All blue-eyed people related to single European ancestor Every blue-eyed person on the planet is descended from a single European who lived around 6,000 to 10,000 years ago, and who first developed a specific mutation that accounts for the now widespread iris coloration. Originally, all humans had brown eyes, although genetic variation relating to a gene called OCA2 resulted in changes to the amount of pigment produced by different individuals, resulting in the emergence of different shades of brown. Armed with this information, scientists had for many years searched for the source of blue eyes on the OCA2 gene, but without success. More recently, a mutation to a separate, nearby gene called HERC2 has been identified as the cause of blue eyes. This alteration switches off OCA2, the gene that determines the amount of the brown pigment melanin that we make.
Ötzi Ötzi (German pronunciation: [ˈœtsi] ( ); also called Ötzi the Iceman, the Similaun Man, the Man from Hauslabjoch, Homo tyrolensis, and the Hauslabjoch mummy) is a well-preserved natural mummy of a man who lived around 3,300 BCE. The mummy was found in September 1991 in the Ötztal Alps, hence Ötzi, near the Similaun mountain and Hauslabjoch on the border between Austria and Italy. He is Europe's oldest known natural human mummy, and has offered an unprecedented view of Chalcolithic Europeans. His body and belongings are displayed in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy. Discovery Ötzi the Iceman while still frozen in the glacier, photographed by Helmut Simon upon the discovery of the body in September 1991 46°46′45.8″N 10°50′25.1″E / 46.779389°N 10.840306°E / 46.779389; 10.840306. The province of South Tyrol therefore claimed property rights, but agreed to let Innsbruck University finish its scientific examinations.
Pointy-Headed Medieval Skulls in Germany May Have Been Bulgarian 'Treaty Brides' For years, researchers have wondered about the elongated, oddly shaped skulls of women that were found in early medieval burial sites around southern Germany. First found in Bavaria, a region in southern Germany, around the late 1960s, these elongated skulls date back to about 500 A.D. Binding the womens’ heads when they were infants—when skulls are more pliable—likely created the odd shape, reports Erin Blakemore for National Geographic.
The Iceman had a tummy bug On the day that Ötzi the “Iceman” was murdered in the Tyrolean Alps of Italy about 5300 years ago, he had a full stomach—and a tummy bug. But it wasn’t just any gut microbe—this early farmer was infected with a particular ancient strain of Helicobacter pylori bacteria that is most similar to modern Asian strains. By sequencing the genome of this ancient pathogen, which can cause ulcers in people today, researchers have made a surprising discovery about Ötzi’s own history: His ancestors inherited bacteria from Asia rather than Africa, suggesting that the predecessors of early European farmers had intimate contact with Asians before they migrated to Europe. H. pylori is probably the most successful bacterium to infect humans, and lurks in the guts of almost half of all people today.
Abraham Shakespeare Abraham Lee Shakespeare (April 24, 1966 — ca. April 7, 2009) was an American casual laborer who won a $30 million lottery jackpot, receiving $17 million in 2006. In 2009, his family declared him missing, and in January 2010 his body was found buried under a concrete slab in the backyard of an acquaintance. Dorris "Dee Dee" Moore was convicted of his murder and is now serving life in prison without the possibility of parole. Shakespeare's troubles began after winning the lottery. The case was profiled in the American E!
The Iceman’s lithic toolkit: Raw material, technology, typology and use Abstract The Tyrolean Iceman, a 5,300-year-old glacier mummy recovered at the Tisenjoch (South Tyrol, Italy) together with his clothes and personal equipment, represents a unique opportunity for prehistoric research. The present work examines the Iceman’s tools which are made from chert or are related to chert working - dagger, two arrowheads, endscraper, borer, small flake and antler retoucher - and considers also the arrowhead still embedded in the shoulder of the mummy. The interdisciplinary results achieved by study of the lithic raw material, technology, use-wear analysis, CT analysis and typology all add new information to Ötzi‘s individual history and his last days, and allow insights into the way of life of Alpine Copper Age communities. The chert raw material of the small assemblage originates from at least three different areas of provenance in the Southalpine region.
