A BLACK ANCESTOR
As I have often written, at the end of the last Ice Age, what are now the British Isles were uninhabited…it was too cold for people.
Then the climate changed and it became warmer, human beings crossed “Doggerland,” the land bridge from Europe to Britain. Collectively they are known to archaeologists as “North Western European Hunters and Gatherers- farming had not yet been discovered.
Descended from them was “Cheddar Man” whose skeleton was discovered late in the 19th century.
Why did they come? Certainly to make a better life for themselves and who knows, perhaps to escape persecution. Sounds familiar? It should do, for these have been the motives of every family of immigrants that have crossed our shores from that time to this, doing the same thing for the same reasons even as you read this article.
These Middle Stone Age immigrant's needs were universal...water, food, secure shelter, clothing and ease of transport. Following the relatively woodland-free chalk and limestone uplands they found them all in the Cheddar Gorge.
There were caves for easily defended shelter; water for drinking and an attraction to the animals that provided a ready source of food and clothing.
Like the many other newcomers over the 300 generations that separate them from us, these Mesolithic hunter-gathers brought technological innovation. They knew nothing of farming, ceramics and metallurgy but were skilled flint workers. They had the bow and arrow, sharp cutting tools and had domesticated dogs for help in hunting animals funnelled into the gorge in search of water.
So much we already knew but only now, thanks to several years of painstaking research with advanced technology do we seerealise that Cheddar Man had brilliant blue eyes and of course, black skin.
This must pose two major problems for you racial bigots out there. What if YOU are among the 1 in 10 indigenous Brits out there who are genetically descended from Cheddar Man and his people?
Secondly, is he one of US or one of THEM or are YOU one of THEM or one of us?