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Virologist Ms Mari Toppinen: University of Helsinki: Image: Uzi Varon

Once upon a time there was life
How did it live how did it die or
How it grew young or old or how
It fought to live you ask dig out
Out the bones look for the marks

Munayem Mayenin: November 10, 2015

Let the Bone Speak: Let the Living Hear: Iron Age Man With the First Known Case of Tuberculosis in Britain Was a Migrant From Continental Europe


|| Friday: November 13: 2020: University of Southampton News || ά. A new Study of the skeleton of an Iron Age man with the first known case of tuberculosis in Britain has shed new light on his origins. Archaeological excavations at Tarrant Hinton, Dorset, between 1967 and 1985 uncovered a variety of evidence for settlement between the Iron Age and the Roman period. Possibly, the most significant discovery was the skeleton of an Iron Age man, whose spine displayed signs of tuberculosis:TB. The man, who died between 400 and 230 BC, is, in fact, the earliest case of TB ever found in Britain.

In this new Study, chemical analysis of the man’s bones and teeth, carried out by the University of Southampton for the Museum of East Dorset, has, finally, answered some key questions about his origins. The results show that the man arrived in Dorset as a child, around the age of eight. His family came from an area of Carboniferous Limestone outside Britain, somewhere to the south or west. The skeleton is now on permanent display at the newly-refurbished Museum of East Dorset in Wimborne, currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Professor Alistair Pike, of Archaeological Sciences at the University of Southampton, helped build a picture of the man, using mass spectroscopy to investigate stable isotope ratios, carbon, nitrogen, strontium and oxygen. This type of analysis works on the principle that whilst everyone’s bones and teeth are made up of the same chemical elements, differences in the precise form of these chemicals can provide information about a person’s diet and, also, the source of their drinking water when their teeth were forming in childhood. Samples were taken from the tooth enamel of three molars whilst collagen was extracted from rib and long bone fragments.

Carbon and nitrogen isotopes indicated that the man ate a mixed diet, consisting of plants, cereal crops and other vegetables, grown on chalkland, whilst the bulk of his protein came from cattle and sheep. His diet was less varied than that of other Iron Age people as there was no evidence of marine or freshwater fish or pig.

Strontium isotopes showed that the man was living on the southern British chalklands between the ages of eight to fourteen, when his third molar, wisdom tooth, was developing. However, the oxygen values for the two earlier molars, suggest a non-local origin before the child was weaned on to solid foods.

The combined strontium and oxygen isotope analyses suggest a high probability that the man spent his early childhood in an area of Carboniferous Limestone to the west of Britain. This type of geology is found in South or West Ireland, on the Atlantic coasts of South West France and in the Cantabrian Mountains of Northern Spain.

Dr Simon Mays, Human Skeletal Biologist for Historic England, said, "We know from the DNA evidence that this person would have got his TB from another person rather than from infected meat or milk. Human-to-human transmission is favoured by crowded city living but, the fact that we find TB at this early date reminds us that the disease could still survive in the rather sparse human populations of the pre-historic past.

Finds of diseased skeletons in Continental Europe tell us that tuberculosis was present there for thousands of years before our Tarrant Hinton man was born. The isotope evidence is tantalising. Perhaps, he caught his disease in mainland Europe. But it could equally well be that TB was already well-established here by the Iron Age. It does not, often, show on the bones and we do not have very many skeletons from this period."

Professor Alistair Pike said, “The recent global coronavirus pandemic has shown how the long-distance movement of people can rapidly spread disease and this will have been no different in the past. By using isotopes to trace pre-historic people’s origins we hope to determine when, where and how far the diseases of the time were spreading.”

Mr James Webb, Acting Museum Director, said: “We know that the Iron Age man lived in a small farming settlement and was aged between 30 and 40 years old when he died. He had advanced tuberculosis in his spine, also, known as, Pott’s Disease; so, he must have been in considerable pain. The changes in his spine would have taken several years to develop. His mobility and daily functioning would have been impaired. The indication is that his community must have cared for him, despite his illness, for him to have survived so long.

