Brits Had Dark Skin – level 3

13-02-2018 07:00

The so-called Cheddar Man, discovered in 1903, is the oldest complete skeleton that people found in Britain. The latest DNA analysis of the 10,000-year-old revealed that the first modern Britons had ‘dark to black’ skin and blue eyes.

Dr Selina Brace from the Natural History Museum said that it was a surprise how dark the pigmentation was, and it was also really interesting to see that darker pigmentations lasted a lot longer than scientists previously thought.

The Cheddar Man’s ancestors left Africa about 40,000 years ago, when much of Britain was iced over. Humans were able to colonise further north 10,000 years ago when the ice retreated, and they crossed to Britain because it was connected to the mainland.

Dutch artists Alfons and Adrie Kennis combined the genetic results with physical measurements to create a striking visual representation of these people.

Difficult words: pigmentation (the natural colouring), ancestors (the people who lived before), striking (very interesting).

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