Tests Suggest 10000-Year-Old Brit Had Dark Skin, Blue Eyes

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The remains have been studied for decades but it was only after genetic sequencing tools and techniques had matured that the ancient Briton's genome could be analyzed. The Natural History Museum reports that he was discovered back in 1903 during improvements to draining for the popular tourist attraction, Gough's Cave.

Some of the first modern settlers of Britain from 10,000 years ago had dark skin and curly hair, according to new analysis of a historic skeleton. The testing was specific to DNA markers of skin color, hair color and texture, and eye color. "It is very exciting to think that we will be able to share these results and enable the rest of the United Kingdom to see what the first 'Brit" really looked like'.

Prof Ian Barnes said: "The Cheddar Man is one of the oldest human specimens we have worked with, and yet the preservation of DNA has been good enough to recover huge amounts of information about his appearance and ancestry".

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Archaeologists discovered the centuries-old fossil, known as Cheddar Man, more than 100 years ago in Gough's Cave in Somerset, U.K., The Guardian reported. All those individuals lived in the Mesolithic Period, also known as the Middle Stone Age Period.

Leon Troake, operations manager at Cheddar Gorge & Caves, said: "The latest findings are fascinating". Cheddar Man had ancestral versions of genes found in modern European populations. These people, who had a cereal-based diet, were probably deficient in Vitamin D and had to compensate with light skin to absorb this essential nutrient.

Then, a pair of Dutch artists who are experts in palaeontological model-making, Mr Alfons Kennis and his brother, Mr Adrie Kennis, used a high-tech scanner to make a three-dimensional model of Cheddar Man's head.

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The discovery shows that the genes for lighter skin became widespread in European populations far later than originally thought - and that skin colour was not always a proxy for geographic origin in the way it is often seen to be today.

That migration was followed by others, including Vikings, Gauls, Romans and Normans, many of whom had fair skin and hair, leaving about 10% of current white Britons with DNA matches to Cheddar Man and his contemporaries. Last night scientists said they show that commonly used racial categories are historically only "recent constructions".

The research will be explored in a television documentary on Britain's Channel 4 on February 18. The avowed white nationalist told Younge that due to his race "you'll never be an Englishman", on a Channel 4 documentary on Whiteness.

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"To go beyond what the bones tell us and get a scientifically-based picture of what he actually looked like is a remarkable (and from the results quite surprising) achievement", Professor Stringer added.