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Cheddar Man changes the way we think about our ancestors

The study of a 10,000-year-old man surprised people when it revealed his blue eyes and dark skin – and few predicted he would reshape our view of our genetic heritage

In 1903 workmen digging a drainage trench in Gough’s Cave in the Cheddar Gorge, in Somerset, uncovered the remains of a young man, sealed under a stalagmite. The figure, feet curled up underneath him, was small, at about 5ft 5in, and would have weighed around 10 stone when he died in his early 20s. The cause of death has still...