Wednesday, February 7, 2018

So, who's white anyway?

Not only are more and more white people discovering they have African ancestry more recent than they thought, but we just proved whiteness itself is even more recent.

The oldest Briton known is "Cheddar Man" - he carbon dates to about 10,000 B.P. (Before present) and was found in a cave. He may have been murdered, but his body was almost certainly deposited in the cave intentionally.

And this, based off of DNA sequencing, is what he looked like:


(The guy holding the reconstruction is Professor Chris Stringer, who's been literally studying this one skeleton for 40 years).

As you can see.

He's not white. He does have blue eyes, and we aren't sure about the hair texture (it may have been a bit curlier).

But that is not a white man.

It's worth remembering that pale skin is nothing more than an adaptation to protect us from Vitamin D deficiency - and that we're the ones who are the "wrong" color.

(Another interesting detail from the sequencing - he was not lactose tolerant).