Genetic Study Confirms Australian Aborigines Have Been Isolated For 50,000 Years The indigenous aborigines of Australia have one of the oldest histories of any group of people living outside of Africa. The general consensus is that modern humans reached the continent around 50,000 years ago, tens of thousands of years before humans even managed to populate Europe. There have, however, been questions about just how isolated the aborigines have been during this long history, and whether there were later influxes of people. A new study looking into the genetic history of aboriginal men has seemingly managed to answer this, at least for male descendants.
Omayra Sánchez Omayra Sánchez Garzón (August 28, 1972 – November 16, 1985) was a 13-year-old Colombian girl killed in Armero, Tolima, by the 1985 eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano. Volcanic debris mixed with ice to form massive lahars (volcanically induced mudflows, landslides, and debris flows) that rushed into the river valleys below the mountain, killing nearly 23,000 people and destroying Armero and 13 other villages. After a lahar demolished her home, Sánchez was pinned beneath the debris of her house, where she remained trapped in water for three days. Her plight was documented as she descended from calmness into agony. Her courage and dignity touched journalists and relief workers, who put great efforts into comforting her. After 60 hours of struggling, she died, likely as a result of either gangrene or hypothermia.
Ancient Greek music: now we finally know what it sounded like - HeritageDaily - Archaeology News In 1932, the musicologist Wilfrid Perrett reported to an audience at the Royal Musical Association in London the words of an unnamed professor of Greek with musical leanings: “Nobody has ever made head or tail of ancient Greek music, and nobody ever will. That way madness lies.” Indeed, ancient Greek music has long posed a maddening enigma. Yet music was ubiquitous in classical Greece, with most of the poetry from around 750BC to 350BC – the songs of Homer, Sappho, and others – composed and performed as sung music, sometimes accompanied by dance. Literary texts provide abundant and highly specific details about the notes, scales, effects, and instruments used. The lyre was a common feature, along with the popular aulos, two double-reed pipes played simultaneously by a single performer so as to sound like two powerful oboes played in concert.
Neanderthals Built Mystery Cave Rings 175,000 Years Ago They painted magnificent cave paintings. They mastered fire and used tools. And now we know they constructed complex buildings deep within subterranean caves, and they did it more than 175,000 years ago. No, we're not talking about early humans. Neanderthals did all this. A team of archaeologists led by Jacques Jaubert at the University of Bordeaux in France has just completed an archaeological examination of a mysterious find: the rubble of two ancient Neanderthal-made buildings meticulously crafted from stalagmites. Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca (Jerez de la Frontera, c. 1488/1490/1492 – Seville, c. 1557/1558/1559/1560) was a Spanish explorer of the New World, and one of four survivors of the 1527 Narváez expedition. During eight years of traveling across the US Southwest, he became a trader and faith healer to various Native American tribes before reconnecting with Spanish colonial forces in Mexico in 1536. After returning to Spain in 1537, he wrote an account, first published in 1542 as La Relación ("The Relation", or in more modern terms "The Account"), which in later editions was retitled Naufragios ("Shipwrecks"). Cabeza de Vaca has been considered notable as a proto-anthropologist for his detailed accounts of the many tribes of American Indians that he encountered.
Interior Northwest Indians used tobacco long before European contact Washington State University researchers have determined that Nez Perce Indians grew and smoked tobacco at least 1,200 years ago, long before the arrival of traders and settlers from the eastern United States. Their finding upends a long-held view that indigenous people in this area of the interior Pacific Northwest smoked only kinnikinnick or bearberry before traders brought tobacco starting around 1790. Shannon Tushingham, a WSU assistant professor and director of its Museum of Anthropology, made the discovery after teaming up with David Gang, a professor in the Institute of Biological Chemistry, to analyze pipes and pipe fragments in the museum’s collection. “Usually in archaeology we just find little pieces of artifacts, things that you might not think much of,” she said.
Research findings back up Aboriginal legend on origin of Central Australian palm trees Updated The scientific world is stunned by research which backs an Aboriginal legend about how palm trees got to Central Australia. Several years ago Tasmanian ecologist David Bowman did DNA tests on palm seeds from the outback and near Darwin. A striking example of how traditional ecological knowledge can inform and enhance scientific research. Professor David Bowman, University of Tasmania The results led him to conclude the seeds were carried to the Central Desert by humans up to 30,000 years ago.