The results shed more light on Iron Age society. They, also, show that local people had access to the Atlantic sea routes, which linked the coastal communities of Europe. The knowledge, gained will help the Museum of East Dorset to develop new education sessions and resources around the Iron Age skeleton, which is now on permanent display in the refurbished museum.”

The research was made possible by a small grant of £1,000 from South West Museum Development. The project, ‘The Iron Age TB Skeleton: Going Beyond the Glass Case’ has enabled the Museum of East Dorset  to draw new conclusions and improve the interpretation of this significant and nationally-important artefact for a range of audiences.

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Where Are We: Cheddar Man 10,000 Years Later You are Still Here in Great Britain: We Used to Call Her Dornuuarana: Racism in the UK and in the World Must Be Fought and Defeated by All Humanity With the Righteous Voice of the Cheddar Man Leading the Charge With Science Reason Evidence Human Rationality and Common Sense: There Is No Neutral Ground on Racism



|| Sunday: June 14: 2020: Munayem Mayenin || ά. || We published this piece of research news in The Humanion on February 08: 2018, UCL News. Here we publish it again and invite, anyone, involved with the political fight against racism, fascism, nazism and white supremacy and all other manners and kinds of such obnoxious and poisonous filths and scourges of supremacy of any group over other humans, to republish it, send it forward, invite others to read and take it to every progressive human soul because we truly believe that we can, we should, we ought and we must politically fight this evil of racism or self-loathing, that stands absolutely anathema to what humanity is and, being the exact opposite of what humanity is, racism is nothing but evil and it seeks to destroy humanity as it is: an infinite goodness and righteousness in microcosm and, instead, it seeks to establish a reign of terror, hatred, abuse, torture, violence, deaths and destructions, as well as, supports and conducts prejudice, bias, discrimination, hatred, intimidation, viciousness and hostility towards those it wants to dominate, dictate and subjugate in sociology of squalors.

No human being regardless of their shape or size or colour or faith or not faith or whatever else, of their physiologies, can stay neutral about racism and they must, as all humanity, as one humanity, must fight this evil of racism and defeat it together. Because where racism comes to power, history has shown us in countless instances, it unleashes the hell and the evil, that it is. Hitler is just one example of that evil out of countless other such monstrous racist despots and tyrants, of that hell of racism and white supremacy. Racism and humanity are infinitely opposed to each other. Humanity is infinite goodness and racism is infinite evil. We must rise and fight this evil together, all people of the world, black, white, brown, yellow, red, blue or marine or whatever else, able or disabled, women and men, with all our diversities put together because when we humanity fail to stand up and fight this evil, we let and enable evil flourish and grow stronger and stronger and soon it takes everything over and these forces unleash their horrors and hell of that hatred and violence and deaths and destructions all over humanity and all over the world.

Racism is not a problem, that concerns only the black people or the minorities but it does, it should, it ought and it must concern all of us, all humanity across the earth. Racism is and forever shall be an existential threat to humanity for humanity as humanity naturale is the absolute opposite of what racism is: it is the absolute evil, that wants to eradicate and terminate humanity. Therefore, this is a different kind of May Day, that started in America, this Black Lives Matter movement. If, humanity does not exist as it is and it is made into the exact opposite of what it is, we end up seeing evil rise to the height and begin terminating anything and everything good, all goodness, which is what has been happening in America to black and minority people, where law enforcement bodies literally began to do exactly that: terminating black lives however and whenever and wherever they wanted. And, without being that goodness, righteousness and good-cause and good-nature we become evil itself. Rabindranath Tagore wrote, ‘’May your wrath burn like ferns those, who do wrong and those, who condone it.’’ In other words, when good people, humanity, remain silent while wrongs are done before their eyes they enable and empower the wrongs to, not only keep on going but, also, to keep on getting stronger, more ferocious, more violent, more brutal and more widespread and much more frequent. In this respect, there is no neutral ground on racism. Humanity, being what it is, can not but reject, denounce, stand up against, fight and defeat racism or self-loathing.    

