Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 01 March |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Giovanna Maria Bonomo
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

The first inhabitants of Britain weren’t necessarily “white”

CHEDDAR MAN,BBC

BBC News | YouTube

Sophia Swinford - published on 03/12/18

New scientific discovery shows the social construction of race.

“Cheddar Man,” the oldest skeleton ever discovered in the U.K., was originally assumed to be light-skinned, but new technology has enabled better DNA testing, which has revealed a different story. After cross-referencing genetic sequences with modern inhabitants of the same area, researchers at the National History Museum have discovered that Cheddar Man would have had a strikingly dark complexion.

From an evolutionary perspective, all humans descend from the Paleolithic Africans, from whom Cheddar Man would have inherited his appearance. This discovery has surprised many by implying that the first British inhabitants were brown-skinned and not fair. But far more interesting is that contemporary racial labels are a relatively recent idea in human history; in fact, our common African ancestors mean that race is not a biological reality but a socio-cultural construction.

One contributor to the project, Dr. Yoan Dieckmann said, “The historical perspective that you get just tells you that things change, things are in flux, and what may seem as a cemented truth that people who feel British have white skin, through time is not at all something that is an immutable truth.”

You can read more about the discovery here.


SCHROEDER FAMILY

Read more:
Pilgrimage to history: Family traces paths of forebears in the Church

Tags:
ScienceSocial MediaSociety
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
2
MADONNA
V. M. Traverso
The 9 oldest images of Mary
3
Jacques Fesch
Brother Silas Henderson, SDS
Meet the Death Row prisoner who discovered a ...
4
SEARCHNG PURSE
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things every Catholic woman should have in her purse
5
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
6
CELEBRITY MARRIAGES
Cerith Gardiner
10 Celebrities whose marriages have stood the test of time
7
RECONSTRUCTED CHRIST
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.