Experts from the British natural history Museum and University College London, studied the genome of the oldest human skeleton ever found in modern Britain. As it turned out, the man who lived over nine thousand years ago, had dark skin, curly hair and blue eyes. Previously, Cheddar man, as it is called by scientists, imagined quite differently.
Cheddar man, according to scientists, has died a violent death at the age of 20 to 30 years, as evidenced by his fractured skull. The skeleton has been preserved almost completely and in 1903 was discovered in Cheddar gorge in the South-East of England, in whose honor the ancient inhabitants of the British Isles got its nickname. The remains were placed in the natural history Museum in London, where it was stored since then. More than a hundred years attempts were made to restore the exterior Cheddar man, however, the study of bones in the past has allowed scientists to answer the question, what color was his skin or the eyes, so often it is portrayed as the owner of a typical “European” appearance. In favor of this assumption, spoke and existed until recently believed that the skin settled in Europe, people quickly became pale, allowing her to pass ultraviolet radiation. Because of this people living in less Sunny compared to the Africa continent could avoid the lack of vitamin D. Since Cheddar man lived thousands of years after the colonization of Europe, the assumption of his light skin seemed quite logical.
In the new study experts have extracted DNA from ancient human bone and analyzed the samples from the point of view of currently available knowledge about the genes. As it turned out, the skin and his hair was dark and his eyes bright. In addition, scientists have noticed that, unlike modern humans, Cheddar man did not possess the gene, allowing the body to digest milk in adulthood.
Experts note that the obtained data allow to judge not only on the exterior of the investigated person, but looked like his contemporaries. Apparently, they were all dark-skinned, and the most common colors eyes were blue and green. The study authors note that this kind of discovery teaches us not to succumb to two illusions, which sometimes can be affected by even scientists — that the ancient inhabitants of any locality had to remind modern inhabitants and that certain features of the appearance (e.g., color of skin and eyes) have always existed primarily in the same “combination” that are most common today.
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