Scientists used to think that blue-eyes were introduced to Europe by farmers who arrived late to the continent. New research shows that the genes responsible for blue eyes may have already been there amongst dark-skinned hunter-gatherers.
An analysis of the DNA of a 7,000 year old skeleton found in a cave in Spain showed that the male carried the African version of genes responsible for the light skin pigmentation of Europeans—meaning he had dark skin—along with the genetic variation that causes blue-eyes.
Makes me wonder where along the line the genetic variation occurred. I doubt this is the very first blue-eyed person.
I’d always thought it likely that blue-eyes and light skin were a genetic response to the need for less pigmentation due to the weaker sunlight of northern Europe. But maybe not. I’d hardly call Spain a northern climate.
I guess we’ll have to see what future scientific discoveries can tell us.