Oldest Negroid Skull?

September 30, 2010

I had previously posted that the 6500-year-old Asselar skeleton discovered in Mali was the earliest example of a Negroid African. But it turns out there's a slightly older skull with Negroid features from farther south in West Africa (Iwo Eleru, Nigeria) that seems to be a much better candidate.

Mauny, 1978:

The oldest-known skeleton of a West African was found in Nigeria at Iwo Eleru; it is of a negroid man and is dated to 9250 ± 150 BC.

Allsworth-Jones, 2002:

A human burial described as "proto-Negroid" was found at the base of the succession at Iwo Eleru with a date of 11200 ± 200 BP.

Phillipson, 2005:

A single human skeleton some 12,000 years old from the lowest level of Iwo Eleru has been described as already showing specifically negroid features....

Note that there have been other candidates for the oldest Negroid skull, but in East rather than West Africa, such as Nazlet Khater (33,000 B.P., Upper Egypt) and Jebel Sahaba or Wadi Halfa (Mesolithic Nubia). However, these are very contentious and in all likelihood not Negroid, given that East Africans were still non-Negroid until much more recently.


Anonymous said...

you know anything about the oldest caucasoid skulls?

Racial Reality said...

The oldest known Caucasoid skull is Mladec 1 (31,000 B.P., Czech Republic ).

kenny said...

Do you know of any connection between the african tribe the moors and sicily italy?

zxcvb said...

What exactly is a negroid skull? The inhabitants of the Andaman islands look negroid to me and they've been there for closer to 65,000 years than 6500 years. Negroid in the technical sense then must refer to some features that any ordinary person wouldn't need to take into account in order to identify a person as having the African look, which should make this story of little interest to any ordinary person. African-looking people have been around much longer than 10,000 years.

Racial Reality said...

>>> "The inhabitants of the Andaman islands look negroid to me"

They're not. They're more related to Asian-Pacific populations:


>>> "make this story of little interest to any ordinary person"

Then I guess "ordinary people" shouldn't read it.

Anonymous said...

Principal component analysis shows that iwo eleru is actually not negroid. On the other hand jebel sahaba are definitely negroid of the nilotic negro strain

Racial Reality said...

Don't post unsupported claims.

Anonymous said...

@ zxcvb

no not really. you dont know how long the andaman islanders have looked the way they do, their phenotype could still be very recent in origin.

for all we know africans didnt look anything like they do today at the time of the OOA migration.

Ann said...

This phenotype issue cuts both ways. That is while you can simplistically state that the Andamans phenotype might be recent, (1) you do not say what recent is in your years of time. (2), their genetics has proven they have been an isolated community having no outside admixture, and so the look, i.e., phenotype would not be a recent change. (3) To claim that the Andaman are not Negroid is a clear rejection of the genotype-phenotype diversity of the African. (4) If the phenotype of the Africans in the OoA ~60,000 YBP did not look like they do today, then the same can be claimed for the phenotype of the so-called European, whose beginning is within the last 18,000 Years Before Present (YBP). A little less opinion....a lot more known facts.

Ann said...

"Palaeogenetic evidence supports a dual model of Neolithic spreading into Europe

The peopling of Europe is a complex process. One of the most dramatic demographic events, the Neolithic agricultural revolution, took place in the Near East roughly 10000 years ago and then spread through the European continent. Nevertheless, the nature of this process (either cultural or demographic) is still a matter of debate among scientists. We have retrieved HVRI mitochondrial DNA sequences from 11 Neolithic remains from Granollers (Catalonia, northeast Spain) dated to 5500 years BP. We followed the proposed authenticity criteria, and we were also able, for the first time, to track down the pre-laboratory-derived contaminant sequences and consequently eliminate them from the generated cloning dataset. Phylogeographic analysis shows that the haplogroup composition of the Neolithic population is very similar to that found in modern populations from the Iberian Peninsula, suggesting a long-time genetic continuity, at least since Neolithic times. This result contrasts with that recently found in a Neolithic population from Central Europe and, therefore, raises new questions on the heterogeneity of the Neolithic dispersals into Europe. We propose here a dual model of Neolithic spread: acculturation in Central Europe and demic diffusion in southern Europe."

Neolithic - 10,000 YBP.

Anonymous said...

nope ann youre wrong.

by recent i mean that their phenotype is younger than the caucasoid phenotype at least.

and by the time of the OOA, none of the modern phenotypes existed, they developed in isolation from each other, there is no reason to believe that africans stopped evolving.

so basically euroasians never came from black people, but from a distinct population that was already differntiated from the other population that would eventually evolve into negroids.

and phenotype can obviously change without admixture.

the other info in your post regarding european origins is not relevant in any way. both parts of the dual origin where already caucasoid before mixing.

