Published: Thu, February 08, 2018
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

DNA reveals early Briton has dark skin, blue eyes!

DNA reveals early Briton has dark skin, blue eyes!

Although initially thought to be pale-skinned, Cheddar Man's DNA suggests he would have had dark skin, blue eyes, and dark curly hair.

"Many are surprised by the current appearance of Cheddar Man, who lived 10,000 years ago in our lands, he was very dark and with very blue eyes!".

In 1996, Bryan Sykes - Emeritus Professor of Human Genetics at Oxford University analyzed DNA extracted from Cheddar Man's molars; he also analyzed a 12,000-year-old tooth found in the same cave as Cheddar Man. The work was performed by a team of geneticists and research scientists with the University College London and Natural History Museum Human Evolution.

The DNA was unusually well-preserved, enabling the scientists to sequence Cheddar Man's genome for the first time and to analyse it to establish aspects of his appearance.

It took close to three months to build the model, with its makers using a high-tech scanner which had been designed for the International Space Station. We now know so much more about this very special individual who lived in Cheddar Gorge 10,000 years ago.

It's thought that ancient populations in Europe developed lighter skin over time because it absorbs more sunlight, which is needed to produce vitamin D.

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Selina Brace, a researcher of ancient DNA at the museum, said the cave environment Cheddar Man was found in helped preserve his remains.

"For me, it's not just the skin colour that's interesting, it's that combination of features that make him look not like anyone that you'd see today", said Ian Barnes, research leader at the Natural History Museum.

Three hundred generations later, around 10 percent of indigenous British ancestry can be linked to Cheddar Man's people, scientists say.

Britain's Channel 4 will air a documentary on how the analysis was completed, called First Brit: Secrets of the 10,000 Year Old Man, on February 18. He belonged to a group of hunters-gatherers coming from the Middle East and migrating to Northern Europe at the end of the last Ice Age.

Subscribe and follow up on all round entertainment on our YouTube Channel. "But when we looked again, it appeared likely that the damage occurred since being dug up", Booth explained.

Alfons Kennis, who made the bust with his brother Adrie, said the DNA findings were "revolutionary". It is a world-leading science research centre, and through its unique collection and unrivalled expertise it is tackling issues such as food security, eradicating diseases and managing resource scarcity. It is studying the diversity of life and the delicate balance of ecosystems to ensure the survival of our planet.

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