DNA shows first modern Briton had dark skin, blue eyes

February 7, 2018
A reconstruction model from the skull of 'Cheddar Man' after DNA analysis of the 10,000-year-old skeleton shows early Britons had dark skin and blue eyes

The first modern Briton had dark skin and blue eyes, London scientists said on Wednesday, following groundbreaking DNA analysis of the remains of a man who lived 10,000 years ago.

Known as "Cheddar Man" after the area in southwest England where his skeleton was discovered in a in 1903, the ancient man has been brought to life through the first ever full DNA analysis of his remains.

In a joint project between Britain's Natural History Museum and University College London, scientists drilled a 2mm hole into the skull and extracted bone powder for analysis.

Their findings transformed the way they had previously seen Cheddar Man, who had been portrayed as having brown eyes and light skin in an earlier model.

"It is very surprising that a Brit 10,000 years ago could have that combination of very but really dark skin," said the museum's Chris Stringer, who for the past decade has analysed the bones of people found in the cave.

The findings suggest that lighter pigmentation being a feature of populations of northern Europe is more recent than previously thought.

Cheddar Man's tribe migrated to Britain at the end of the last Ice Age and his DNA has been linked to individuals discovered in modern-day Spain, Hungary and Luxembourg.

Model makers Adrie (L) and Alfons Kennis created the bust of 'Cheddar Man' using a high-tech scanner which had been designed for the International Space Station

Selina Brace, a researcher of ancient DNA at the museum, said the cave environment Cheddar Man was found in helped preserve his remains.

"In the cave you have a really nice, cool, dry, constant environment, and that basically prevents the DNA from breaking down," she said.

A bust of Cheddar Man, complete with shoulder-length dark hair and short facial hair, was created using 3D printing.

It took close to three months to build the model, with its makers using a high-tech scanner which had been designed for the International Space Station.

Alfons Kennis, who made the bust with his brother Adrie, said the DNA findings were "revolutionary".

"It's a story all about migrations throughout history," he told Channel 4 in a documentary to be aired on February 18.

"It maybe gets rid of the idea that you have to look a certain way to be from somewhere. We are all immigrants," he added.

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betterexists
1 / 5 (4) Feb 07, 2018
Focusing on 10 Millennia Ago DNA and Not interested in working with today's DNA ?
Why not take DNA of an Organism, split it into 1000 to 10000 genes and introduce each of them into embryos of many huge organisms available (of course, not into humans) AND Study the effects of such a study !
Gigel
2 / 5 (1) Feb 07, 2018
Focusing on 10 Millennia Ago DNA and Not interested in working with today's DNA ?
Why not take DNA of an Organism, split it into 1000 to 10000 genes and introduce each of them into embryos of many huge organisms available (of course, not into humans) AND Study the effects of such a study !

I don't think you understand the moral implications of such an action. Firstly, such a study is not worth the expense without a clear purpose. Secondly, what if one of those modified organisms escapes, then the foreign gene is transmitted to the whole species and it turns out to be a catastrophic gene, leading to the extinction of that species? That kind of risk always exists with GMOs and nobody knows exactly what genetic modifications mean for the future of species.
a_whitefree_europe
1.3 / 5 (14) Feb 07, 2018
Yet more irrefutable proof that Europe belongs to and was originally the homeland of "non-'whites'". The incoming settlers are doing the right thing by slowly assimilating and displacing the 'white' immigrants illegally squatting there today.
Munix
2.5 / 5 (8) Feb 07, 2018
F@CK you a_whitefree_europe

