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Illustration for article titled A poke in the eye for white supremacists

The oldest known Briton, ancestor to about 10% of the British population (hi, Grandad!), had very dark brown to black skin, black curly hair and blue eyes. Cheddar Man (and no, he’s not made of cheese) lived somewhere in the region of 8,000 to 10,000 years ago in Somerset, in the south of England.


His genome has now been fully sequenced, although a family member, a descendant of a sister was identified a few years ago, living in the vicinity. A teacher, he is said to have remarked that he knew the family had not moved around much, but that only 30 miles in 10,000 years was a bit much.

The thinking is that lighter skin evolved rather recently, in order to facilitate the absorption of vitamin D in northern populations.

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