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Descendant Of Stone Age Skeleton Found (Cheddar Man - 9,000 Years Old)
Trussel.com/Japan Times ^ | 3-9-1997

Posted on 12/30/2005 5:03:20 PM PST by blam

The Japan Times, March 9, 1997

Descendant of Stone Age skeleton found

LONDON (Reuter) British scientists Saturday celebrated their feat of tracing a living descendant of a 9,000-year-old skeleton and establishing the world's oldest known family tree.

In an astonishing piece of detective work, they matched mitochondrial DNA material extracted from the tooth cavity of Britain's oldest complete skeleton with that of a 42-year-old history teacher, Adrian Targett. The genetic material showed without doubt that Targett is a direct descendant through his mother's line of the skeleton known as Cheddar Man, which was found in 1903 in caves in Cheddar Gorge in southwest England.

"It is extraordinary that the DNA survives at all, but we were able to extract it and sequence it," said Bryan Sykes of Oxford University's Institute of Molecular Medicine. "They would have shared a common ancestor about 10,000 years ago, so they are related."

Targett lives about a kilometer from the caves where Cheddar Man was found. Previous tests have shown that Cheddar Man suffered a violent death at the age of about 23 in 7150 B.C.

The Oxford University team spent months analyzing samples from the skeleton before taking DNA swabs from about 20 local people whose families had lived in the Cheddar area for generations.

Targett, who teaches modern history, said he took part only to make up the numbers.

"I was astonished when the scientists said I was the descendant. Appropriately enough, I am a history teacher, but I have to admit I know next to nothing about Cheddar Man. I suppose I really should try to include him in my family tree," he said.

Targett can now boast a lineage millennia older than that of Britain's royal family, which traces its heritage back to A.D. 829.

The oldest previously recorded relative was the great-great-great-great-grandfather of Confucius, who lived in China in the eighth century B.C.

Scientists said the odds of finding a match were not as enormous as might appear, because of the relatively small number of people who lived in Britain during the Stone Age.

Sykes said the discovery strengthened the theory that the ancestors of modern-day Britons were hunter-gatherers rather than farmers.

"There has been an idea that most modern European are descended from farmers that came in from the Middle East about 10,000 years ago, reaching Britain about 6,000 years ago," Sykes told British Broadcasting Corp. radio. "This kind of evidence shows that is probably not true, and that modern Britons are in fact descended from the earlier inhabitants like Cheddar Man who existed on hunting and gathering and who were not farmers."

Scientists said they were hoping to use the same technique of sampling mitochondrial DNA to prove whether Neanderthals, who died out about 25,000 years ago, were linked to modern humans or were a completely different species.

Professor Chris Stringer, a researcher at the Natural History Museum, said, "This work may finally let us end a 150-year-old argument which has existed since a Neanderthal man fossil was first found."

Targett, an only child who has no children, was still coming to terms with the idea of having a Stone Age man as a relative.

But his wife, Catherine, said, "Maybe this explains why he likes his steaks rare."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: age; ancientautopsies; cheddar; cheddarman; descendant; found; godsgravesglyphs; greenbayfan; helixmakemineadouble; man; of; skeleton; stone
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I've linked this fascinating article a number of times to other threads.

Time for its own thread.

1 posted on 12/30/2005 5:03:23 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Cheddar Man - 9,000 Years Old)

I bet that's some sharp-assed cheese...

2 posted on 12/30/2005 5:03:56 PM PST by dirtboy (Drool overflowed my buffer...)
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


3 posted on 12/30/2005 5:04:03 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Targett lives about a kilometer from the caves where Cheddar Man was found. Previous tests have shown that Cheddar Man suffered a violent death at the age of about 23 in 7150 B.C.

Butted by a moose?

4 posted on 12/30/2005 5:04:47 PM PST by RichInOC (...unnngh!)
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To: blam

The Stone Age was only 9,000 years ago?


5 posted on 12/30/2005 5:05:10 PM PST by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all.)
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To: blam
Targett lives about a kilometer from the caves where Cheddar Man was found. Previous tests have shown that Cheddar Man suffered a violent death at the age of about 23 in 7150 B.C.

Been in the neighborhood a while!

6 posted on 12/30/2005 5:07:03 PM PST by OSHA (Deviled eggs may be better the 2nd day. No one knows for sure.)
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To: blam

I rememeber reading about this when it was first reported. The most interesting thing to me is the guy lived right where the skeleton was discovered.


