Cro-Magnons Were Caucasoid, not Negroid

February 26, 2011

There's a fantasy among Afrocentrists that the first Europeans (Cro-Magnons and other Upper Paleolithic peoples) were totally unlike modern Europeans and instead had affinities with Sub-Saharan Africans. They cite Stringer and McKie (1998) who say that some Cro-Magnons "were more like present-day Australians or Africans", and Brace et al. (2005) who argue against continuity between Upper Paleolithic and later Europeans.

Prehistoric people were still evolving from a more generalized, archaic human morphology, so there's no reason to expect that they be exactly the same as their modern descendants. It's clear enough from the passage following the above quote that Stringer and McKie are not implying Negroid affinities:

It is a confused picture and suggests that racial differences were still developing relatively recently, and should be viewed as a very new part of the human condition. It is an important point, for it shows that humanity's modern African origin does not imply derivation from people like current Africans, because these populations must have also changed through the impact of evolution over the past 100,000 years.

And despite what Brace et al. conclude, their data still groups Cro-Magnon and Upper Paleolithic Europeans (blue) much closer to later and modern Western Eurasians than to Sub-Saharan Africans (red), while they acknowledge that prehistoric populations are distinguished by being "noticeably more robust than more recent human groups":


This robustness that links all prehistoric humans is likely what accounts for most misclassifications and the opinion that there lacks continuity with modern populations. But another factor is the condition of the skulls being analyzed. Jantz and Owsley (2003) found that poorly preserved, highly incomplete Upper Paleolithic crania are often misclassified as African, while those that have a large number of measurements show the expected European affinities:

Some of the discordance Van Vark et al. see between genetic and morphometric results may be attributable to their methodological choices. It is clear that the affiliation expressed by a given skull is not independent of the number of measurements taken from it. From their Table 3, it is evident that those skulls expressing Norse affinity are the most complete and have the highest number of measurements ( = 50.8), while those expressing affinity to African populations (Bushman or Zulu) are the most incomplete, averaging just 16.8 measurements per skull. Use of highly incomplete or reconstructed crania may not yield a good estimate of their morphometric affinities. When one considers only those crania with 40 or more measurements, a majority express European affinity.

To examine this idea further, we use the eight Upper Paleolithic crania available from the test series of Howells (1995), all of which are complete. Our analysis of these eight, based on 55 measurements, is presented in Table 1. Using raw measurements, 6 of 8 express an affinity to Norse, and with the shape variables of Darroch and Mosimann (1985), 5 of 8 express a similarity to Norse. Using shape variables reduces the Mahalanobis distance, substantially in some cases. Typicality probabilities, particularly for the shape variables, show the crania to be fairly typical of recent populations. The results presented in Table 1 are consistent with the idea that Upper Paleolithic crania are, for the most part, larger and more generalized versions of recent Europeans. Howells (1995) reached a similar conclusion with respect to European Mesolithic crania.

That seems to be the general consensus, and Howells (1997) just comes right out and says it without mincing any words:

If Upper Paleolithic people were "European" from about 35,000 B.P., then such population distinctions are at least that old. And the Cro-Magnons were already racially European, i.e., Caucasoid. This has always been accepted because of the general appearance of the skulls: straight faces, narrow noses, and so forth. It is also possible to test this arithmetically. [...] Except for Predmosti 4, which is distant from every present and past population, all of these skulls show themselves to be closer to "Europeans" than to other peoples — Mladec and Abri Pataud comfortably so, the other two much more remotely.

12 comments

Anonymous said...

How does one tell the difference between North Eastern Africans and Europeans based on just bones? And I thought modern Europeans quite recently migrated into Europe from Asia.

carriall said...

I red Brace's work and I do not get to get very well Brace's position regarding European UPs, does he assert that they were racially sub-Saharian or that they rather were still racially indefferenciated Homo Sapines?

Ann said...

Phenotype Changes for the Cro-Magnon - 10,000 - 6,000 YBP!

"Mitochondrial DNA analysis place the early European population as sister group to the Asian ("Mongol") groups, dating the divergence to some 50 000 years ago.[25] While the skin and hair colour of the Cro-Magnons can at best be guessed at, light skin is known to have evolved independently in both the Asian and European lines,[26] and may have only appeared in the European line as recently as 6000 years ago[27] suggesting Cro-Magnons could have been medium brown to tan-skinned.[28] A small ivory bust of a man found at Dolní Věstonice and dated to 26 000 years indicate the Cro-Magnons had straight hair, though the somewhat later Venus of Brassempouy may show curly hair, or possibly braids."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cro-Magnon

Compare Andaman who remain dark-complexed showing no phenotype change from the OoA event.

