New research into ancient DNA extracted from the skeleton has helped scientists to build a portrait of Cheddar Man and his life in Mesolithic Britain.The biggest surprise, perhaps, is that some of the earliest modern human inhabitants of Britain may not have looked the way you might expect.Dr Tom Booth is a postdoctoral researcher working closely with the Museum’s human remains collection to investigate human adaptation to changing environments.’Until recently it was always assumed that humans quickly adapted to have paler skin after entering Europe about 45,000 years ago,’ says Tom. ‘Pale skin is better at absorbing UV light and helps humans avoid vitamin D deficiency in climates with less sunlight.’However, Cheddar Man has the genetic markers of skin pigmentation usually associated with sub-Saharan Africa.This discovery is consistent with a number of other Mesolithic human remains discovered throughout Europe.

Source: Cheddar Man: Mesolithic Britain’s blue-eyed boy | Natural History Museum