Dark skin. Blue eyes. Beard. Thin and borderline lactose-intolerant.
That’s what scientists say man may have looked like 7,000 years ago, after studying DNA from bones discovered in a Spanish cave. The Mesolithic skeleton found at the La Brana-Arintero site in Leon in 2006 is thought to be the first recovered genome of a European from that period.
According to a study published on Sunday in the journal Nature, pigmentation genes extracted from a tooth of the man — dubbed La Brana 1 — reveal he had dark skin like an African-American but the blue eyes of a Scandanavian, “suggesting the light skin of modern Europeans was not yet ubiquitous in Mesolithic times.”
“The biggest surprise was to discover that this individual possessed African versions in the genes that determine the light pigmentation of the current Europeans,” Carles Lalueza-Fox, a researcher from the Spanish National Research Council, said in a press release accompanying the findings.