Cheddar Man bones, Gough's Cave, 1903

Cheddar Man bones, Gough's Cave, 1903

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cheddar Man bones. Photograph of the bones of Cheddar Man piled at the entrance of Gough's Cave (Cheddar Gorge), Somerset, following their discovery in 1903. Cheddar Man, Britain's oldest complete human skeleton, dates from around 7150 BCE. Mitochondrial DNA taken from the skeleton has been found to match that of Adrian Targett, a local man, indicating Cheddar Man may actually be ancestral to some modern people still living in the area today. The skeleton is now in the British Museum but upon discovery it was displayed at the Gorge and gained a great deal of interest. How the skeleton got into the cave is unknown, but some have suggested evidence for a violent death and even cannibalism. Other much earlier but partial human remains from the cave have showed more definite evidence for such conclusions.

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