Show me a whitefree that comes even close to Mozart, Newton, Galileo, Planck and Einstein.
mackita
1 / 5 (2) Feb 07, 2018
Yet more irrefutable proof that Europe belongs to and was originally the homeland of "non-'whites'". The incoming settlers are doing the right thing by slowly assimilating and displacing the 'white' immigrants illegally squatting there today
Early Humans were White According to Latest Fossils, Science has debunked that early humans came from Africa Scientists Discover DNA Proving Original Native Americans were White, etc But I can see somewhat suspicious, that these studies emerged, once it turned out, which mess the immigrants are capable of in Europe..
pete1513
4.8 / 5 (6) Feb 07, 2018
a_whitefree_europe you've gotta work on being less of a racist creep my dude...and when the gene markers for black skin are traced back to 1.2 million years ago that just means the precursor to modern homo sapiens had ancestors that were white (if you shave a chimp it'll have pale skin, for example)...but that doesn't mean anything about white people or black/brown people. It's just idiotic to go that route, and you're 1/5 rating is highly deserved #TakeASeat
betterexists
1 / 5 (3) Feb 07, 2018
[Secondly, what if one of those modified organisms escapes, then the foreign gene is transmitted to the whole species and it turns out to be a catastrophic gene, leading to the extinction of that species?
LABORATORIES are there to prevent escaping of species under research; If an useless species becomes extinct....WHO CARES?
There are Trillions and Trillions of SPECIES Available. BEFORE YOU SAY THAT, ASK/TRY/ATTEMPT TO STOP WARS...Which KILL FELLOW HUMANS !
rrwillsj
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 07, 2018
Well, I see a couple of good reasons in the above commentaries for favoring war. Though I most sincerely deny that either whitefree or betterexists deserve to be classified as MY felllow humans!
Thorium Boy
1.4 / 5 (10) Feb 08, 2018
I like it when scientists with political or racial agendas are allowed to contaminate the work.
jonesdave
5 / 5 (9) Feb 08, 2018
I like it when scientists with political or racial agendas are allowed to contaminate the work.


Nope. Scientists just look at the evidence, and publish it. This means that any other scientist is able to assess their work, and question it if necessary. I suspect the only people with racist or political agendas are scientifically illiterate trolls on comments sections such as this.
jonesdave
5 / 5 (4) Feb 08, 2018
By the way, this isn't the first indication of dark pigmentation in mesolithic Europe:

https://www.herit...d/101822
unrealone1
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 08, 2018
A Black person would not survive in the UK with much lower levels of sun light.
Rickets would development because of the lack of VITAMIN D.
If this skeleton is legit the lack of sunlight would cause Rickets,it's that simple.

Why not show the skull and make comparisons that way?
The nose is not of a Black person?
jonesdave
5 / 5 (4) Feb 08, 2018
A Black person would not survive in the UK with much lower levels of sun light.
Rickets would development because of the lack of VITAMIN D.
If this skeleton is legit the lack of sunlight would cause Rickets,it's that simple.

Why not show the skull and make comparisons that way?
The nose is not of a Black person?


Scientists believe that populations living in Europe became lighter-skinned over time because pale skin absorbs more sunlight, which is required to produce enough vitamin D. The latest findings suggest pale skin may have emerged later, possibly when the advent of farming meant people were obtaining less vitamin D though dietary sources like oily fish.


https://www.thegu...e_btn_tw
434a
4.5 / 5 (8) Feb 08, 2018
A Black person would not survive in the UK with much lower levels of sun light.
Rickets would development because of the lack of VITAMIN D.
If this skeleton is legit the lack of sunlight would cause Rickets,it's that simple.


Did you really just write that, WTAF

https://www.ons.g...15-06-18

Amongst the 56 million residents in England and Wales, 86% were White, 8% were Asian/Asian British and 3% were Black/African/Caribbean/Black British.


3% of 56 Million is 1.68 Million.
rrwillsj
3 / 5 (2) Feb 08, 2018
TB, you certainly have made your racist ideological poltroonery putridly clear!

As have I....

And many of the other commentators posting to this site.

Now TB, show how the evidence was manipulated to produce results you do not approve of.

And I am curious. If the evidence supports the conclusions advanced by this research team? Do you have the fortitude of character to admit you were in error on this single project?
Shakescene21
5 / 5 (3) Feb 08, 2018
@jonesdave: Even though dark skin would have been a disadvantage in England because it interferred with the body's ability to form Vitamin D, this could have been offset by Vitamin D in the diet if Cheddar Man ate large amounts of seafoods rich in Vitamin D. Note that Cheddar, England is just a few miles from the sea.

Moving inland, it would have become much harder for a dark-skinned forager to get enough Vitamin D, although some freshwater fish and bird eggs would help. Over time there would have natural selection favoring the lighter-skinned members of the group, as they had more adequate Vitamin D levels. This process would have been accelerated by interbreeding with other tribal groups. After thousands of years in sun-starved England, the descendants of the dark-skinned Cheddar Man would have been lighter-skinned Britons.

