Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

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; cheddarcaves; cheddarman; descendant; found; godsgravesglyphs; greenbayfan; helixmakemineadouble; man; of; skeleton; stone
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-6061-8081 next last
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!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

22 posted on 12/30/2005 5:30:17 PM PST by mirkwood ("Americans never quit"--MacArthur)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

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)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]


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.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

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!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

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.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Straight Vermonter

We talking Arlington Rte7A?


34 posted on 12/30/2005 5:42:12 PM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: billorites

Yes


35 posted on 12/30/2005 5:49:18 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (John 6: 31-69)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

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?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-6061-8081 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson