thought to be adaptive,” Tishkoff said. “Analysis of the genetic basis of variation in skin color sheds light on how adaptive traits evolve, including those that play a role in disease risk.”

Both light and dark skin pigmentations confer benefits: Darker skin, for example, is believed to help prevent some of the negative impacts of ultraviolet light exposure, while lighter skin is better able to promote synthesis of vitamin D in regions with low ultraviolet light exposure.

To objectively capture the range of skin pigmentation in Africa, Tishkoff and colleagues used a color meter to measure the light reflectance of the skin of more than 2,000 Africans from ethnically and genetically diverse populations. They took the measurement from the inner arm, when sun exposure is minimal. The measurements can be used to infer levels of the skin pigment melanin. They obtained a range of measurements; the darkest skin was observed in Nilo-Saharan pastoralist populations in eastern Africa, and the lightest skin was observed in San hunter-gatherer populations in southern Africa.

The researchers obtained genetic information from nearly 1,600 people, examining more than 4 million single nucleotide polymorphisms across the genome, places where the DNA code may differ by one “letter.” From this dataset the researchers were able to do a genome-wide association study and found four key areas of the genome where variation closely correlated with skin color differences.

The region with the strongest associations was in and around the SLC24A5 gene, one variant of which is known to play a role in light skin color in European and some southern Asian populations and is believed to have arisen more than 30,000 years ago. This variant was common in populations in Ethiopia and Tanzania that were known to have ancestry from southeast Asia and the Middle East, suggesting it was carried into Africa from those regions and, based on its frequency, may have been positively selected.

Another region, which contains the MFSD12 gene, had the second strongest association to skin pigmentation. This gene is expressed at low levels in depigmented skin in individuals with vitiligo, a condition where the skin loses pigment in some areas.

“I still rememeber the ‘ah ha!’ moment when we saw this gene was associated with vitiligo,” said Crawford. “That’s when we knew we’d found something new and exciting.”

The team found that mutations in and around this gene that were associated with dark pigmentation were present at high frequencies in populations of Nilo-Saharan ancestry, who tend to have very dark skin, as well as across sub-Saharan populations, except the San, who tend to have lighter skin. They also identified these variants, as well as others associated with dark skin pigmentation, in South Asian Indian and Australo-Melanesian populations, who tend to have the darkest skin coloration outside of Africa.

“The origin of traits such as hair texture, skin color and stature, which are shared between some indigenous populations in Melanesia and Australia and some sub-Saharan Africans, has long been a mystery.” Tishkoff said. “Some have argued it’s because of convergent evolution, that they independently evolved these mutations, but our study finds that, at genes associated with skin color, they have the identical variants associated with dark skin as Africans.

“Our data are consistent with a proposed early migration event of modern humans out of Africa along the southern coast of Asia and into Australo-Melanesia and a secondary migration event into other regions. However, it is also possible that there was a single African source population that contained genetic variants associated with both light and dark skin and that the variants associated with dark pigmentation were maintained only in South Asians and Australo-Melanesians and lost in other Eurasians due to natural selection.”

Also of interest was that genetic variants at MFSD12, OCA2, and HERC2 associated with light skin pigmentation were at highest frequency in the African San population, which has the oldest genetic lineages in the world, as well as in Europeans.

MFSD12 is highly expressed in melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin. To verify the gene’s role in contributing to skin pigmentation, the researchers blocked expression of the gene in cells in culture and found an increase in production of eumelanin, the pigment type responsible for black and brown skin, hair and eye color. Knocking out the gene in zebrafish caused a loss of cells that produce yellow pigment. And in mice, knocking out the gene changed the color of their coat from agouti, caused by hairs with a red and yellow pigment, to a uniform gray by eliminating production of pheomelanin, a type of pigment also found in humans.

“Apart from one study showing that MFSD12 was associated with vitiligo lesions, we didn’t know much else about it,” said Crawford, “so these functional assays were really crucial.”

“We went beyond most genome-wide association studies to do functional assays,” Tishkoff said, “and found that knocking out MFSD12 dramatically impacted the pigmentation of fish and mice. It’s pointing to this being a very conserved trait across species.

