Mailbag: Haplogroups of Peruvian mummies

Now that we have looked at the DNA of the Tarim Basin mummies, when is somebody going to do the same for the mummies found at Paracasa, Peru? I know that anyone who is interested in them is considered a crank or a racist, but dammit--they do look very Caucasian. The hair is not just just light colored, but very fine and wavy in texture. The funerary masks sometimes have blue-colored stones embedded in them to represent the eyes. If they do turn out to be Caucasian, it could be the biggest story in anthropology in a century. They could be a remnant population of our paleolithic ancestors if the Folsom/Solutrean hypothesis is true. Or if they are more recent arrivals, they could show some affinities for some still extant population. Greeks, Romans, wandering Irishmen? Who knows? I don't have any axe to grind in this, I just want to know where such unusual looking people came from.

There has been some ancient DNA work on ancient Paracas culture mummies, Dienekes wrote about this a little bit last year:

http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2009/07/mtdna-from-pre-columbian-peru.html

..and I found a few more references. There are none but the usual South American mtDNA haplogroups, but that leaves quite a bit of uncertainty about the relationships of the ancient and living populations, which apparently differ substantially in frequency. The same is true in Europe between Neolithic and recent samples. Whole-genome sequencing will be very interesting, not least because the South Americans should have different recent selection histories compared to Old World populations.