7 posted on 12/30/2005 5:07:49 PM PST by yarddog
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To: steveegg

Your uncle?


8 posted on 12/30/2005 5:08:05 PM PST by Fierce Allegiance (I miss my dad.)
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To: blam

9 posted on 12/30/2005 5:08:36 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: blam

With such a pedigree Adrian Targett is to be inscribed into peerage, and the sooner the better. How many of them have known ancestors even 1000 years ago?


10 posted on 12/30/2005 5:09:01 PM PST by GSlob
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To: blam

Where is Gouda Man?


11 posted on 12/30/2005 5:09:13 PM PST by woofie
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To: blam

Really? This was never a thread? The article is practically archeological itself.


12 posted on 12/30/2005 5:09:32 PM PST by RightWhale (pas de lieu, Rhone que nous)
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To: blam

That is amazing! Time to redo the family tree to add Cheddar Man!


13 posted on 12/30/2005 5:10:14 PM PST by penelopesire
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To: woofie

LOL
I like this part:
"Targett, an only child who has no children, was still coming to terms with the idea of having a Stone Age man as a relative.
But his wife, Catherine, said, "Maybe this explains why he likes his steaks rare."

Now..after 9,000 years..the family tree ends. This man owes it to Cheddar Man to marry and breed..lol


14 posted on 12/30/2005 5:13:24 PM PST by penelopesire
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To: GSlob

They go back 940 years some of them, most are since 1066.


15 posted on 12/30/2005 5:14:57 PM PST by RightWhale (pas de lieu, Rhone que nous)
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To: blam
Cheddar man in England?

Big deal. We have Ketchup Boy in America.

So there.

16 posted on 12/30/2005 5:15:00 PM PST by Bon mots
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To: penelopesire

opps..on reread i see he is married. Bummer.


17 posted on 12/30/2005 5:15:22 PM PST by penelopesire
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To: blam
Chedder man, Chedder man
Chedder man hates Burger man
They have a fight, Chedder wins
Chedder man!
18 posted on 12/30/2005 5:16:16 PM PST by 6SJ7
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To: blam

They found the first Cheese Head.


19 posted on 12/30/2005 5:19:19 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (Post Christmas shopping for a new tag line.)
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To: blam

At first read, I saw 9,000 year old stone skeleton.


20 posted on 12/30/2005 5:19:43 PM PST by razorback-bert
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To: blam

21 posted on 12/30/2005 5:25:53 PM PST by ChefKeith (Flies,fleas,ants,ticks,cockroaches,lawyers & politicians All the same. Useless!!!)
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To: blam

22 posted on 12/30/2005 5:30:17 PM PST by mirkwood ("Americans never quit"--MacArthur)
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To: ChefKeith

It ain't easy being cheesey.


23 posted on 12/30/2005 5:31:12 PM PST by Nasty McPhilthy (Those who beat their swords into plow shears….will plow for those who don’t.)
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To: blam

He is a Pict.


24 posted on 12/30/2005 5:33:20 PM PST by Ninian Dryhope ("Bush lied, people dyed. Their fingers." The inestimable Mark Steyn)
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To: blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; StayAt HomeMother; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; asp1; ...
Thanks Blam.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

25 posted on 12/30/2005 5:33:33 PM PST by SunkenCiv ("In silence, and at night, the Conscience feels that life should soar to nobler ends than Power.")
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To: Texas Eagle
It is still on in the Congo.
26 posted on 12/30/2005 5:33:49 PM PST by Ninian Dryhope ("Bush lied, people dyed. Their fingers." The inestimable Mark Steyn)
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27 posted on 12/30/2005 5:35:08 PM PST by SunkenCiv ("In silence, and at night, the Conscience feels that life should soar to nobler ends than Power.")
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To: blam
How many generations of Mrs.Targetts have said," You never take me out, we never do anything, we never go anywhere..."
28 posted on 12/30/2005 5:35:11 PM PST by labette (Continually discovering things I am completely ignorant about...since 1959)
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To: RichInOC
Butted by a moose?

A moose bit my sister once...

29 posted on 12/30/2005 5:35:52 PM PST by Dr.Deth
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To: Ninian Dryhope

The Congo has REACHED the Stone Age?