“We don’t know exactly why, but blocking this gene causes a loss of pheomelanin production and an increase in eumelanin production,” Tishkoff added. “We also showed that Africans have a lower level of MFSD12 expression, which makes sense, as low levels of the gene means more eumelanin production.”

A collaborator on the work, Michael Marks, a professor in the departments of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and of Physiology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and at Penn Medicine, demonstrated that the MFSD12 gene influences eumelanin pigmentation in a novel manner. Unlike other pigmentation genes, which are expressed mainly in melanosomes, the organelle where melanin is produced, MFSD12 is expressed in lysosomes, a distinct organelle from the melanosomes that produce eumelanin.

“Our results suggest there must be some kind of as-yet-uncharacterized form of cross-talk between lysosomes and the melanosomes that make eumelanins,” Marks said. “Figuring out how this works might provide new ideas for ways to manipulate skin pigmentation for therapeutic means.

“In addition,” Marks said, “the fact that loss of MFSD12 expression had opposite effects on the two types of melanins, increasing eumelanin production while suppressing pheomelanin, suggests that melanosomes that make pheomelanins might be more related to lysosomes than those that make eumelanin.”

Additional associations with skin color were found in the OCA2 and HERC2 genes, which have been linked with skin, eye and hair color variation in Europeans, though the mutations identified are novel. Mutations in OCA2 also cause a form of albinism that is more common in Africans than in other populations. The researchers observed genetic variants in a neighboring gene, HERC2, which regulates the expression of OCA2. Within OCA2, they identified a variant common in Europeans and San that is associated with a shorter version of the protein, with an altered function. They observed a signal of balancing selection of OCA2, meaning that two different versions of the gene have been maintained, in this case for more than 600,000 years.

“What this tells us,” Tishkoff said, “is there is likely some selective force maintaining these two alleles. It is likely that this gene is playing a role in other aspects of human physiology which are important.”

A final genetic region the researchers found to be associated with skin pigmentation included genes that play a role in ultraviolet light response and melanoma risk. The top candidate gene in the region is DDB1, involved in repairing DNA after exposure to UV light.

“Africans don’t get melanoma very often,” Tishkoff said. “The variants near these genes are highest in populations who live in areas of the highest ultraviolet light intensity, so it makes sense that they may be playing a role in UV protection.”

The mutations identified by the team play a role in regulating expression of DDB1 and other nearby genes.

“Though we don’t yet know the mechanism by which DDB1 is impacting pigmentation, it is of interest to note that this gene, which is highly conserved across species, also plays a role in pigmentation in plants such as tomatoes,” said Tishkoff.

The team saw evidence that this region of the genome has been a strong target of natural selection outside of Africa; mutations associated with light skin color swept to nearly 100 percent frequency in non-Africans, one of few examples of a “selective sweep” in all Eurasians; the age of the selective sweep was estimated to be around 60,000 to 80,000 years old, around the time of migration of modern humans out of Africa.

One additional takeaway from this work is a broader picture of the evolution of skin color in humans. Most of the genetic variants associated with light and dark pigmentation from the study appear to have originated more than 300,000 years ago, and some emerged roughly 1 million years ago, well before the emergence of modern humans. The older version of these variants in many cases was the one associated with lighter skin, suggesting that perhaps the ancestral state of humans was moderately pigmented rather than darkly pigmented skin.

“If you were to shave a chimp, it has light pigmentation,” Tishkoff said, “so it makes sense that skin color in the ancestors of modern humans could have been relatively light. It is likely that when we lost the hair covering our bodies and moved from forests to the open savannah, we needed darker skin. Mutations influencing both light and dark skin have continued to evolve in humans, even within the past few thousand years.”

Tishkoff noted that the work underscores the diversity of African populations and the lack of support for biological notions of race.

“Many of the genes and new genetic variants we identified to be associated with skin color may never have been found outside of Africa, because they are not as highly variable,” Tishkoff said. “There is so much diversity in Africa that’s not often appreciated. There’s no such thing as an African race. We show that skin color is extremely variable on the African continent and that it is still evolving. Further, in most cases the genetic variants associated with light skin arose in Africa.”

