April 13, 2024

Flag – dark-skinned and bald: Ötzi comes from Anatolia – knowledge

LEIPZIG (AP) — Bald, dark eyes and very dark skin: Genome analysis reveals what the ice man Ötzi looked like when he was alive. The ancestral lineage of the man who lived in the Tyrolean Alps around 3250 BC goes directly back to those first farmers who came to Europe from the Middle East some 8,000 to 9,000 years ago. This was reported by a research team from Germany, Italy and Austria in the journal Cell Genomics.

Genome sequencing shows that more than 91 percent of Ötzi’s genome comes from immigrants from Anatolia. These first farmers came from the Middle East about 9,000 years ago and brought previously unknown agriculture to Europe. Approximately the remaining 9 percent of the genome comes from European foragers. The research team concluded that the Ötzi came from a relatively isolated Alpine population that had little contact with other European groups. “Genetically, her ancestors seem to have come directly from Anatolia,” says co-author Johannes Krause, director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig.

According to genetic analysis, Ötzi had very dark skin – much darker than today’s southern Europeans. According to the authors, the coloration of the mummy’s skin is not due to darkening over thousands of years in the ice. The fact that no hair was found on the mummy’s head apparently was not due to this storage. Instead, Ötzi, who was originally dark-eyed and black-haired, was genetically prone to hair loss and may have been very bald.

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The glacier’s mummy is in the South Tyrol Museum of Archeology, which also contains a living reconstruction of the fair-skinned, long-haired Oetzi. “We will not adjust the reconstruction immediately,” said press spokeswoman Katharina Hersel of the dpa news agency. While genes can clearly be analyzed, the research team is very cautious about the likelihood, when and to what extent of these genes appearing during an individual’s life.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 230816-99-856151/2