30 posted on 12/30/2005 5:35:54 PM PST by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all.)
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To: blam

"There has been an idea that most modern European are descended from farmers that came in from the Middle East about 10,000 years ago, reaching Britain about 6,000 years ago," Sykes told British Broadcasting Corp. radio. "This kind of evidence shows that is probably not true, and that modern Britons are in fact descended from the earlier inhabitants like Cheddar Man who existed on hunting and gathering and who were not farmers."

What an amazing leap in deduction! Why give these people any credibility? They know neither the 1st postulate nor the 2nd!


31 posted on 12/30/2005 5:38:14 PM PST by Prost1 (Sandy Berger can steal, Clinton can cheat, but Bush can't listen!)
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To: OSHA
Targett lives about a kilometer from the caves where Cheddar Man was found.


32 posted on 12/30/2005 5:38:22 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (John 6: 31-69)
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my usual reprise:
Fathers can be influential too
by Eleanor Lawrence
Biologists have warned for some years that paternal mitochondria do penetrate the human egg and survive for several hours... Erika Hagelberg from the University of Cambridge, UK, and colleagues... were carrying out a study of mitochondrial DNAs from hundreds of people from Papua-New Guinea and the Melanesian islands in order to study the history of human migration into this region of the western Pacific... People from all three mitochondrial groups live on Nguna. And, in all three groups, Hagelberg's group found the same mutation, a mutation previously seen only in an individual from northern Europe, and nowhere else in Melanesia, or for that matter anywhere else in the world... Adam Eyre-Walker, Noel Smith and John Maynard Smith from the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK confirm this view with a mathematical analysis of the occurrence of the so-called 'homoplasies' that appear in human mitochondrial DNA... reanalysis of a selection of European and African mitochondrial DNA sequences by the Sussex researchers suggests that recombination is a far more likely cause of the homoplasies, as they find no evidence that these sites are particularly variable over all lineages.
Is Eve older than we thought?
by Sanjida O'Connell 15th April 1999
"Two studies prove that the estimation of both when and where humanity first arose could be seriously flawed... The ruler scientists have been using is based on genetic changes in mitochondria, simple bacteria that live inside us and control the energy requirements of our cells. Mitochondria are passed from mother to daughter and their genes mutate at a set rate which can be estimated - so many mutations per 1,000 years... However, these calculations are based upon a major assumption which, according to Prof John Maynard Smith, from Sussex University, is 'simply wrong'. The idea that underpins this dating technique is that mitochondria, like some kinds of bacteria, do not have sex... Two groups of researchers, Prof Maynard Smith and colleagues Adam Eyre-Walker and Noel Smith, also from Sussex, and Dr Erika Hagelberg and colleagues from the University of Otago, New Zealand, have found that mitochondria do indeed have sex - which means that genes from both males and females is mixed and the DNA in their offspring is very different... Prof Maynard Smith and his colleagues stumbled over mitochondria having sex in the process of tracking the spread of bacterial resistance to meningitis... For the 'out-of-Africa' theory to hold water, the first population would have to have been very small. Sexually rampant mitochondria may put paid to this idea. Maynard Smith thinks that the origin of humanity is much older - may be twice as old - which, according to Eyre-Walker, means we are likely to have evolved in many different areas of the world and did not descend from Eve in Africa."

33 posted on 12/30/2005 5:38:34 PM PST by SunkenCiv ("In silence, and at night, the Conscience feels that life should soar to nobler ends than Power.")
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To: Straight Vermonter

We talking Arlington Rte7A?


34 posted on 12/30/2005 5:42:12 PM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: billorites

Yes


35 posted on 12/30/2005 5:49:18 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (John 6: 31-69)
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To: Texas Eagle
The Stone Age was only 9,000 years ago?

Less than that. Copper working started about 8,000 years ago, but copper smelting, that extracting the metal from the ore, only about 5,000 years ago. Agriculture only started about 8,000 years ago as well, probably in Mesopotamia, modern day Iraq.

36 posted on 12/30/2005 6:21:50 PM PST by El Gato
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To: Ninian Dryhope
He is a Pict.

Were there several species of small furry animals gathered together In a cave and grooving with him?

37 posted on 12/30/2005 6:24:20 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: penelopesire
This man owes it to Cheddar Man to marry and breed..lol

If he does, or doesn't, the line dies with him. It would have to continue through his female maternal cousins. Mitochondrial DNA is completely inherited from the mother. This is because it's not in the nucleus of the cell, where all that sexual stuff goes on, but rather out in the mitochondria, which are present in the ovum before it's ever fertilized, and to which the sperm does not contribute anything.