Discovery of 9.7m-Year-Old Teeth in Germany Could Rewrite Human History

Discovery of 9.7m-Year-Old Teeth in Germany Could Rewrite Human History
  • Teeth closely resemble those belonging to two ancient human fossils in Africa
  • However, the German teeth are twice as old as both of the African skeletons
  • If the finding is confirmed, the teeth will be the oldest hominin fossils ever found
  • Could change our understanding of human evolution and ‘out of Africa’ theory
  • The teeth are currently being examined in detail by a team of scientists and the first paper to report on the finding will be published next week 

The discovery of a set of 9.7-million-year-old teeth has led archaeologists to raise questions about the commonly believed ‘out-of-Africa’ theory of human origins.

The teeth, which were discovered in a former bed of the Rhine river, don’t resemble those of any other human species found in Europe or Asia.

The find suggests that contrary to popular belief, Europe may be the cradle of humanity.

The researchers claim they were so baffled by the findings, that it has taken them a year to announce the discovery.

The teeth are currently being examined in detail by a team of scientists and the first paper to report on the finding will be published next week.

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The discovery of a set of 9.7-million-year-old teeth has led archaeologists to raise questions about the commonly believed 'out-of-Africa' theory of human origins

The discovery of a set of 9.7-million-year-old teeth has led archaeologists to raise questions about the commonly believed ‘out-of-Africa’ theory of human origins


The set of teeth were discovered near the town of Eppelsheim.

The teeth resemble those belonging to Lucy – a 3.2 million-year-old skeleton of a human ancestor found in Ethiopia.

But they don’t look like those of any other species found in Europe or Asia.

This raises questions about whether humans originated in Africa, as is commonly believed.

In September 2016, researchers from the Mainz Natural History Museum in Germany discovered the set of teeth near the town of Eppelsheim.

In their study, published on ResearchGate, the researchers, led by Dr Herbert Lutz, wrote: ‘Both teeth, the crowns of an upper left canine and an upper right first molar, are exceptionally well preserved and obviously come from the same body of unknown sex.’

The molar was found to share characteristics with other species, including Lucy – a 3.2 million-year-old skeleton of a human ancestor found in Ethiopia.

In September 2016, researchers from the Mainz Natural History Museum in Germany discovered the set of teeth near the town of Eppelsheim

In September 2016, researchers from the Mainz Natural History Museum in Germany discovered the set of teeth near the town of Eppelsheim

The teeth, which were discovered in a former bed of the Rhine river near Eppelsheim, don't resemble those of any other human species found in Europe or Asia

The teeth, which were discovered in a former bed of the Rhine river near Eppelsheim, don’t resemble those of any other human species found in Europe or Asia

But the canine revealed potentially hominin qualities, which have never been seen in teeth discovered in Europe or Asia.

This raises questions about whether humans originated in Africa, as is commonly believed.

Speaking to The Merkurist, Dr Lutz said: ‘They are clearly ape teeth.

An analysis of one of the teeth revealed honey-comb-like arranged enamel, which led the researchers to believe it belonged to a hominin species 

An analysis of one of the teeth revealed honey-comb-like arranged enamel, which led the researchers to believe it belonged to a hominin species

The canine revealed potentially hominin qualities, which have never been seen in teeth discovered in Europe or Asia

The canine revealed potentially hominin qualities, which have never been seen in teeth discovered in Europe or Asia

‘Their characteristics resemble African finds that are four to five million years younger than the fossils excavated in Eppelsheim.

‘This is a tremendous stroke of luck, but also a great mystery.’

The researchers were initially so baffled by the findings, that they took a year to publish them.

Two of the teeth were found embedded in rock, in what was the former bed of the Rhine river in Germany

Two of the teeth were found embedded in rock, in what was the former bed of the Rhine river in Germany

The molar was found to share characteristics with other species, including Lucy ¿ a 3.2 million-year-old skeleton of a human ancestor found in Ethiopia

The molar was found to share characteristics with other species, including Lucy – a 3.2 million-year-old skeleton of a human ancestor found in Ethiopia

At a press conference announcing the discovery, the mayor of Mainz said: ‘I don’t want to over-dramatise it, but I would hypothesise that we shall have to start rewriting the history of mankind after today.’

While the findings have now been published, Dr Lutz said the ‘real work’ had only just begun.

