DNA reveals early Briton has dark skin, blue eyes!
DNA reveals early Briton has dark skin, blue eyes!
SHOCK FIND: Oldest Brit reconstructed to show what we looked like 10000 years ago
08 February, 2018, 00:47
Scientists from Britain'sNatural History Museum and University College London reported the finding Wednesday after studying the remains of an individual known as "Cheddar Man". "We used to use leg bones or teeth as the thick bones and enamel keep DNA intact, but in the last two years we've shifted to using the petrous, or inner ear bone, which is the densest bone in the human body".
What does Cheddar Man look like?
"It's kind of surprising, because you would have thought [light skin] would have come more quickly as people are moving into these different climates", said Dr Brace.
The groundbreaking discovery was made in a "stroke of luck" after archaeologists found scraps of DNA in the ear of the Mesolithic "Cheddar Man", the oldest complete skeleton found in the United Kingdom and one of the museum's most treasured specimens. As such, the new research suggests that light skin arrived far later in Europe than previously believed.
"Cheddar Man's genetic profile places him with several other Mesolithic-era Europeans from Spain, Hungary and Luxembourg whose DNA has already been analyzed". Around ten percent of people with white British ancestry are descended from this group of first settlers, and previous reconstructions of Cheddar Man have depicted him with pale skin and light hair.
The history of 'Cheddar Man'A human male fossil skeleton, unearthed in 1903 in Gough's Cave at Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, Cheddar Man has been the topic of constant mystery and intrigue.
Results show that Cheddar Man originally came from the Middle East.
As part of a project commissioned by Britain's Channel 4 television station for a documentary, experts from the Natural History Museum's ancient-DNA lab drilled a tiny hole into the skull in order to extract genetic information.
In addition to sequencing Cheddar Man's genome, researchers used advanced imaging to scan his skull and reconstructed a 3D model of his facial structure.
Using DNA examination and facial reconstruction, scientists have revealed the face of the first modern Briton, who lived around 300 generations ago. It was ascertained that Cheddar Man belonged to Haplogroup U5. Human beings had lived on the island off and on for thousands of years before his time, but they disappeared during periodic ice ages.
The "groundbreaking discovery was made in a "stroke of luck", when archaeologists found scraps of DNA in Cheddar Man's inner ear bone, The Daily Telegraph reports. Professor Chris Stringer, Research Leader in Human Origins at the Natural History Museum said in a statement. He has been involved in studying material from the site ever since.
He said: "I first studied the Cheddar Man more than 40 years ago but could never have believed we would one day have his whole genome - the oldest British one to date".
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