Fragments of a skull from about 100,000 years ago show that inbreeding may have been a normal activity among our ancestors.
The remains have been unearthed in Xujiayao, a territory located in the Nihewan Basin in northern China.
The person to whom the skull belonged, baptized with the name Xujiayao 11, seems to have had a strange congenital deformity that could be produced by the practice of inbreeding. Previously, other fragments that showed this type of abnormality had already been found, scientists have seen these anomalies in fossils since the time of the first Homo erectus until the end of the Stone Age.
According to Erik Trinkhaus, study leader and anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis, “these populations were probably quite isolated and small and therefore inbreeding was frequently practiced”.
The irregularity of the skull consists of specific genetic mutations that hinder bone formation by paralyzing the closure of small holes located in the back of the prenatal cranial box, a process that is normally completed during the first five months of fetal development.
I was born in Madrid on August 27, 1988 and since then I started a work of which there is no example. Fascinated by both numbers and letters and a lover of the unknown, that is why I am a future graduate in Economics and Journalism, interested in understanding life and the forces that have shaped it. Everything is easier, more useful and more exciting if, with a look at our past, we can improve our future and for that… History.