A reconstruction of the 9,000-year-old Cheddar Man, named after Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, where he was found in 1903
Photo: BBC screengrab
Migration to and from Lux is nothing new--hunter gatherers did it thousands of years ago
A Stone-Age hunter-gatherer, whose remains were found near Loschbourg in Luxembourg, is from the same genetic family as the oldest human skeleton found in the UK.
Recent DNA tests on Cheddar Man, the oldest-known Briton, revealed in a TV documentary, suggest that he had dark skin and blue eyes like his Luxembourg counterpart.
They go against expectations and have led researchers to believe that pale skin tones and blond hair among Europeans developed much later, after the arrival of farming.
According to US News, Cheddar Man, who was found in 1903, shares a genetic profile with several other Mesolithic-era individuals, from the Western-Hunter-Gatherers, found in Spain, Hungary and Luxembourg, whose DNA has been analysed. It is thought that they migrated to Europe from the Middle East around 12,000 years ago.
“Modern Europeans are a mixture of people like this, who are older hunter-gatherer inhabitants of western Europe, and people who came in with the advent of agriculture, and people who came from the east in the Bronze Age and who also brought new genetics into the region,” Trinity College Dublin professor Dan Bradley told US News.
The 8,000-year-old skeleton of the Luxembourg hunter gatherer, pictured in a reconstruction above, was found at the Loschbourg rock shelter in Heffingen, in the Mullerthal region in 1935.
The skeleton, which was almost complete, was dated to 6220–5990 BC, making his the oldest human remains to have been found in Luxembourg. Studies found that he had dark skin, dark hair and probably blue eyes.