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The remains of a prehistoric man found in Europe was half Neanderthal

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Who was the oldest non-archaic HomoSapien ever found in Europe? In one archaeology finding, the oldest HomoSapien found in Europe was found in Italy. See, "First Known Europeans Identified : Discovery News." As more remains are found, the time frame goes back, and some are mixed Homo sapiens and Neanderthal types, as scientists sequence the entire genomes of some of these finds. In prior decades, a 1.8 million-year-old hominid, not part Homo sapien, though turned up in a cave in Georgia, in the Caucasus.

In another study, a different type of people are named as the oldest. See, "Grimaldi, Khoisan: The First Modern Humans in Europe." And their genes test out as Khoisan, but are found in Europe, according to the article. Sometime about 45,000 B.C., the Great Glacial Ice Sheets that covered most of Europe, started to melt and a group, or groups of these Khoisan peoples walked across the Gibraltar straits and entered Europe.

This marks the first time in Human History that modern Humans have crossed over into the formally frozen wilderness of Europe. Once in Europe, Grimaldi Man continued his migrations, and came to eventually inhabit all of Europe and Northern Asia. The Easternmost limit of his range, appears to have been the settlement known as Mal'ta in Siberia Russia, just north of Mongolia, notes the article. But didn't the first Homo Sapiens walk from Africa to Central Asia before they switched directions from East to West to end up in Europe?

A man, half Neanderthal and half Homo sapien has been found in Italy. Check out the article, "First Love Child of Human, Neanderthal Found : Discovery News."

That article explains that the skeletal remains of an individual living in northern Italy 40,000-30,000 years ago are believed to be that of a human/Neanderthal hybrid, according to a paper in the journal PLoS ONE. If you're thinking of painting his portrait or restoring his face with software programs, the morphology of the lower jaw, the face of the Mezzena, Italy individual would have looked somehow intermediate between classic Neanderthals, who had a rather receding lower jaw (no chin), and the modern humans. Probably, if his restored image was dressed in modern clothes and presented as a statue, he would probably not be noticed much in public as being that different looking from modern people. But the analysis is still a theory.

And if further analysis proves the theory correct, the remains belonged to the first known such hybrid, providing direct evidence that humans and Neanderthals interbred. Prior genetic research determined the DNA of people with European and Asian ancestry is 1 to 4 percent Neanderthal.

In other studies, Homo Sapiens also walked from Africa to Australia. See, "Homo sapiens – modern humans - Australian Museum." Scientists also found Cro-Magnon peoples, another branch of Homo sapiens, in Europe. See, "Cro-Magnon 1 | The Smithsonian Institution's Human Origins Program." Did they first come to Europe from the Middle East, Central Asia, the Caucasus or other locations? And when did they arrive in Europe, since their artwork appears in caves all over France and Spain, for starters? And some people are identified by fossil teeth. See, "Fossil Teeth Put Humans in Europe Earlier Than Thought - NYTimes." Check out sites such as, "NEWS: Neanderthals Lacked Social Skills," and "NEWS: Neanderthals Died Out Earlier Than Thought." Did purebred Neanderthals really disappear 30,000 years ago?

Did you ever wonder what diets the oldest homosapiens ate based on DNA? The oldest mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) passed from mother to children in Europe that’s human, homosapien and not Neanderthal or other archaic individual is U5. It had a common ancestor with its sister group, U6. The age of U5 is estimated at 50,000 but could be as old as 60,500 years. Mothers pass mtDNA to their daughters and sons, but only the daughters can pass their own mother's mtDNA to their daughters in a straight line of descent. When a man marries a woman, that women's mtDNA gets passed on to the man's daughters. He can't pass on to daughters or son's his own mom's mtDNA. It comes from his wife to his children.

Where did mtDNA U5 come from, as it's the first in Europe and evolved in Europe

The first place scientists find U5 in Europe is in Cyrenaica, and artifacts are found in Iberia. Syke's book says it shows up 45,000-50,000 years ago in Delphi, Greece. What effects did the fish and wild plants diet have?

The mtDNA U5 person had a common ancestor with the Berber U6, found in a third of Moroccans, which is its ultimate starting point before it arrived in the Middle East and then went on into Europe. U6 in N. Africa is close to U5 in Europe, and U6 is close in age to U5. The female who was the ancestor of U5 and U6 lived in what today is Morocco and Algeria.

U5 and U6 cluster with other Europeans and not with Sub-Saharan Africans. Today, U6 comprises a third of the Mozabite Berbers. There was gene flow between N. Africa and the Middle East. The ancestor of U5 and U6 lived in the Maghreb in N. Africa. U5 is found almost exclusively in Europe today.

U6 is found today in the Canary Islands, Iberia, N. Africa and Portugal. U5 is dominant in Scandinavia, particularly Finland, along with V and U4 there also. A large proportion of Canary Islander are U6.

The medieval Guanches of the Canary Islands also had U6. There was a lot of interbreeding in paleolithic times between U5 and U6. The Berbers are high in U6 mtDNA today. Whereas U5 today is found all over Europe and is the oldest European mtDNA, and is found more in Scandinavia, particularly Finland.

Not all Berbers are U6. The largest cluster of Berbers from N. Africa is H, especially in the city of Mzab. But when you test the Berbers with H, you find a sequence 16213 that has been found so far only in Europe, possibly suggesting a European origin for the H sequences in this N. African indigenous population of Berbers. They have numerous people with red hair and freckles, speaking Berber languages. The Kabyl of Algeria also have this trait. So did back migration to Africa take place in paleolithic times also?

