Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

Archive for February 29th, 2012

Give him a “G”

Posted by DNW on 2012/02/29


Those who have an interest in prehistory will want to note, if they have not already, that the Y chromosome of the Tyrolean Iceman is now being reported, and while having been hinted at recently, it involved something of a surprise initially.

It appears that the portion of the continental landmass that we know as Europe has had a relatively complex post-glacial population history. Trying to reconstruct what the “original” Europeans “looked like“, or exactly where they  came from at the point wherein these particular populations may be said to have had anything resembling a distinctive cultural kit,  is an ongoing project.

What seems to be the case however is that there are a multitude of distinct genetic lineages within the classification “European”, and that these distinctions run deep into history.

Otzi himself is an example of this complex history. And indeed his own story, a long time in unfolding since the discovery of his mummified corpse, has changed substantially since it was first reported that he was probably a wayfarer who had died of hypothermia as a result of being caught in an unpredictable change of weather.

He was according to recent reports killed in fact by an arrow which severed a subclavian artery, some days, it appears, after he had been in a fight which had left him with serious hand wounds, and the blood of four other individuals on his clothing and weapons.


Penn Museum lecture



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