By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. The Cheddar Man fossil was unearthed in Gough’s Cave in Somerset over a century ago.

[3][20], As humans dispersed from equatorial Africa to low UVR areas and higher altitudes sometime between 120,000 and 65,000 years ago, dark skin posed a disadvantage. Pay attention! [56][57], Skin colour seems to vary mostly due to variations in a number of genes of large effect as well as several other genes of small effect (TYR, TYRP1, OCA2, SLC45A2, SLC24A5, MC1R, KITLG and SLC24A4). This accounts for the fact that dark-skinned people get visibly darker after one or two weeks of sun exposure, and then lose their colour after months when they stay out of the sun. Credit: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. A 10,000-year-old hunter had “dark to black” skin, a groundbreaking DNA analysis of Britain’s oldest complete skeleton has revealed. Why does it matter?

It was “luck”, however, that they found “scraps of DNA in his ear” stated archaeologists at the museum this week.

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Recent research suggest that the photoprotective effect of dark skin is increased by the fact that melanin can capture free radicals, such as hydrogen peroxide, which are created by the interaction of UVR and layers of the skin. Reference SNP(refSNP) Cluster Report: rs1426654 **clinically associated** Archived 5 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine.. (30 December 2008).

Although it is true that eumelanin has antibacterial properties, its importance is secondary to 'physical adsorption' (physisorption) to protect against UVR-induced damage. This is remarkable given that the number of polymorphisms for almost all genes in the human gene pool is greater in African samples than in any other geographic region.

Image of reconstructed faces of three early humans in profile view. [24][44][45][46][47] However, these cancer types usually affect people at the end or after their reproductive career and could have not been the evolutionary reason behind the development of dark skin pigmentation. [20][21] Due to mass migration and increased mobility of people between geographical regions in the recent past, dark-skinned populations today are found all over the world. All the information on this website is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. The story of the black Cheddar Man will be presented in a documentary, The First Brit: Secrets of the 10,000 Year Old Man, airing in the UK on Channel 4 on Sunday February 18.

I had a facelift in 1995 and only remember I had a left droopy…, Thank you for your question. Different dark-skinned populations are not necessarily closely related genetically. Oxford University Press. However, Melanesians are one of the dark-skinned human populations known to have naturally-occurring blond hair. Folate also plays an important role in the development of many neurotransmitters, e.g. Archaeologists determined at the time that he was one of the first settlers to have crossed Doggerland, the land bridge from continental Europe to Britain, after the glaciers began receding at the end of the last ice age.
Dark-skinned people having a high body-mass index and not taking vitamin D supplements were associated with vitamin D deficiency.
[106] Most North American indigenous populations rank similar to African and Oceanian populations in regards to the presence of the allele Ala111. [87], The Aborigines of Australia, as with all humans, are descendants of African migrants, and their ancestors may have been among the first major groups to leave Africa around 50,000 years ago. Women need folate to maintain healthy eggs, for proper implantation of eggs, and for the normal development of placenta after fertilization. [94][95], The indigenous Papuan people of New Guinea have dark skin pigmentation and have inhabited the island for at least 40,000 years. This is mainly because of the weather conditions in South Asia—higher UV indices are in the south. Because it is impractical to wear extensive clothing in a watery environment, culture and technology does little to buffer UVR exposure. They are also found to have a greater range of hair and skin color. These populations, with the exception of indigenous Tasmanians almost exclusively live near the equator, in tropical areas with intense sunlight: Australia, Melanesia, New Guinea, South Asia, and Africa.

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