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    CaptainRich's Avatar
    CaptainRich Posts: 4,492, Reputation: 537
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    #1

    Aug 31, 2007, 07:37 AM
    Descendant of Stone Age skeleton found
    I just recently came across an article (yes, it's old) about the Cheddar Man. I wondered if anyone else had heard about him or his connections.
    ebaines's Avatar
    ebaines Posts: 12,132, Reputation: 1307
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    #2

    Sep 5, 2007, 09:15 AM
    I hadn't heard of this before, but a quick Google search pulls up some fascinating articles. It's interesting how one can trace one's ancestry through mitochondrial DNA (which is passed from mother to offspring - hence you share the same mitochondrial DNA as your mother, and your mother's mother, and your mother's mother's mother, etc. In this case they seem to have been able to match mitochondrial DNA from a 9000 year old skeleton to several modern Brits. Of course we all have ancestors from 9000 years ago, but it's indeed unusual that at least one person now actually knows that a particular skeleton is that of his ancestor.
    CaptainRich's Avatar
    CaptainRich Posts: 4,492, Reputation: 537
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    #3

    Sep 5, 2007, 10:18 AM
    Here's a bit more anecdotal trivia:
    The Cheddar Man, who's bones are said to be in the Natural History Museum in London, was discovered in 1903. But, for many the biggest discovery wasn't made until 1997, when Britain's HTV network decided to do a series of documentaries on archaelological subjects in the UK.
    A filmaker named Philip Priestley was hired to direct one of the documentaries, and decided to make Cheddar Man the subject of his film. To make it more relevant to contemporary audiences, he obtained a DNA sample from Cheddar Man's molar to compare to DNA taken from villagers living in Cheddar.
    He had already shot some of the footage with local children filmed in his audience, before he got the DNA results from the molar. So, to make that footage blend with the footage he still had to shoot, he decided to test the DNA of some of those kids. Their history teacher, Adrian Targett, helped pick some of the kids that were from older Cheddar families.
    Some of the kids were under the impression that the DNA test involved drawing blood. Targett explained that no big, scary needles were involved-the tester was just going to swab the inside of their check. To assure his students, Targett had his DNA tested, too.
    When all the tests came back, only one person tested was found to be related to Cheddar Man: Mr. Targett.
    firmbeliever's Avatar
    firmbeliever Posts: 2,919, Reputation: 463
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    #4

    Sep 5, 2007, 10:25 AM
    This is an interesting thread,
    I would like to hear more on this topic.

    Thanks Capt
    CaptainRich's Avatar
    CaptainRich Posts: 4,492, Reputation: 537
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    #5

    Sep 5, 2007, 11:25 AM
    Holes in the Cheddar:
    Richard Gough was a retired sea captian living in the village of Cheddar, England, in 1890. Cheddar was famous for its cheese, but there are also limestone caves. Gough's uncle had turned one into a tourist attraction, so Richard wanted to to the same. He had his eye on one, but an old lady lived in it so he waited. When she finally moved away, Gough got his chance to explore it.

    Limestone caverns are formed over millions of years as water slowly dissolves underground limestone deposits and washes them away, leaving behind large caverns filled with stalactites, stalagmites, and many other beautiful wonders. Underground rivers flow through these caverns, and just as with rivers on the surface, they carry silt and debris. In places where the harder deposits are, the caverns narrow, and the material can pile up and form a clog, or "choke."

    Well, the wall in the old woman's tiny cave was just a tiny choke, and after Gough dug for a while it fell away, revealing a much larger cavern inside. Gough and his sons spent the next eight years excavating that and other chokes in the cave and uncovering more than a quarter mile's worth of magnificent chambers. "Gough's Cave," as it is known, became a huge tourist attraction.

    Too bad old man Gough died in 1902. His sons continued the business. When they started blasting part of the cave floor (to improve drainage) in 1903, they discovered that skeleton from the Stone Age. To this day, the Cheddar Man is considered the oldest intact human skeleton ever found in Great Britain.

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