Cheddar Man’s 10,000-year-old skeleton was discovered near the village of Cheddar in Somerset, England, in 1903. Researchers now say he was part of a group of hunter-gatherer immigrants from continental Europe who’d settled in Britain shortly after the last ice age. Today’s white Britons are descendants of that immigrant population — one that, until recently, had been assumed to be fair-skinned.
But, by sequencing Cheddar Man’s entire genome and reconstructing his face using cutting-edge techniques, scientists at the Natural History Museum and University College London have proved the assumption wrong.
“Cheddar Man had blue eyes, dark colored curly hair and ‘dark to black’ skin pigmentation. Previously, many had assumed that he had reduced skin pigmentation,” the researchers said in a news release Wednesday.
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