Where Are We: Cheddar Man 10,000 Years Later You are Still Here in Great Britain: We Used to Call Her Dornuuarana


|| February 07: 2018: UCL News|| ά. The face of ‘Cheddar Man’, Britain’s oldest, nearly-complete skeleton at 10,000 years old, is presented for the first time and with unprecedented accuracy by UCL and Natural History Museum researchers. The results indicate that Cheddar Man had blue eyes, dark coloured curly hair and ‘dark to black’ skin pigmentation. Previously, many had assumed that he had reduced skin pigmentation. The discovery suggests that the lighter pigmentation now considered to be a defining feature of northern Europe is a far more recent phenomenon.

The pioneering work was carried out by a team of UCL scientists, Natural History Museum Human Evolution and DNA specialists and the world’s foremost prehistoric model makers, for a new Channel Four documentary, First Brit: Secrets of the 10,000 Year Old Man. In one of their most challenging human DNA projects to date, no British individual this old has, ever, had their genome sequenced, the Natural History Museum’s ancient DNA lab’s Professor Ian Barnes and Dr Selina Brace carried out the first-ever full reading of Cheddar Man’s DNA.


Professor Mark Thomas and Dr Yoan Diekmann, from UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment, then analysed Cheddar Man’s DNA sequences to establish aspects of his appearance. “Cheddar Man’s genetic profile places him with several other Mesolithic-era Europeans from Spain, Hungary and Luxembourg, whose DNA has already been analysed.

These ‘Western Hunter-Gatherer’s’ migrated into Europe at the end of the last ice age and the group included Cheddar Man’s ancestors.” explained Professor Thomas. Today, around 10% of indigenous British ancestry can be linked to that population.

Cheddar Man was unearthed in 1903 in Gough’s Cave at Cheddar Gorge, Somerset and has been the topic of constant mystery and intrigue. For over 100 years, scientists have tried to tell his story, posing theories as to what he looked like, where he came from and what he can tell us about our earliest ancestors.

Dornuuarana: O Rain La Rain

























Only now with world-leading research, advanced DNA and facial reconstruction can we see, for the first time, the face of this 10,000 year old man and ask how 300 generations later he relates to us today.

To collect a few milligrams of his bone powder for analysis, scientists in the Natural History Museum’s ancient DNA lab drilled a tiny, 02mm wide hole into the ancient skull. As the DNA was unusually well-preserved, possibly, due to the cool, stable conditions in the limestone cave, the team extracted sufficient genetic information to inform the facial reconstruction, as well as, other genetic characteristics.

Model makers, Adrie and Alfons Kennis, used a hi-tech scanner to render Cheddar Man’s skull in full three-dimensional detail, fleshing it out with facial features based on the results of the scientific research.

Professor Chris Stringer, Research Leader in Human Origins at the Natural History Museum, first excavated at Gough’s Cave 30 years ago, said, “I first studied ‘Cheddar Man’ more than 40 years ago, but could never have believed that we would one day have his whole genome, the oldest British one to date!

To go beyond what the bones tell us and get a scientifically-based picture of what he, actually, looked like is a remarkable and from the results quite surprising achievement!”

First Brit: Secrets of the 10,000 Year Old Man will air on Channel Four on Sunday, February 18. ω.

Caption: Cheddar Man's facial reconstruction and Cheddar Man's skull: Image: Channel Four

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion








A Conversation: So It Was History: And No One Can Alter It: But Everyone Can Try to Understand How That History Got Written: Unfortunately That Won’t Help the Dinosaurs: Pity Tell That to the Blinded Leaders of the World That There Won’t Be Any Humanity Left on Earth to Tell the Tale of Humanity If Global Warming and Climate Change Are Left to Lead This Humanity to Extinction



|| Tuesday: January 21: 2020: University of Southampton News || Volcanic activity did not play a direct role in the mass extinction event, that killed the dinosaurs and about 75% of the Earth’s species 66 million years ago, according to a team of. Two planetary-scale disturbances occurred within a million years of one another, leading scientists to question the role each played in driving the mass extinction event.

