In my current novel (Working Title: HORSES OF THE WEST SUN) I write about the ancient peoples from whom so many Europeans descend. In the novel, the two groups I write about are the Volk, who have blue eyes, and the River People, who are brown-eyed. If you have European heritage, likely you have genes from one or both of these two major populations. In other words, you are a descendant of the people I’m writing about.
Recent studies at the University of Copenhagen lend serious credence to the theory that sometime between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago in the Black Sea area, one male baby was born with blue eyes. For those of you who have a scientific bent, that eye color is the result of a mutation in the HERC2 gene that effects the OCA2 (oculocutaneous albinism II) gene, which dampers the production of melanin in the iris. Participants in that University of Copenhagen study, 155 people with blue eyes from areas that ranged from Turkey to Denmark, all carried the same genetic mutation in the chromosomes that affect the color of the eyes.
My mother had dark brown eyes, and my father has blue eyes. I’m a combination of the two. Much like the photo above, my eyes are green at the edges but amber in the center. Despite not being blue-eyed, I’m probably a descendant of this OCA2 mutated individual. Anyone with blue eyes or with an ancestor who had blue eyes is probably also a descendant of this one man.
Tell me about your eyes. What color are they?
(Eye photo, public domain.)