Tests Suggest 10,000-Year-Old Brit Had Dark Skin, Blue Eyes
Genetic material from a 10,000-year-old skeleton suggests the oldest-known Briton had dark skin and blue eyes.
Scientists from Britain's Natural History Museum and University College London reported the finding Wednesday after studying the remains of an individual known as "Cheddar Man."
The skeleton was discovered over a century ago. It was found inside a large hole in the Cheddar Gorge area of southwest England.
The researchers cut a hole into the skull of the human remains and removed DNA from bone powder.
The letters DNA are short for the term deoxyribonucleic acid. Scientists call it the chemical of life.
DNA is made up of genes. Genes, like letters in words, carry a huge amount of information. They tell cells how to make all the materials for life.
The British scientists say their tests showed Cheddar Man had dark, wavy hair, blue eyes and "dark to black" skin color.
The researchers say the evidence suggests that Europeans' light skin coloring developed much later than experts had thought.
Cheddar Man overturns people's expectations of what kinds of genetic qualities go together, said Tom Booth, who worked on the project.
"It seems that pale eyes entered Europe long before pale skin or blond hair, which didn't come along until after the arrival of farming," he added.
Some experts believe that ancient humans who lived in extreme northern areas may have developed light colored skin. They note light skin is able to take in more sunlight than darker skin. Sunlight is required for the body to produce vitamin D.
Cheddar Man shares genetic similarities with other human remains found in Spain, Hungary and Luxembourg. All those individuals lived in the Mesolithic Period, also known as the Middle Stone Age Period. The group, known as Western Hunter-Gatherers, moved to Europe from the Middle East after the last Ice Age, about 12,000 years ago.
The Associated Press says Cheddar Man is the oldest complete skeleton found in Britain. Human beings had lived on the island off and on for thousands of years before his time, but they disappeared during periodic ice ages.
Cheddar Man would have been one of a very small population of hunter-gatherers in Britain at the time. Scientists, who have been studying his skeleton, say he appears to have had a healthy diet but died in his 20s, possibly through violence.
I'm Jonathan Evans.
1.dark skin 深色皮肤
Jane was beautiful with her thick black hair and smooth dark skin.
2.ice ages 冰河时代
Most of us know that there have ever been Ice Ages on the earth three times.
3.known as 被称为
China has always been known as a land of propriety and righteousness.
4.healthy diet 健康饮食
They are not overweight and have a healthy diet.
5.Human beings had lived on the island off and on for thousands of years before his time, but they disappeared during periodic ice ages.
off and on 断断续续地
She cried off and on all day.
It has been drizzling off and on for days.
6.DNA is made up of genes.
is made up of 由...组成
Food is made up of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
The cream of the class is made up of the best students.
这具骨架是在一个多世纪前被发现的 。当时，这具遗骸位于英格兰西南部切达峡谷地区的一个大洞里 。
DNA是脱氧核糖核酸（deoxyribonucleic acid）的简称 。科学家称其为生命的化学物质 。
DNA是由基因组成的 。与单词中的字母一样，基因承载着大量的信息 。他们告诉细胞如何制造生命所需的所有材料 。
一些专家认为，生活在极端北部的远古人类可能已经进化为浅色皮肤 。他们注意到浅色皮肤比深色皮肤吸收了更多的阳光 。人体需要阳光来产生维生素D 。
切达尔人与西班牙、匈牙利和卢森堡发现的其他人类遗骸有着基因相似性 。这些人都生活在中石器时代 。大约12000年前，这个被称为“西方狩猎采集者”的族群在最后一个冰河时代后从中东迁往欧洲 。
美联社报道称，切达尔人是英国发现的最古老的完整遗骸 。人类在岛上断断续续地生活了几千年，但是却在周期性的冰河时代消失了 。
在当时的英国，切达尔人是一个非常弱小的狩猎采集者族群之一 。一直在研究他的骨骼的科学家们表示，他的饮食习惯似乎很健康，不过却在20多岁时身亡，很可能是遭到了暴力 。