For this new Study, the researchers searched for evidence of a correlation in timings between volcanic eruptions and the extinction event but, found none. 66 Million years ago, an asteroid collided with the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, leaving a 200km wide crater. Close to this time, 500,000 cubic kilometres of lava flooded across much of India, ending up in the sea and forming the Deccan Traps, one of the largest volcanic features of Earth.

This Study, led by Yale University, analysed marine fossils and climate models to investigate whether the major release of volcanic gasses contributed to the extinction. They found this happened 200,000 years before the asteroid, ruling out volcanic activity as the cause.

Professor Paul Wilson of the University of Southampton led the International Ocean Discovery Programme expedition, which recovered the marine sediments the research is based on. He said, “There’s been a big row about the cause of the mass extinction for decades. The demise of the dinosaurs was the iconic event but, they were large animals and there weren’t really that many of them so it’s tough to use them to figure out the cause.

We studied microscopic marine organisms, called, foraminifera and there are thousands of them in a teaspoon-full of ocean sediment. To get them we drilled into the sea bed in waters nearly five kilometres deep not far from the watery grave of RMS Titanic, off the coast of Newfoundland, using a sort of geology time machine, a drill ship, called, the JOIDES Resolution, run by one the world’s most successful international scientific collaborations, the International Ocean Discovery Programme.”

Co-author of the Report, Professor Paul Bown from UCL, said, ‘’Most scientists acknowledge that the last and best-known, mass extinction event occurred after a large asteroid slammed into Earth 66 million years ago but, some researchers suggested volcanic activity might have played a big role, too and we’ve shown that is not the case.”

By analysing deep sea sediment sections, drilled from the North Atlantic, Pacific and South Atlantic Oceans, the researchers found that volcanic activity in the Late Cretaceous period caused only a gradual global warming of about two degrees but , this had no significant effect on marine ecosystems and cooler conditions had returned prior to the extinction.

“A lot of people have speculated that volcanoes mattered to the event and we’re saying, ‘No, they didn’t.’” said the Study’s Lead Author, Dr Celli Hull from Yale.

“Recent work on the Deccan Traps have, also, pointed to massive eruptions immediately after the mass extinction. These results have puzzled scientists because there is no warming event to match. Our Study suggests that the global carbon cycle was so altered by the extinction event that the ocean was able to absorb much greater amounts of CO2, perhaps hiding the warming effects of volcanism in the aftermath of the event.”

Researchers from UCL, the University of Southampton, University of Edinburgh and the Open University form part of a multinational team of scientists, who drilled and studied a new section in the North Atlantic through the NERC-funded Integrated Ocean Drilling Programme Expedition 342.

The wider team includes researchers from institutions in Germany, France, Spain, Japan, Denmark and the USA.

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Wherefore Art Thou the First Animals: We Are At the First Animals and the Origin of Oceanic Eco-systems: July 12: 2019-February 2020


|| Tuesday: May 28: 2019 || ά. It is claimed to be a ‘fascinating, new exhibition at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, First Animals and the Origin of Oceanic Eco-systems, that aims to challenge its visitors to question the very definition of an animal: ‘What is an animal?’ is a very good question. However, in order to understand giant systems, one, must, begin at the nano-seismic level, which is where is nanocromised the entire giant of a system. Therefore, to change giant systems for the better we must begin at that nanoseismic level; to begin with a nano structure and initiate a nano-change and, that will, with the progression of time, continue building upwards so that, one day, that change shall impact and appear onto the atomic level, that will re-architecture the molecular level and, there, things shall begin to be recrafted and that will bring about changes, fundamental, monumental, seismic and paradigm-shifting, that can now be seen in the reality, that is outside the observer.

