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The face of "Cheddar Man", Britain's oldest almost complete skeleton at 10,000 years old, is revealed for the first time and with unprecedented accuracy by UCL and Natural History Museum researchers.

The Cheddar Man is around a thousand years old at this point, dating back to the period immediately after Ice Age and a time when Britain was a very different place.

Cheddar Man and his people probably left Africa and passed through the Middle East before winding up in what is now Britain. Normally it is believed that British people have a fair complexion and are mostly white people. As per the scientists, the Cheddar lived more than 10,000 years ago, had brown hair, blue eyes and dark to black skin.

"It really shows up that these imaginary racial categories that we have are really very modern constructions, or very recent constructions, that really are not applicable to the past at all", Tom Booth, an archaeologist at the Natural History Museum who worked on the project, told The Guardian.

A new project from London's Natural History Museum and University College London has revealed groundbreaking DNA results that give a much clearer image of early British inhabitants. "It has always changed and will change".

Scientists extracted the DNA by drilling a hole into his skull and drawing out bone powder, with subsequent findings suggesting that light-skinned Europeans evolved later than previously thought.

The documentary of the DNA analysis and the complete making of the Cheddar Man has been put together as a 60-minute film which finally unveils the resultant model head of the Cheddar Man.

Based on the team's analysis, the pair jointly share a link to the migration of populations from Luxembourg and Spain, and the south-east of Europe before that. These temporary visitors came during an ice-age thaw, but were driven out - like all previous humans in Britain - when temperatures dropped again.

Until now, though, it hasn't been clear whether each wave of migrants was seeded from the same population in mainland Europe; the latest results suggest this was not the case. We now know about his skin colour, hair, facial features and eye colour, which has not been possible until now. For skin tone, there are a handful of genetic variants linked to reduced pigmentation, including some that are very widespread in European populations today. To allow the model makers to reconstruct Cheddar Man's face using 3D printing, the NHM team employed the use of a hi-tech scanner, originally designed for use on the International Space Station, to render his skull in full detail.

Professor Mark Thomas and Dr Yoan Diekmann at University College, London, analysed the sequences generated at the NHM to establish what Cheddar Man looked like.


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