38 posted on 12/30/2005 6:27:13 PM PST by El Gato
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To: blam
If there's cheese to be eaten, here's your man...

39 posted on 12/30/2005 6:27:40 PM PST by Bosco (Remember how you felt on September 11?)
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To: RightWhale
They go back 940 years some of them, most are since 1066.

Hmm, 1066 (William the Conqueror and all that) is 940 years ago. But the British Royals are so intermixed with royals from all over Europe, they are hardly British at all, at least nothing like this guy.

Of course since mitochondrial DNA comes from the mother only, this guys N-great grandmother could have been raped by one of those Normans, or earlier by raiding Vikings. What color is his hair?

40 posted on 12/30/2005 6:30:25 PM PST by El Gato
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To: El Gato
since mitochondrial DNA comes from the mother only,

Or maybe not. Note that at least the second article excerpted in post 33 post dates this article. Wonder if the analysis has been redone in the light of the more recent information?

41 posted on 12/30/2005 6:40:27 PM PST by El Gato
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To: woofie

Who knows? A Gouda man is hard to find.


42 posted on 12/30/2005 6:43:42 PM PST by CrazyIvan (If you read only one book this year, read "Stolen Valor".)
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To: El Gato
"Agriculture only started about 8,000 years ago as well, probably in Mesopotamia, modern day Iraq."

Farming Origins Gain 10,000 Years

"Humans made their first tentative steps towards farming 23,000 years ago, much earlier than previously thought. Stone Age people in Israel collected the seeds of wild grasses some 10,000 years earlier than previously recognised, experts say."

43 posted on 12/30/2005 6:56:41 PM PST by blam
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To: Strategerist

How many people do you think are going to get that ancient Pink Floyd reference?


44 posted on 12/30/2005 7:04:32 PM PST by beaver fever
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To: El Gato
I am a little puzzled why a lot more folks in town were not kin to this guy. Each of us has 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents, etc. If you go back 34 generations 640 years if you assume 20 years = 1 generation) we have more ancestors in that generation (roughly 8.6 billion) than there are people in the world today and considerably more than there were the. Now I know that there is considerable overlap, but even allowing for that, if you go back 10,000 years, it would seem likely that there a lot of folks walking around today who would be common descendants from this 10,000 year old woman.

I guess that I may be missing something, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out what it is.
45 posted on 12/30/2005 7:41:50 PM PST by Tom D. (Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. - Benj. Franklin)
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To: beaver fever
How many people do you think are going to get that ancient Pink Floyd reference?

I was betting nobody; guess I was wrong :-)

46 posted on 12/30/2005 7:43:09 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: Strategerist

OK here's another obcure Pink Foyd reference for you.

Cheddar Man died a violent death.

What was his name?

Eugene.


47 posted on 12/30/2005 7:48:39 PM PST by beaver fever
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To: Tom D.
"I guess that I may be missing something, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out what it is."

The whole case was just a matter of luck. A Documentary maker was in town making a documentary about Cheddar Man and at someone's suggestion he decided to fund a DNA test of some of the locals. Turns out, Targetts school students volunteered to be tested. I thought there were more than 20 in the test but this article says only 20.

48 posted on 12/30/2005 8:07:51 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
The genetic material showed without doubt that Targett is a direct descendant through his mother's line of the skeleton known as Cheddar Man

Not exactly. Cheddar Man could be an ancestor of Mr. Targett-- in fact, given the exponential arithmetic of genealogy, Cheddar Man is almost certainly his ancestor by many thousands of lines of descent. However, this particular finding does NOT prove direct descent.

What this proves is that Mr. Targett and Cheddar Man had a relative in their maternal lines in common. Males and females alike receive their mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) from their mothers. Cheddar Man had a sister or female cousin, perhaps a very remote cousin, on his mother's side. She had the same mDNA as he did, since they had a common female ancestor, and passed it down through many generations of daughters to Mr. Targett's mother and thence to him.

If Mr. Targett has issue, the child will get its mDNA from Mr. Targett's wife. The only hope for continuation of Cheddar Man's mDNA is via a female cousin on Mr. Targett's mother's side.

-ccm

49 posted on 12/30/2005 8:08:11 PM PST by ccmay
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To: blam

Read this article before, shame he is the end of the line. An only child that has no offspring.


50 posted on 12/30/2005 8:21:14 PM PST by Dustbunny (Socialist/Liberal/Progressive/Communist/Marxist are todays Democrats)
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