A pin-scratch happens at an iron pillar of a giant of a building and no one has come to notice it for along passage of time. But that nano-scratch kept on building up and the weather, the environmental factors, the light, the heat, the cold, the moisture, the rain and the entire other range of variables kept on working at that nano-scratch and that began to grow upward, downward, depth-ward and all-ward and one day that rusting spread in all other structures and, one day, people hear on the news that, that giant building on that Windpipe Street, you know the windpipe, that plays music when the wind arrives, had collapsed! Or, that stranger at the Café, who said, ‘’This entire thing is a system of punishment.’’ No one registered what the stranger looked like or what he said but one lone listener, looked up, registered and noticed and wrote it down in her notebook with a great deal of profound thoughts and ideas, that were generated from the stranger’s strange summary of something.

That notebook got sold in an old scrap-shop and the new person, the buyer of that notebook had read those notes and what that listener wrote. That person writes a piece on it as he was an author and he published it somewhere. Many people read it and spoke about it to other people, who spoke about it to many others and another author, at another corner of the earth finds it and reads it and decides to write a book on that whole presentation, that had arisen out of that stranger saying, ‘This entire thing is system of punishment’ and what intelligent remarks the young woman had added to it and then how all that got presented with elaborate building up of the whole range of issues. He wrote this book and it came to be published, which then got translated into hundreds of world languages and the entire humanity hears about these issues. Now, this book goes back to that listening soul, that began the first archival work of that stranger’s saying and all she wrote about that. By than she had become a successful film director and she makes a film of that book and the story goes on and, then, in hundreds of thousands of theatres across the earth that story gets into as a play: Eventually, that comes to begin something so large following the successful building up of this process, the world became a different world. This is why we, must, keep on working to raise questions and challenge existing and, often, outdated, false or deceptive assumptions to bring about change: fundamental, monumental, seismic and paradigm-shifting change for the world and its desperate humanity are gasping in a state of desperation, that can not go on as this.

The organisers of this Exhibition, might not, have thought of this as they set about organising the event but we present this news to our readers with the invite do so: to think and ask and raise questions to challenge, that what are dying but what are, at the same time, strangling and killing the very human existence on earth. The visitors of this Exhibition are to join a journey by travelling back in time, 600 million years, to when the very origins of all animals, including, humans, began to develop in the world’s oceans. This Exhibition opens on July 12 this year and shall have been going on till February 24, 2020. Make a note of these dates, dear reader and begin something today, at that nano-seismic level and initiate a nano-change and mark that nano-change and let it build up and visit it next year on February 24 and see what it looked like than. Were you a Neurologist, decide to pick up and study Seismology; if, you are an Economist, decide to study, Anthropology, if, you were a Social Worker, decide to study Microbiology or, if, a student of Medicine, decide to study, Political Philosophy, if, you play violin, decide to pick up the Balalaika or an Ocarina or a Recorder. Than, write to The Humanion and tell us all about it.

In an extraordinary evolutionary event, which has never been repeated since, the Earth then experienced a huge increase in new life forms, many of which laid the foundations for the body plans of all subsequent animal life. This occurrence, termed as the Cambrian Explosion, took place over a period of just 20 million years, a mere blink of the eye in geological terms and First Animals will show how amazing fossil evidence from this epoch is being uncovered and investigated to shed new light on our earliest beginnings.

The exhibition will tell this story like never before. For the first time ever, over 60 incredibly well-preserved specimens, each hundreds of millions of years old, will travel to Oxford from sites across the globe. This includes a significant loan of 55 fossils from Yunnan University in Chengjiang, China, along with other evidence from Burgess Shale, Canada and Sirius Passet, Greenland.

One of the highlights of First Animals will certainly be the museum’s interactive Cambrian Diver installation, which will allow users to explore a 360-degree ocean in a virtual submersible craft. On the dive they will learn more about some of the key animals in the exhibition and how they existed as part of the very first animal ecosystems.

Digital reconstructions will, also, bring these enigmatic creatures to life, with the animations helping visitors to visualise what they, may, have looked like, how they moved and to understand their roles within an ecosystem. At selected times, visitors will, also, be able to immerse themselves in a Cambrian ocean virtual reality experience, First Life VR, complete with narration by natural history legend Sir David Attenborough.

