The extraordinary story of Cheddar Man is the subject of a talk to be given on 11 July at the Museum of Somerset by Dr Tom Booth of the Natural History Museum. The remarkable skeleton of this early human featured recently in the Channel 4 documentary The First Brit.
Cheddar Man lived around 10,000 years ago and is the oldest almost complete skeleton of our species, Homo sapiens, ever found in Britain. The skeleton was discovered in 1903 at Gough’s Cave in Cheddar Gorge, Somerset.
New research into ancient DNA extracted from the skeleton has helped scientists to build a portrait of Cheddar Man and his life in Mesolithic Britain. Dr Booth is among those working on a project funded by the Wellcome Institute which involves researchers from the Natural History Museum, University College London and Harvard University.
In his talk Dr Booth will explore the archaeological evidence of what life was like for Cheddar Man and the other Mesolithic inhabitants of Britain. He will consider what Britain’s landscape looked like 10,000 years ago, what people ate and how they treated their dead. He will also examine the changes to human populations in Britain after Cheddar Man lived, including the extraordinary upheavals which accompanied the arrival of new cultures.
Read more about the extraordinary story of Cheddar Man on the Natural History Museum website