Until now, it was widely believed that modern humans first appeared in east Africa between 400,000 and 200,000 years ago, before our species dispersed around the world around 70,000 years ago

Until now, it was widely believed that modern humans first appeared in east Africa between 400,000 and 200,000 years ago, before our species dispersed around the world around 70,000 years ago


Lucy’s remains were uncovered in the Afar region of Ethiopia in the 1970s.

Paleontologists believe she is the best preserved example of Australopithecus afarensis, an ancient branch of the human family tree.

The mineralised skeleton is believed to be 3.18 million years old and is the most complete of any upright, walking human ancestor.

Lucy's remains were uncovered in the Afar region of Ethiopia in the 1970s. Paleontologists believe she is the best preserved example of Australopithecus afarensis, an ancient branch of the human family tree

Lucy’s remains were uncovered in the Afar region of Ethiopia in the 1970s. Paleontologists believe she is the best preserved example of Australopithecus afarensis, an ancient branch of the human family tree

Previous studies suggested that Lucy was just 4 ft tall (122 cm) and weighted just 65 lbs (29 kg).

Since her discovery, researchers have debated whether she spent her life in the trees or spent time walking on the plains as well.

Combining the new data paints a picture of an ancestor which may have spent a considerable amount of her time in trees.

Lucy's skeleton, discovered in 1974 in the Afar region of Ethiopia, has been the subject of vigorous debate concerning the role of arborealism in early human evolution

Lucy’s skeleton, discovered in 1974 in the Afar region of Ethiopia, has been the subject of vigorous debate concerning the role of arborealism in early human evolution

There is lots of evidence of great apes roaming Europe millions of years ago, but there is yet to be any confirmed evidence of hominins on the continent at this time.

Until now, it was widely believed that modern humans first appeared in east Africa between 400,000 and 200,000 years ago, before our species dispersed around the world around 70,000 years ago.

The human lineage was believed to have split from the chimpanzee lineage in Africa around six to eight million years ago, although fossils from around this time are scarce.

The teeth will now go on display at a state exhibition, before returning to Mainz’s Natural History Museum.


55 million years ago – First primitive primates evolve

15 million years ago – Hominidae (great apes) evolve from the ancestors of the gibbon

8 million years ago – First gorillas evolve. Later, chimp and human lineages diverge

5.5 million years ago – Ardipithecus, early ‘proto-human’ shares traits with chimps and gorillas

4 million years ago – Ape like early humans, the Australopithecines appeared. They had brains no larger than a chimpanzee’s but other more human like features

3.9-2.9 million years ago – Australoipithecus afarensis lived in Africa.  

2.7 million years ago – Paranthropus, lived in woods and had massive jaws for chewing

2.3 million years ago – Homo habalis first thought to have appeared in Africa

1.85 million years ago – First ‘modern’ hand emerges

1.8 million years ago – Homo ergaster begins to appear in fossil record

1.6 million years ago – Hand axes become the first major technological innovation

800,000 years ago – Early humans control fire and create hearths. Brain size increases rapidly

400,000 years ago – Neanderthals first begin to appear and spread across Europe and Asia

200,000 years ago – Homo sapiens – modern humans – appear in Africa

40,000 years ago – Modern humans reach Europe

Ethnography of Civilization Collapse – DNA discovery reveals genetic history of ancient Egyptians

Tendentious bashers such as myself have a habit of reminding you that history runs in cycles, and if a civilization does not restart its cycle by restoring traditional society, it goes off into third world style subsistence living because of a lack of social order, and ends up a mixed-race shadow of its former self.

The “mixed-race” part is crucial because, throughout history, bad leaders have used diversity as a means of shoring up their own power. When they need support, they can count on those people who depend on them, namely the various different types of minorities who are allied against the majority, whose interest does not reflect their own.

When you encounter a failed civilization, you will find shorter and weaker people, generally without much intelligence but weighted toward the verbal and not the spatial, with mystical traditions based on primitive symbols, who are fundamentally comfortable living in a society where corruption takes a third off every deal and nothing ever gets done, or done right.

Third world people are individualists, and to them, the burden of struggling to have social order is too much relative to how they want to enjoy life, which is just not worrying too much. Very carefree individuals in these parts, and they seem very happy, but they never produce anything of greatness. Their society demands little of them, so they spend most of their time on themselves.