By presenting the unique Chengjiang fossils alongside more than 70 specimens from the Museum’s collection, visitors will be able to see how the body plans, which evolved in the very earliest creatures can still be found in all the major animal groups today. The Chengjiang fossils are the star loans of First Animals. Their significance can not be overstated, as they represent a uniquely complete snapshot of the diversity of animals appearing during the Cambrian Explosion. Older than other well-preserved fossils from this era, the range and preservation of the Chengjiang fossils make them one of the most informative and, therefore, important, Cambrian fossil deposits in the world, providing an insight into the very first animals that we would recognise today.

The 55 specimens on loan represent 11 of the major groups of animal life, as well as, a number of enigmatic and starkly different forms, including, tiny worms, large predatory arthropods, invertebrate animals, such as, insects, arachnids and crustaceans and the early ancestors of vertebrates.
“After billions of years, in which bacteria were the only lifeforms, a combination of local and global environmental changes kick-started the evolution of animal life on Earth. First Animals shows how new techniques, analysis and fossil evidence are opening up new understanding of the origins of animal life, now dated to almost 600 million years ago.” says Professor Paul Smith, the Director of Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

“Visitors to the exhibition will encounter strange, enigmatic creatures and ancient eco-systems. They will be able to contemplate their earliest animal ancestor, a hypothetical first animal and, through digital reconstructions, will come face to face with creatures, that changed the planet forever: the first predators and the first prey.”

The loan of the Chengjiang fossils is made possible by the generosity of Yunnan University and the partnership between Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the Yunnan Key Laboratory for Palaeobiology. First Animals will, also, include an artistic perspective on the earliest animal life through the Museum’s collaboration with the Oxford Printmakers Co-operative. Twenty-two members of the group are working closely with Museum research scientists to create individual prints, that respond to fossils on display in the exhibition.

This large body of works will be presented in the First Impressions trail around the Museum, allowing art lovers and fossil enthusiasts alike to discover original artwork amongst the Museum’s fossil collections.
First Animals is free to visit. For more information, swim over to the Museum website.

About Oxford University Museum of Natural History: Founded in 1860 as the centre for scientific study at the University of Oxford, the Museum now holds the University’s internationally significant collections of entomological, geological and zoological specimens. Housed in a stunning Pre-Raphaelite-inspired example of neo-Gothic architecture, the Museum’s growing collections underpin a broad programme of natural environment research, teaching and public engagement. In 2015, the Museum was a Finalist in the Art Fund Prize for ‘Museum of the Year’. In 2016, it won the top accolade, ‘Best of the Best’, in the Museums and Heritage Awards.

About Oxford Printmakers Co-operative: Oxford Printmakers Co-operative has been running for over forty years as a non-profit making organisation, offering a high standard of professional printmaking facilities for a hundred members in their East Oxford workshop. The group will be displaying further work inspired by the First Animals exhibition at the North Wall Arts Centre in Oxford, July 09-August 10, 2019.

Caption: Images: Oxford University Museum of Natural History:::ω.
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Study and You Shall Learn: The Cheddar Man Says: The Ancient DNA Shows Migrants Introduced Farming to Britain From Europe



|| Sunday: April 28: 2019: UCL News || ά. Farming was brought to Britain by migrants from continental Europe and not adopted by pre-existing hunter-gatherers, indicates a new ancient DNA Study, led by UCL and the Natural History Museum, in collaboration with Harvard University. The Study, published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, examines the DNA from 47 Neolithic, New Stone Age, farmer skeletons, dating from 6,000 to 4,500 years ago and six Mesolithic, Middle Stone Age, hunter-gatherer skeletons from the preceding period, 11,600-6,000 years ago, including, the Cheddar Man, the oldest, near-complete human skeleton found in Britain.

Professor Mark Thomas, UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment, an author of the Study, said, “The transition to farming marks one of the most important technological innovations in human evolution. It first appeared in Britain around 6,000 years ago; prior to that people survived by hunting, fishing and gathering. For over 100 years archaeologists have debated, if, it was brought to Britain by immigrant continental farmers or, if, was adopted by local hunter-gatherers. Our Study strongly supports the view that immigrant farmers introduced agriculture into Britain and largely replaced the indigenous hunter-gatherers populations.”

