Skip to comments.Britons '200,000 Years Earlier Than First Thought'
Posted on 12/24/2001 4:51:53 AM PST by blam
Britons '200,000 years earlier than first thought'
Man could have settled in Britain up to 200,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to new studies.
Prehistorians had thought the predecessors of modern humans began living in Britain between 450,000 and 500,000 years ago.
But recent discoveries in eastern and south western England suggest that is wrong, according to an article in the magazine New Scientist.
Researchers working in conjunction with the Natural History Museum are basing their new theories on analysis of a flint axe and other tools found on the East Anglian coast and investigation of butchery marks on a deer bone found in Somerset.
Experts think that some of these finds were in sediments that could date back 700,000 years.
Museum researchers, who have not revealed the exact locations of the discoveries, are carrying out further checks, adds the article.
Story filed: 15:52 Friday 21st December 2001
It's happened before, huh? (The teacher)
DNA links teacher to 9,000-year-old skeleton
Submitted by: CNN
March 7, 1997
Web posted at: 11:20 p.m. EST
LONDON (AP) -- Using DNA from a tooth, scientist have established a blood tie between a 9,000-year-old skeleton known as "Cheddar Man" and an English schoolteacher who lives just a half mile from the cave where the bones were found.
Oxford University scientists announced Friday that Adrian Targett, 42, a history teacher in the town of Cheddar in southwest England, shares a common ancestor with Cheddar Man.
It is the longest human lineage ever traced, the team of scientists from the university's Institute of Molecular Medicine said.
"They would have shared a common ancestor about 10,000 years ago so they are related -- just not very closely," said Dr. Bryan Sykes, leader of the research team.
Targett was startled by the news.
"I am overwhelmed, a bit surprised," said Targett, whose ancestry was revealed during the filming of a documentary for the TV station HTV, which commissioned the study.
"I was just about to say I hope it's not me."
Targett suggested that if more people were tested, researchers would find other relatives of Cheddar Man.
Larry Barham, a Texas-born archaeologist at Bristol University, said the finding "adds to the evidence that Britons came from a race of hunter-gatherers who later turned to farming because they found it was to their advantage." Archaeologists believe Cheddar Man, who lived during the Stone Age, was a hunter-gatherer.
Opponents of this theory argue that Britons are descendants of Middle Eastern farmers.
To get the DNA, scientists extracted cells from a molar tooth of Cheddar Man.
They compared the mitochondrial DNA -- which is inherited unchanged on the maternal line -- with samples of mitochondrial DNA from the cheek cells of 15 pupils at the Kings of Wessex school, where Targett works, and five adults from old Cheddar families.
Professor Chris Stringer, a researcher at London's Natural History Museum, said one problem with the research "is that we don't know that Cheddar Man had any children. This is mitochondrial DNA that is only inherited through the maternal link, so this would come from Cheddar Man's mother or his sister."
HTV said the discovery came when a television director was researching a series on archaeology. In search of information on whether cannibalism was practiced by Stone Age man, scientists took a sample of cells from the jaw of Cheddar Man, HTV said.
That led them to wonder if there could be modern-day relatives of the ancient man, who was discovered in 1903.
The network of underground caves at Cheddar, 130 miles west of London, is believed to have been home to a community of Stone Age people. Many artifacts have been found there.
Copyright 1997 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed
"Oxford University scientists announced Friday that Adrian Targett, 42 ..."
"They would have shared a common ancestor about 10,000 years ago so they are related."
9,000 + 42 = 10,000? Must be that NEA math.
Piltdown man was a hoax. (But, you knew that, didn't you?)
Note: this topic is from 12/24/2001. Thanks blam.
Seems like yesterday.
It does dash by.
Neanderthals, Denisovans, and modern humans (H. s. sapiens) are all descended from H. heidelbergensis.
East Anglia's only a few hundred miles from Heidelberg.
That family didn't travel much did they?
But recent discoveries suggest that is wrong - The Story of Science
Got me! I was glad to see RightWhale posting again but then I looked at the date.
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