DNA suggests 10,000-year-old Brit had dark skin, blue eyes

Wednesday, February 07, 2018 03:51PM
Full facial reconstruction model of a head based on the skull of Britain's oldest complete skeleton on display during a screening event in London Wednesday Feb. 7, 2018. (AP Photo)
LONDON - Researchers say DNA from a 10,000-year-old skeleton found in an English cave suggests he had dark skin and blue eyes.

Scientists from Britain's Natural History Museum and University College London have analyzed the genome of "Cheddar Man," who was found in Cheddar Gorge in southwest England in 1903. It is the oldest complete skeleton found in Britain.

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Scientists led by museum DNA expert Ian Barnes drilled into the skull to extract DNA from bone powder. They say analysis indicates he had blue eyes, dark curly hair and "dark to black" skin pigmentation.

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The researchers said Wednesday that the evidence suggests that Europeans' pale skin tones developed much later than previously thought.

The findings will be shown in a documentary on Britain's Channel 4 television on Feb. 18.

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