In continental Europe it is now known that farming was spread by migrating farmer populations, who, ultimately, originated in regions around the Aegean Sea, albeit, with some mixing with indigenous hunter-gatherers. Starting around 8,000 years ago, they expanded throughout continental Europe along two main corridors: the Mediterranean Sea and the Rhine-Danube axis of Central Europe.

“But Britain is a strange case.” said Dr Tom Booth, Archaeologist at the Natural History Museum:NHM and co-author of the Study. “Firstly, farming was practised for up to 1,000 years on the other side of the English Channel before it came to Britain, providing plenty of time for British hunter-gatherers to have adopted agriculture through interactions with their continental neighbours; a view, that many archaeologists hold today. And, secondly, prior to our Study, nobody had read the DNA of those British hunter-gatherers, to see, if, they had persisted and adopted farming practices themselves.”

Dr Selina Brace, ancient DNA researcher at the NHM and lead author of the Study said, “After extracting DNA from Cheddar Man’s inner ear bone, we were delighted at the preservation of his DNA. It’s likely that the cool dry burial conditions in Gough’s Cave were a key factor in keeping his DNA preserved.’’

“We found that British Mesolithic hunter-gatherers were closely related to other hunter-gatherers living previously in Western Europe and shared some aspects of their appearance.” said co-author, Dr Yoan Diekmann, UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment. “Like their Mesolithic continental relatives, they had, typically, dark skin but light eye pigmentation.”

Professor Thomas said, “After 6,000 years ago we only see farmers in Britain and their ancestry is different. Not only do they have predominantly the same Aegean ancestry as other continental farmers but, our data suggest that ancestry came to Britain via the Mediterranean corridor.”

Professor Ian Barnes, ancient DNA expert at the NHM and co-author of the Study, said, “Because continental farmer populations had mixed to some extent with local hunter-gatherers as they expanded along both the Mediterranean and Rhine-Danube corridors, as well as, later, we expected to see some mixing in Britain as well.”

To our surprise and, with the exception of a few individuals in Scotland, we see little genetic evidence of ancestry from Cheddar Man and British Mesolithic hunter-gatherers in early British farmers or, indeed, later. It is difficult to say why this is but, it, may be, that those last British hunter-gatherers were relatively few in number. Even, if, these two populations had mixed completely, the ability of adapt continental farmers and their descendants to maintain larger population sizes would produce a significant diminishing of hunter-gatherer ancestry over time.”

Co-author Professor David Reich, a Harvard Geneticist said, “By studying ancient DNA, we see that 90% of Britain’s population was replaced about 4,500 years ago by large-scale population movement from the continent and this new Study shows a more dramatic 99% replacement a millennium and a half earlier. This means that Briton’s derive only about a thousandth of their ancestry from the hunter-gatherers, who inhabited the island ~6,000 years ago, highlighting, how people living in any one place today are rarely the primary descendants of the people, who lived in the same place in the deep past.”

While the new Study answers the old question of whether farming was brought to Britain by continental farmers, it does not answer the question of why it took so long for farming populations to move into Britain after arriving in northwest continental Europe.

The researchers say that it, may be, to do with climate, technology or, perhaps, social factors. The megalith-building cultures to which the British Neolithic belongs have a peculiarly maritime focus and emerge out of western France just before the beginning of the Neolithic in Britain.

Dr Brace said, “We see evidence for at least two populations of farmers entering Britain from different parts of continental Europe around the same time. After a thousand years of gazing across the Channel, it is curious to wonder what changed in the circumstances of these farmers, which meant that Britain was suddenly seen to be worth the hassle.”:::ω.

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In Search of Darwin’s Rabbits: Or Rather Their Bones: Or Better Still Their DNAs and the Mechanism of Their Developing Resistance to Myxomatosis Through Natural Selection