We can tell that this is the case by looking at a civilization that faded away long ago:

Researchers from the University of Tuebingen and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, both in Germany, have decoded the genome of ancient Egyptians for the first time, with unexpected results.

Publishing its findings in Nature Communications, the study concluded that preserved remains found in Abusir-el Meleq, Middle Egypt, were closest genetic relatives of Neolithic and Bronze Age populations from the Near East, Anatolia and Eastern Mediterranean Europeans.

Modern Egyptians, by comparison, share much more DNA with sub-Saharan populations.

In other words, ancient remains showed genetic consistency; modern genetics show the influence of diversity. This society became more diverse as it failed, and it does not necessarily matter what the diversity was, only that the genetic consistency of a network of traits was broken up and replaced by a more chaotic, less competent biological compromise.

This applies to ethnic groups as well. Mixed-ethnic states, especially those with hybridization, even trace hybridization, tend to perform less well than homogeneous nations. Most likely, when places like Egypt become diverse, it is through trace admixture; few people will marry and mate with the Other, but someone who is only an eighth other they can accept, until those are the only option and the original ethnic group is long gone.

When people talk about diversity, they often attempt to discuss it through “problems”: how to manage crime, how to indoctrinate the newcomers in our Constitution, how to assimilate them, why to make them equally accepted so they will not riot. But there is only one real problem, which is the replacement of the founding ethnic group and, with it, a loss of whatever traits it had that allowed the society to succeed in the first place.

DNA discovery reveals genetic history of ancient Egyptians

Story highlights

  • Mummy genome data have been extracted for the first time
  • The mummies’ closest ancient relatives were found in the Near East and Europe
  • Modern Egyptians have developed a greater amount of sub-Saharan DNA

(CNN)Ancient Egyptians and their modern counterparts share less in common than you might think. That is, at least genetically, a team of scientists have found.

Researchers from the University of Tuebingen and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, both in Germany, have decoded the genome of ancient Egyptians for the first time, with unexpected results.
Publishing its findings in Nature Communications, the study concluded that preserved remains found in Abusir-el Meleq, Middle Egypt, were closest genetic relatives of Neolithic and Bronze Age populations from the Near East, Anatolia and Eastern Mediterranean Europeans.
Modern Egyptians, by comparison, share much more DNA with sub-Saharan populations.
The findings have turned years of theory on its head, causing Egyptologists to re-evaluate the region’s history while unlocking new tools for scientists working in the field.

Correcting past errors

Depending on which way you see it, ancient Egyptians have the privilege or ignominy of being one of the most investigated peoples of antiquity. Scientists have virtually undressed mummies, diagnosed from beyond the grave, and exposed miscarriages and 3,000-year-old scams.
Extracting genome data is a new frontier for Egyptologists, however.
Scientists took 166 bone samples from 151 mummies, dating from approximately 1400 B.C. to A.D. 400, extracting DNA from 90 individuals and mapping the full genome in three cases.

A scientist at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History looks at a jaw bone. Bone, soft tissue and teeth were all studied as part of the research.

Previous DNA analysis of mummies has been treated with a necessary dose of skepticism, explains professor Johannes Krause of the Max Planck Institute.
“When you touch a bone, you probably leave more DNA on the bone than is inside (it),” he argued. “Contamination is a big issue. … Only in the last five or six years has it become possible to actually study DNA from ancient humans, because we can now show whether DNA is ancient or not by (its) chemical properties.”
Heat and high humidity in tombs, paired with some of the chemicals involved in mummification, all contribute to DNA degradation, the paper adds, but it describes its findings as “the first reliable data set obtained from ancient Egyptians.”
Analyzing samples spanning over a millennium, researchers looked for genetic differences compared with Egyptians today. They found that the sample set showed a strong connection with a cluster of ancient non-African populations based east of the Mediterranean Sea.
Krause describes the far-reaching data set gained from looking at mitochondrial genomes: “This is not just the DNA of one person. It’s the DNA of the parents, grandparents, grandparents’ parents, grand-grand-grandparents’ parents and so forth.
“So if we don’t find sub-Saharan African ancestry in those people, that is pretty representative, at least for Middle Egypt.”
Krause hypothesizes that ancient Northern Egypt would be much the same, if not more, linked to the Near East. Ancient Southern Egypt might be a different matter, however, where populations lived closer to Nubia, home of the “Black Pharaohs” in what is now Sudan.

