My famous DNA
Cheddar Man - U5a
16192T, 16270T - England - 9,000+ years ago
Britain's oldest complete skeleton, Cheddar Man, was buried in Gough's Cave 9,000 years ago and discovered in 1903.
My ancestors lived in the caves for 40,000 years, leaving behind many stone-and-bone clues to their lifestyle.
Cheddar Man is the name given to the remains of a human male found in Gough's Cave in Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, England. The remains date to approximately 7150 BC, and it appears that he died a violent death, perhaps related to the cannibalism practiced in the area at the time. He is Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton.
The remains were excavated in 1903, and currently reside in the Natural History Museum in London, with a replica in the "Cheddar Man and the Cannibals" museum in Cheddar village.
In the late 1990s, Bryan Sykes of Oxford University first sequenced the mitochondrial DNA of Cheddar Man, with DNA extracted from one of Cheddar Man's molars. Cheddar Man was determined to have belonged to a branch of mitochondrial haplogroup U, a haplogroup which is especially common in Britain, Ireland and the Basque Country of northern Spain and south western France. Haplogroup U is generally found to be most common in southern and western Europe and may have originated in West Asia. Bryan Sykes' research into Cheddar Man was filmed as he performed it. As a means of connecting Cheddar Man to the living residents of Cheddar village, he compared mitochondrial DNA taken from twenty living residents of the village to that extracted from Cheddar Man’s molar. It produced two exact matches and one match with a single mutation. The two exact matches were schoolchildren, and their names were not released. The close match was a history teacher named Adrian Targett.
This modern connection to Cheddar Man (who died at least three thousand years before agriculture began in Britain) makes very credible the theory that modern-day Britons are not all descended from Middle-Eastern migratory farmers, but rather modern Britons are descended from ancient European Palaeolithic and Mesolithic hunter-gatherer tribes who much later on adopted farming.
Set amid the dramatic landscape of Cheddar Gorge, the Cheddar Man and the Cannibals museum recreates life and death in the Stone Age based on finds made in the famous caves.
The most controversial exhibit is a collection of 12,500-year-old butchered human bones, which prove that our ancestors were cannibals.
The museum's other displays include the 9,000-year-old Cheddar Man - Britain's oldest complete skeleton - and a giant rotating skull within a cave of mirrors.
The new attraction features lessons in Stone Age survival skills. There is also a cave art wall where visitors can try their hand as prehistoric painters and a stunning display which transforms a 'living' Cheddar Man into his skeletal remains.
A child painting on rock
Other displays include a three-metre tall cave bear skeleton, a depiction of the Stone Age 'Arms Race' and tableaux featuring both the ritual 'burial' of Cheddar Man and his re-discovery in Gough's Cave 9,000 years later.
Adrian Targett, the local history teacher who was found to be a descendant of Cheddar Man following DNA testing, is joining Lord Bath at the official opening of the exhibition on Wednesday 23 March 2005.
Curator Bob Smart said: "This isn't a 'traditional' museum experience.
"Some of the exhibits may not be for the faint-hearted: they're a graphic depiction of Stone Age life - including cannibalism.
"I believe the giant skull is one of the more startling objects ever to go on display to the public.
"I'm sure it will provide a major talking point for visitors - and that's exactly what it's meant to do.
Reconstruction of prehistoric man lighting a fire
"We want people to really get a sensation of what the world was like back then, wherever possible they can touch and feel many of the objects.
"We also use sound and lighting effects to bring the experience to life.
"Our aim is to show people that Cheddar Man is really modern man in a Stone Age environment.
"We look at advances in technology, art, society and the growth of religion as well as the controversial topic of cannibalism," he added.
Colla Uais the Father of the Clans - R1b
Niall of the Nine Hostages - R1b
Niall Noigiallach, the Great King of Ireland
Colla Uais was a high king of Ireland. Circa 325CE Colla Uais seized Ulster subsequently taking his followers to Scotland. His descendants, known as the 'sons of Erc' (Angus, Fergus & Loarn), became the traditional founders of the Scottish line of the Dál Riata kingdom circa 465CE.
Colla Uais (Carioll) MacECHACH DUIBHLEIN
121st MONARCH of IRELAND; `Colla the Noble'
HM George I's 36-Great Grandfather.
Niall of the Nine Hostages (Irish: Niall Noigíallach) was a High King of Ireland who was active from the mid 4th century into the early 5th century. The date of his death, according to medieval Irish sources, is c. 405. He is said to have made raids on the coastlines of Britannia and Gaul. The roughly contemporary dates have lead some to suggest a link with the kidnapping of Saint Patrick as a youth.
The fifth and youngest son of Eochaid Mugmedon, an Irish High King, and Cairenn Chasdubh (curly black), the enslaved daughter of Sachell Balb (Sachell the stammerer), a British king, he was the eponymous ancestor, through his sons Conall Gulban, Endae, Eógan, Coirpre, Lóegaire, Maine of Tethba, Conall Cremthainne and Fiachu Fiachrach, of the Uí Néill dynasties.
The Northern and Southern Uí Néill dynasties, which provided most of the High Kings for centuries, descended from Niall. Other famous descendants include Niall's great-great grandson Saint Columba, Saint Máel Ruba, the Kings of Scotland, the Kings of Ailech, the Kings of Tir Eogain, The Kings of Tír Conaill, Chieftain and Earl Hugh O'Neill, Clan Chief and Earl Red Hugh O'Donnell of the O'Donnell of Tyrconnell, military leaders of Confederate Ireland Owen Roe O'Neill and Hugh Dubh O'Neill and Phelim O'Neill, Roman Catholic Primate of Ireland Aodh MacCathmhaoil, Spanish Prime Minister Leopoldo O'Donnell 1st Duque de Tetuan, Sir Cahir O’Doherty, Shane O'Neill, Sir William Johnson of the O'Neills of the Fews, in addition to numerous officers in the armies of France, Spain, and the Austrian Empire. The current British royal family claims a link.
Niall Noigiallach MacECHACH
aka Nial Mor NAOIGHIALLACH `of the Nine Hostages'; 1st King (but reckoned 126th MONARCH) of IRELAND; conquered nine countries (incl. part of France)
HM George I's 34-Great Grandfather.
Died: abt. 405 Boulogne
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