Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Science & Space

First genetic portrait of Mesolithic European shows black skin

See also

The first physical portrait of a Mesolithic European was presented in the Jan. 26, 2014, issue of the journal Nature by Carles Lalueza-Fox, researcher from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), in collaboration with the Centre for GeoGenetics in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The individual on which the genetic analysis was developed has been designated as La Braña 1. The extremely high level of genetic integrity of the remains of La Braña 1 allowed the researchers to develop a genome that is 7,000 years old. La Braña 1 was originally found at La Braña-Arintero site in Valdelugueros in León, Spain in 2006.

La Braña 1 had the gene markers that indicated this individual had dark skin and blue eyes. The skin coloration has a definite African origin while the eyes indicate a possible ancestor from Northern Europe or Siberia.

This blending of racial qualities is congruent with the presently understood migration of peoples from Africa to Europe and across Europe prior to the Mesolithic time period that lasted from 5,000 to 10,000 years ago.

La Braña 1 was a hunter-gatherer and did not have the ability to digest dairy products that contained lactose because this ancient man’s culture had not yet developed raising livestock or farming.



  • Baseball Hall of Fame
    The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown welcomes six new inductees
  • 2012 do-over
    If we were to re-do the 2012 election, a new poll suggests Romney would win
  • Boko Haram
    Boko Haram kidnaps the wife of the vice prime minister of Cameroon
    World News
  • Ceasefire breaks
    Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu claims Hamas broke another brief ceasefire
  • Close call with CME
    Scientists tell how Earth survived a giant solar flare back in 2012
  • Comic-Con
    What's going on at Comic-Con? Get all the latest updates here

Related Videos:

  • Buzz Aldrin and the American flag on the moon
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Orbital Sciences rocket brings supplies and experiments to space station
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518318477" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Liftoff Apollo 11
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>