In the last century, dark-skinned immigrants to England would not have had this disadvantage, because Vitamin D is added to milk and other foods.
betterexists
1 / 5 (4) Feb 08, 2018
WHY NOT TRANSFER These Walking FISH Genes To Other FISH? Atleast 1 species may take it !
We see dumb research from time to time - you know who does such stupid research ; Why NOT This Great One ? If something useful happens, Genetics will Soar !
https://www.youtu...Rc5DrOzw
Nonlin_org
1 / 5 (5) Feb 08, 2018
Looks like the guy on the right more than the one on the left. Now, which one of those is the mother?
a_whitefree_europe
1 / 5 (7) Feb 08, 2018
btw for anyone who considers my posts 'offensive' you should know that it wasn't me who came up with the general idea behind it. The 'methods and techniques' I'm applying to 'whites' were originally thought up by 'whites' themselves and have been used against the various indigenous peoples of the world for decades now. Here are some examples:

http://nationalpo...m-europe

https://www.storm...t167376/

There are plenty more examples of this but notice the importance placed on being "the first" people to arrive in a certain part of the world and how it apparently designates who the indigenous people are and who gets to claim ownership of the land? Well, ironically, as it turns out the present day "Europeans" have absolutely ZERO relation to the first people to arrive in Europe.
jonesdave
5 / 5 (7) Feb 08, 2018
Well, ironically, as it turns out the present day "Europeans" have absolutely ZERO relation to the first people to arrive in Europe


I'm afraid that is where you have misunderstood the research. It isn't saying that these people aren't related to modern Britons - they are! About 10% of Britons share his DNA. And they are now white. The ancestors of the (white) Celts who arrived later would also have had black ancestors. As too the Romans, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Vikings, Normans etc.
This ancient Briton may have been dark skinned, but he is more closely related to modern Britons than he is to Africans.

Anonym690823
1 / 5 (1) Feb 08, 2018
Hang on a minute, didn't the 9000 y/o person in Greece look much more light skinned. An article about her was published online on this site in, I could find a link to it when reading the dark skinned article.

I have similar genetics from my maternal side (from Ireland), my grandmother was dark skinned and her ancestors are genetically traced back to Western Asia. I reckon if she had been exposed to the sun continously she would have had a similar skin tone to the dark skinned Cheddar Man. My skin would turn chestnut brown if continously exposed to the sun also, so what!

My point being that an awful lot is being made out of the dark skin tone angle with full hearted and obvious coupling to pro unlimited/unregulated immigration arguments. It seems science has taken second fiddle to spin.
jonesdave
5 / 5 (5) Feb 08, 2018
@Anonym690823,
I don't think the Greek girl had her DNA tested. There was a mesolithiic man from Spain whose DNA showed he also had blue eyes and dark skin:
https://www.herit...d/101822

The science is just fine.

Shakescene21
5 / 5 (5) Feb 08, 2018
As jonesdave has pointed out, DNA testing of a 7,000 year old skeleton found in Spain showed that he also was dark-skinned with blue eyes. But when the researchers compared his DNA with other populations they discovered that overall he most closely matched the modern population of Sweden and Finland.

So how could a dark-skinned blue-eyed hunter-gatherer be closely related to Swedes, who have some of the palest skin in the world? The best explanation is that this population of dark-skinned hunter gatherers evolved lighter skin to adapt to the weak sunlight of Northern Europe.

Anonym690823
not rated yet Feb 09, 2018
I would like to know how the skin colour is determined accuratly.

There are blue eyed people in Asia and North Africa who have a darker skin tone than blue eyed Europeans.

There are some very dark skinned blue eyed European people who by choice expose themselves to the sun, for example Southern French "beach bum" or surfer types. The skin is a very dark shade of brown.

Some people of recent Western Asiatic and African hertage have very light skin, especially if not exposed to the sun.

From the DNA testing, can it be known what the actual skin tone of the person was (what the person actually looked like) or what the skin tone could look with maximum exposure to the elements?

SwamiOnTheMountain
1 / 5 (1) Feb 09, 2018
Wth? Cheddar man?
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 09, 2018
I would like to know how the skin colour is determined accuratly.
[sic]
@Anonym690823
Start here:

At this time, more than 125 distinct genes are known that regulate pigmentation either directly or indirectly
- Bennett, D. C., and Lamoreux, M. L. (2003) Pigment Cell Res. 16, 333–344

More than 150 genes have been identified that affect skin color either directly or indirectly...
-Physiological factors that regulate skin pigmentation, Yamaguchi, Hearing - Biofactors. 2009 Mar–Apr; 35(2): 193–199.

The 8818G allele of the agouti signaling protein (ASIP) gene is ancestral and is associated with darker skin color in African Americans
- Bonilla, McDonald et al., Hum Genet (2005) 116: 402–406

there are considerable results that can be searched in scholar that are related to DNA and skin pigmentation, so there is a lot of data out there

Anonym690823
not rated yet Feb 09, 2018
Thank you.

