BEAN Research Published in PNAS
A study combining ancient DNA analysis and computer simulations conducted by members of the BEAN ITN has uncovered evidence for strong positive selection on genetic variants associated with lighter skin, hair, and eye color in prehistoric Europeans. This selection was still operative relatively recently in human prehistory - within the last 5,000 years - and is one of the factors responsible for the wide variation in pigmentation observed in modern Europeans.
Direct evidence for positive selection of skin, hair, and eye pigmentation in Europeans during the last 5,000 y
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
10 March 2014
The short film at this link describes how the Palaeogenetics Group at JGU Mainz analyses ancient DNA samples.