[Marxism] Where Did White People Come From? » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Feb 7 14:06:42 MST 2014

Last month the Guardian reported that a team of scientists studying 
early homo sapiens in Europe had extracted DNA from the tooth of a male 
hunter-gatherer who’d lived in what is now the Asturias region of 
northern Spain around 7000 years ago. They drew some surprising 
conclusions from the analysis. The man was dark-skinned but blue-eyed. 
His nearest DNA matches with contemporary ethnicities are with Swedes 
and Finns, among the palest of peoples.

Scholars had earlier argued that blue eyes had appeared as the result of 
a genetic mutation somewhere between 10,000 and 6000 years ago. (Before 
that all humans had brown eyes.) But until a few years ago most supposed 
that the appearance of white skin had occurred much earlier. The 
European gene pool with its light complexion was supposed to have 
decisively “split off” from the (also light-skinned) East Asian gene 
pool by around 50,000 years ago, after which homo sapiens first appeared 
in Europe, then in China.

But this timeline may need to be adjusted. It now looks like European 
whiteness may have appeared much more recently. Maybe there were no 
“white people” in Europe as recently as 7000 years ago, during the 
lifetime of the blue-eyed hunter-gatherer, whom the Guardian article 
calls “swarthy.”


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