So, if twins with blue eyes are born in Southern France but seperated at birth, one stays on the beach in France playing volleyball and other spends the rest of his/her life in a valley in North Wales, or in a forest in Scotland - when they both pass away, will the DNA information determining which skin tone (assuming they had similar nutritional intakes) they might have had be the same, or different? They would look very different.
Captain Stumpy
3 / 5 (4) Feb 09, 2018
@Anonym690823
Thank you.
you're welcome
when they both pass away, will the DNA information determining which skin tone (assuming they had similar nutritional intakes) they might have had be the same, or different?
first off, it depends on the twin type: paternal or maternal (AKA - fraternal and identical)
https://www.refer...d91a00d7

in "identical" twins the DNA will be the same
Physical factors (diet, sunlight, exposures, damage) can alter appearance, so the DNA will give a range of potential much like saying "red" can mean various hues of the colour

once you introduce secondary DNA to the mix (propagation of the species) then you introduce changes that can potentially drastically alter the DNA

unrealone1
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 09, 2018
If DNA test fail on living people how are they 100% on 10,000 year old DNA?
Investigation Puts Ancestry DNA Kits To The Test Among Sets Of Triplets
https://www.youtu...WZZ7uPuE

DNA tests fail on identical Triplets?
mackita
1 / 5 (5) Feb 10, 2018
@unrealone1 Easy man, nobody actually believes here that first Britons were black with blue eyes. This trait is extremely rare in population and it's de facto manifestation of genetic disease. The reliability of forensic science is the matter of independent discussion.
Claudius
not rated yet Feb 10, 2018
If you look closely, you can see a certain resemblance to the Queen.
mackita
1 / 5 (1) Feb 11, 2018
savvys84
not rated yet Feb 12, 2018
Lol looks like a bushman
jonesdave
not rated yet Feb 20, 2018
The paper detailing the genetic findings from this chap is available here:

https://www.biorx...full.pdf
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Feb 20, 2018
The bigot whitefree_europe thinks it's only 'whites' who outgrow and overrun their neighbors. In truth most areas on all continents have been successively overrun as wave after wave of refugees escaped overpopulation in tropical lands. Euros are only tropicals in the process of becoming temperate. Their white skin is only one indication of this transition.

Another indication is that before industrialization, their reproduction was becoming seasonal, as in June weddings and spring fertility rites.

Neanderthal probably disappeared because they only mated in early summer, and they couldn't replace battle losses as fast as the cromags.

The stinking bigot whitefree_europe can't admit that his tribal hatred of euro indigenes prevents him from being objective. He wants all whites to leave because his culture tells him that the world is meant to be filled up by his tribe alone.

Allah says so in the book that he wrote.
savvys84
not rated yet Feb 21, 2018
@otto
Allah is not the God of the Bible
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Feb 21, 2018
@otto
Allah is not the God of the Bible
I really don't think someone who uses the nick 'whitefree_europe' is xian. Do you? But I do think his opinions are religiously inspired. His bigotry is typical. Do you think he would have the guts to own up to it?

BTW whether Allah = Jehovah is a very contentious question yes? Believers on both sides would claim that one is a corrupted rendition of the other.
savvys84
not rated yet Feb 22, 2018
@otto
Allah is not the God of the Bible
I really don't think someone who uses the nick 'whitefree_europe' is xian. Do you? But I do think his opinions are religiously inspired. His bigotry is typical. Do you think he would have the guts to own up to it?

BTW whether Allah = Jehovah is a very contentious question yes? Believers on both sides would claim that one is a corrupted rendition of the other.

Im white so i cannot be using that sort of nick, would I?
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Feb 22, 2018
What the hell are you talking about? You did read the thread didnt you??
savvys84
not rated yet Feb 23, 2018
What the hell are you talking about? You did read the thread didnt you??

i was commenting on the nick name in your quote
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Feb 23, 2018
And who do you think that referred to?
savvys84
not rated yet Feb 24, 2018
the guy who used that nickname obviously. or must i spell out everything for ya? i guess you are not a scientist. but nvm carry on
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet 22 hours ago
So why did you think I was using it to refer to you and not him?
savvys84
not rated yet 5 hours ago
So why did you think I was using it to refer to you and not him?

I did not think at all that way. seems to me that english is not your first language

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