The full story is here on the National Geographic site, along with the artist's impression you see at left of a possible blue-eyed cave boy.
In studying the DNA of a skeleton found in a cave in northern Spain, researchers found that our ideas of what colours European humans commonly carry are pretty muddled.
In our minds we have blue-eyed, pale-skinned blondes as the inheritors of genes from Scandinavia and northern Europe, with Mediterranean people being pretty much of the brown-eyes-and-dark-hair persuasion.
It's a wrong impression, it seems, as the new work on genetics reveals blue-eyed hunter gatherers with dark skin were common all over Europe way back seven millennia ago.
You might think well, so what? But attitudes to eye colour are intriguing.
The term 'blue-eyed boy', meaning a precious person who can do no wrong, has its own odd history. Using it, as we do today, to mock someone who is seen as a pampered favourite, reveals an attitude that could have its roots in ancient Rome.
Michele Pastouraux's fascinating book, Blue: the History of a Colour, tells how blue eyes were considered almost a deformity in Rome or at the very least a sign of bad character. "In women it indicated loose morals," he wrote. "In men it was seen as an effeminate, barbarian or laughable trait." Blue eyes were associated with those bad-boy Celts from the north who were intent on destroying the Roman Empire. Being a blue-eyed worker on the Appian Way then must have sucked.
Yet today, of course, blue-eyed beings are much admired whether they're movie stars like Cate Blanchett or the giggling infants in the baby-care ads.
No wonder James Cameron went one step further and chose blue for the entire bodies of his gentle, peaceful race of forest dwellers in his 2009 blockbuster, Avatar. With three Avatar sequels yet to come, we'll be seeing plenty more blue.