Historical conquests

One of the mummies analyzed as part of the study. The human remains were discovered in the 1920s by a historian studying papyrus writings, says Krause.

“The genetics of the Abusir el-Meleq community did not undergo any major shifts during the 1,300-year timespan we studied,” said Wolfgang Haak, group leader at the Max Planck Institute.
This period covered the rule of Alexander the Great (332-323 B.C.), the Ptolemaic dynasty (323-30 B.C.) and part of Roman rule (30 B.C.-A.D. 641). Strict social structures and legal incentives to marry along ethnic lines within these communities may have played a part in the Egyptians’ genetic stasis, the paper speculates.
“A lot of people has assumed foreign invaders … brought a lot of genetic ancestry into the region,” Krause said. “People expected that through time, Egypt would become more European, but we see the exact opposite.”
Modern Egyptians were found to “inherit 8% more ancestry from African ancestors” than the mummies studied. The paper cites increased mobility along the Nile, increased long-distance commerce and the era of the trans-Saharan slave trade as potential reasons why.
The team’s findings do come with one obvious caveat: “All our genetic data (was) obtained from a single site in Middle Egypt and may not be representative for all of ancient Egypt,” the paper concedes.
While the study might be limited in scope, the team believes it has made some technical breakthroughs.
“I expect there will be a ton of ancient Egyptian mummy genomes (mapped) in the next couple of years,” Krause said, adding that “multiple groups” are following his team’s lead.
“There’s always more research we can do. This is not the end. It’s just the beginning.”

Inside an Ancient Pagan Ritual that Makes Men Become Monsters

Source: news.nationalgeographic.com

An ancient ceremony in the heart of a wild country celebrates the rebirth of spring.

A mysterious, ancient tradition takes place each year in Mamoiada, a small village tucked into the middle of wild and mountainous Sardinia. On the day of Saint Anthony, the saint protector of animals and fire, the men of the village transform to become Mamuthones and Issohadores. Complementing one another like yin is to yang, mamuthones echo the darkness, while issohadores rope in the light.

Bonfires roar across not only the village, but all of Sardinia in observance of the holiday. One of the most popular festival days in the country, the occasion is meant to banish the cold chill of winter in exchange for the sweeter invitation of spring. It is on that day that the villagers of Mamoiada share their uniquely haunting procession of song, dance, and solemnity.

The stars of the show, the Mamuthones, represent the inhabitants of the kingdom of the dead, as well as the shepherd’s strong connection between man and his beasts. They don anthropomorphic, grotesque masks created by local artisans—accentuated by jutting features and slick black paint. Heavy copper cowbells sewn onto thick straps of leather hang tightly from their backs like tortoise shells, threatening to drag their bodies to the ground. Thin hoods of fabric drape over their heads, and darkly colored sheep pelts hide their shoulders, backs, and torsos.

In contrast, Issohadores parade around in red tunics and black bandoliers, a bell-adorned sash hanging across their bodies.

The procession begins in front of the largest church in the village. Led by an Issohadore, twelve Mamuthones begin their solemn, rhythmic pace forward. Lurching under the weight of up to 60 pounds of copper bells, they do not pay the public any attention. Lively issohadores twirl thin reed ropes, catching young women in the crowd. They continue like this from early afternoon until late evening, until each of the bonfires in the village have been reached.

Dating back over two thousand years, the true origin of the pre-Christian tradition is heavily disputed by scholars. Some argue that it dates back to the indigenous Nuragic civilization and was originally intended as a gesture of reverence for animals, and to serve as protection from evil spirits.

Filmmaker Andrea Pecora feels a deep connection to these traditions thanks to Sardinian ancestry on his mother’s side. He hopes to share Sardinian culture with the world and says experiencing the tradition of the mamuthones was especially meaningful.

“The tension was clearly visible in the men’s eyes, and the creeping fire and holy atmosphere was something magical,” says Pecora. “I hope I’ve captured all of this into my work.”