Crimson Guard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crimson Guard said...

My fault, I hit delete.

* I was postulating before about this plot. Wouldnt the groups furthest away from "Cromagnon" be the more ancient since we had longer time to evolve? While those closer to UP be more primitive and not as evolved. Congoids likely came from another Homo Sapien ancestor or a hybrid ween a Proto- Europoid UP and a non Proto-Europid UP found somewhere in Africa.

Anonymous said...

Classical his-story is manifestly false. Even the current European monarch descended from Black ancestry, including King James I,who mother was BLACK Queen Mary Stewart. White is a new race called albino/lepers (biblical lepers) who are a genetic mutation of the normal black gene called albinism, which causes infertility, hypersensitivity to UV rays,weakened immune,birth defects and other genetic disorders. Blacks were the first people to inhabit and populate the earth. We have been lied to by the British Empire/Holy Roman Empire who wish to control the world--New World Order, by dividing people and concealing black legacy and white origin.

Peter G. B. Dagampat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Wow. I think science like religion will never agree on one theory because we just don't know. It is possible for the Caucasian race to come from a negro race, but that doesn't mean that the cro-magnons were white or black or asian. Maybe the first humans, who were probably browned skinned with the exact amount of recessive and dominate genes, were all races in one. If the the white race came from a black race, then so what. Who really cares? And that guy was right. A lot of scientific information has been altered and hidden.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, second post above this one, is a Black-Nazi moron with delusions of Nubian grandeur. I'm sick & tired of reading the Afrocentric ignorance posted all over the internet. Youtube is full of these fraudulent videos claiming ancient black glorious original man garbage. They routinely get debunked and then turn their heads away from the facts like children. This Afrobot line of thinking seems to be spreading all over the planet wherever these half-wits relocate in Western civilized nations.

shenandoah said...

I'm Cherokee matrilineally with a rare mtDNA that might be any one of the following (based on HVR1 markers alone): W1e, X, X1'2'3, x1'3, H1, H1q, or H1g...

But the 'experts' and others who don't know us personally (at DNA testing companies and elsewhere) choose not to believe us. They have the nerve to suggest that my family and I are lying about it, or are too stupid or crazy to know what we're talking about. They presume to believe they know more about me and my family history than we do - based solely on incomplete 'science'.

The problem is both politics and ignorance, on the part of people with narrow notions about what a true Native American really is. We dpn't all fit into the same neatly labelled box. Some of us have been here much longer than some others, for just one of the many differences between either tribes or individual families.

Another thing I notice, is that most of us seem perfectly OK with the idea that mtDNA "Eve" was "Black" (based solely on ~modern Africa's phenomes); but that some supposedly "racially tolerant" people get very upset and often angry when you suggest the truth: that she was probably Caucasoid (ie Cro-Magnon), not Negroid.

Also, too many people confuse the terms, "Caucasoid" and "White". "White" is not Caucasoid, "White" is Aryan / Indo-European. I doubt that the Caucasoid Cro-Magnon much resembles the Neanderthal-hybrid Aryan.

Arya Vajra said...

You have to love those anonymous spews.

Grognard said...

"How does one tell the difference between North Eastern Africans and Europeans based on just bones? And I thought modern Europeans quite recently migrated into Europe from Asia."

Perikymata in the teeth is the most constant fossil remain that exists and a good indicator of genetic identity. The heavy striation of the neanderthal only slowly reduced in europe implies slow interbreeding with everyone.

The indo europeans did come out of asia as well, but since then got largely genetically washed away by the celts.

The part about an out of africa giant migration doesn't have any support at all except Y dna and mitochondrial "molecular clock" nonsense that anyone with basic math skills should reject. Definitely no fossil support.

The only thing I can think of is it's kind of PC thing to show we are all africans. But black africans didn't expand to fill africa until 1800. Having everyone come from the same stock very recently then diverge into many looks and across the whole globe just isn't possible.

Since the dental differences have persisted between africa, west europe and asia for over a million years, it can't be true; and simply finding so much neanderthal DNA should be enough to show it false anyway.

Plus there is NO cro magnon. ALL fossils at the cro magnon site have been proven fakes by carbon dating. No one in europe looked like a "modern" human 50k years ago. All the oldest cave art is neanderthal, and the culture spreads out from there, not the other way around.