Tag: Genetic Test

The Earliest Britains Were Black Skinned DNA Study Reveals

The Earliest Britains Were Black Skinned DNA Study Reveals

Scientists at the Natural History Museum have used pioneering genetic sequencing and facial reconstruction techniques to prove that the first hunter-gatherers successfully to inhabit Britain were far darker in complexion than previously thought.

The earliest Britain’s were dark skinned with black curly hair and possibly blue eyes, new analysis of a 10,000 year old Somerset skeleton has revealed. 
“Cheddar Man,” was originally assumed to be light-skinned, but new technology has enabled better DNA testing, which has revealed a different story. 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 ever found in the UK and one of the museums most treasured specimens.  

After cross-referencing genetic sequences with modern inhabitants of the same area, researchers at the National History Museum have discovered that Cheddar Man would have had a strikingly dark complexion.

From an evolutionary perspective, all humans descend from the Paleolithic Africans, from whom Cheddar Man would have inherited his appearance. This discovery has surprised many by implying that the first British inhabitants were brown-skinned and not fair. But far more interesting is that contemporary racial labels are a relatively recent idea in human history; in fact, our common African ancestors mean that race is not a biological reality but a socio-cultural construction.


One contributor to the project, Dr. Yoan Dieckmann said: “The historical perspective that you get just tells you that things change, things are in flux, and what may seem as a cemented truth that people who feel British have white skin, through time is not at all something that is an immutable truth.”

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