Anonymous said...

>>>>>> "The inhabitants of the Andaman islands look negroid to me"

>>>They're not. They're more related to Asian-Pacific populations:

And their skulls cluster more closely with caucasoids, if I recall.

Tom Lehman said...

Yes- What is being discussed in these types of articles is SKELETAL features, not things like skin, hair, or eye color (those don't last. So... what the writers mean by 'negroid', 'caucasoid', etc., are largely skull, neck, hyoid bone, nerve- and blood vessel holes (called foramina). Now, what we have to do is look at modern populations and THEIR structural difs and then hypothesize backwards. A goodly number of obvious difs on very old remains must indicate separate populations, even if ALL the features aren't developed yet. As one of the other espondents stressed, we need to stop thinking about all humans having evolved from EXISTING "races"-- our most recent common ancestor, 'Mitochondrisl Eve', probbably had a mild yellowish-brown complexion, as do present-day San. We find this supported by DNA as well.

عبدالكريم بن الأخضر said...

Is not the RamessesIII mummy dna findings a backup that the original e1b1a carriers were originally caucasoid

Hugh Cipher said...

I think the term "negroid" as used in this sense is totally arbitrary and uses little solid science to separate what are obviously ancient Black Africans from so called negroids. Reconstructions of Idàltu Man depict a man that would be called negro anywhere in the world from Harlem to Mississippi to Timbuktu
http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/origins/skulls/homo_sapiens_idaltu.gifhttp://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/06/images/HsapiensAdultArtCutaFE_med.jpg But this 160k year old skull is not considered negroid? Why not? what is it missing or what do the 12k old skulls have this one doesn't. They apparently have all of the same cranial features that bring forth the same facial features. So I have to ask how is this term "negroid" being used? It seems the geography is being taking into consideration and this is a fallacy. The whole declaration of these 12k year old skulls being negro and older skulls found in other parts of Africa not being negroid is based in age old Eurocentric beliefs. I saw a posy stating Ethiopians are non-negroid to this day so any ancient 50k yr plus old skull must be non-negroid but the fallacy in this is the fact not but just 3k yrs ago Caucasoid elements migrated into the African horn. As we all should know this Caucasoid element did not exist 50k yrs ago much less 160k. Also we must take in consideration that the Black African is thee mist genetically diverse homo sapien on the planet. From the pygmy to the Congoid to Hamitic type(or what ever else late 19th century term one would like to use) The Black African has the highest amount of genetic diversity but one look at any of these and their origin is obvious. This is one reason I pefer to use the term "Africoid" This is far more accurate and is an umbrella that covers and connects all of Black African phenotypes

Hugh Cipher said...

FYI: >>>>>> "The inhabitants of the Andaman islands look negroid to me"

What anonymous is alluding to is the fact that Andaman Islanders look like Black Africans or shall we say "so called negroes" and with good reason.
They are negroes...
If an anthropologist was to look at nothing but their skull and skeletal shape he/she would judge them African. Not until you look into their genetics do you see their connection with South Asians and Pacific Islanders and this connection is as their progenitor. Andaman islanders are humans who migrated out of Africa 60k to 80k yrs ago into a region with similar environmental conditions and thus had no reason to mutate into Caucasoid or Mongoloid phenotypes.

I think anonymous gist is all of this seems a lot of gymnastics to say a people have no connection to Afro Americans or other decedents from West Africans

Geog M. said...

Andamanese cluster closer to Asian-Pacific populations:


So yes, Iwo Eleru is the first Negroid skull known.

Hugh Cipher said...

Im glad this blog's title has a question mark.

No Iwo Eleru may be the oldest "Negro" skull found in West Africa but 160k year old plus skulls possessing the same physical traits of Iwo found through out Africa points to the absurdity of claiming Iwo Eleru is the "oldest" negro skull.


@Geog M true Andamanese Islanders are genetically closer to other Asians but phenotypically they are Negroid. We are speaking of Phenotype which means the physical appearance of an organism. Negro characteristics or phenotype are dark skin,full lips,woolly hair,lower jaw prognathism and other skeletal characteristics and the Andamanese and those 100k yr old plus skeletal remains found in Africa possess these traits. Its crazy to see this attempt to separate Black Africans in this scientifically invalid way when a 12k year old Caucasoid skull can be found in the Americas and its not classified as anything else but Caucasoid.

Geog M. said...

No, Andamanese aren´t Negroid obviously, even in phenotype, that´s showing a really poor knowledge about Anthropology.
In that case, Japanese would be Negroid too (according to that graph).

First Negroid skull known, historic or pre-historic is still that of Iwo Eleru.