Yes. Another common haplotype 16148-16343 belongs to the Berbers who have U3, a common haplogroup in the Middle East (Iraq) and also in Europe. And mtDNA U is found there, unrelated to U6, native to N. Africa. J is there, but J comes from Syria and Turkey. Some gene flow did come from further south in Africa, because a few Berbers are L3b, L2 and L3a, but sub-Saharan gene flow is only 14% among the Berbers of Morocco and the people of the Canary Islands in modern times.

So what this study shows is that European and Middle Easter sequences in the Berbers came from Europe within the last 10,000 years. Countries most likely--Sicily, Malta, and Spain. People from the Nile Valley migrated to Morocco in ancient times adding more mtDNA diversity. So what does it show? That U5 is the first echo out of Africa into Europe, but that it shows up as the first Europeans in two places, Delphi and Spain around 50,000 years ago.

For more information on this subject read, "The Emerging Tree of West Eurasian mtDNAs: A Synthesis of Control Region Sequences and RFLPs," American Journal of Human Genetics: 64:232-249, 1999, V. Macaulay, et al.

So U5 turns out to be the most ancient mtDNA in Europe (50,000 years to 60,500) and U6 in N. Africa. What's interesting is that U5 and U6 are "sister mtDNA groups" with a common ancestor in N. Africa. Each mtDNA group has a sister group.

For example H and V are sister groups, with a common ancestor. And J and T are sister groups. U and K are sister groups. Each sister group has a common ancestor that had in its signature both J and T or H and V or U and K.

Why the Deep Genetic Split Between Two European Groups of mtDNAs?

There's also a deep genetic split between some of the European groups. For example X is split deeply from H by certain transitions such as 16223T instead of 16223C in some, but not all X mtDNAs. There's a deep genetic split between (H, I, J, and K) and (T, U, V, W, and X).

What kind of event took place in Paleolithic times to cause this huge split between these European groups? Did the split take place before or after arrival in Europe? Was it the isolation of the Ice age that caused it?

Were the two groups separated, for example, in different parts of the world? It doesn't seem so, because H, I, J and K are in one group, and H lived in Paleolithic times in France and Spain, whereas "I" mtDNA haplogroup lived in the Middle East or Central Asia and J and K lived in Syria and also later, K lived in the Alps (from 17,000 years ago)...but also is found in the Middle East and all over Europe. So what split the two groups?

Look at the other mitochondrial (mtDNA) group (T, U V, W and X). Note that X usually is grouped with I and W, and is found rarely in Europe and heavily in the Middle East and Caucasus, especially in Georgia. T is all over the British Isles, but also in the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East.

U is found all over N. Africa, Europe, and the Middle East and is the oldest in Europe. and W and X, some in Europe, but most in the Middle East, N. India, and Caucasus, except for the X that went to the new World via the Central Asia through Siberia route, and is found among certain Native American tribes like the Ojibwa and Sioux, Lakota, and a few other tribes. What do you think caused the split between (T U V, W and X) and (H I J and K)?

Cro Magnons

If you like studies about Cro-Magnon fossils, read the article, "Morphological Evolution in Prehistoric Skeletal Remains," in the book, Archeogenetics, (Mc Donald Institute Monographs).

So, who were the Cro-Magnons? Their common ancestors were U6 from N. Africa and U5 from Europe. They had broad faces, were tall, slender, and long boned. Skeletal remains from caves in Spain such as Longar show they are most closely related to today's Swedes. The mtDNA studies on the Cro-Magnon fossils from the prehistoric Basques show they are slightly different from today's Basques, but today's Basques are similar to medieval Basques.

The Paleolithic samples showed they were closer to modern Swedes than to modern Basques. The Pico Ramos caves and other prehistoric Basque area samples showed the Paleolithic peoples were closer to one another than to anyone modern, but Basque population’s ancient and modern did group together. mtDNA J was absent from the Longar site cave of Paleolithic Cro-Magnon samples, but the predominant prehistoric mtDNA was H, a high amount of H as if that's the dominant population there 22,000 years ago.

Other mtDNAs were identified--U, T and X. Interestingly, some other mtDNA haplogroups showed up that didn't fit in anything modern. Those just disappeared 22,000 years ago or so. Either they didn't survive to reproduce or they had only sons.

Fascinating....Even 20,000 years ago, H was still the dominant type in Europe as it is today--47% of Europeans are H. What was it about that group that had so many daughters survive to modern times, and what was it that made the other mtDNA groups smaller in size, at least in Europe?

H mtDNA haplogroup has been found to exist so far in only 6 percent of the Middle East today, but is the dominant type in the Caucasus at a smaller number than in Europe. Was it something in the food supply that didn't exist elsewhere in Europe at the time of the last maximum Ice Age? Or did more female infants survive? What happened so that today 47 percent or more of Europeans have H mtDNA haplogroup, including me?

What has your research shown? Isn't reading about archaeogenetics fascinating and awesome? As for photos of artists' restorations of really early species of individuals that lived long before Homo sapien peoples, check out the site, "PHOTOS: Faces of Our Ancestors." The photo site is of a restored skull of a really old humanid species who lived 6.8 million years ago. Or see an article on with who prehistoric humans may have had children.

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