A DNA analysis of Britain's oldest complete skeleton has revealed that some of the first modern Britons had "dark to black skin".
By "modern Briton" researchers are referring to the people who roamed the UK about 10,000 years ago, while this specific skeleton is named "Cheddar Man", after being discovered in a cave in Cheddar Gorge, Gloucestershire in 1903. It was assumed Cheddar Man would have had fair hair and pale skin way back when, because his skeleton is dated to the end of the last ice age, when the first people from continental Europe settled in Britain. However, his DNA suggests the opposite: that he had a very dark brown to black complexion, blue eyes and dark curly hair.
It is thought that Cheddar Man's ancestors moved from Africa to the Middle East, before making their way to mainland Europe and eventually crossing into Britain via Doggerland, the ancient land which connected the two. According to members of the research team, these findings – revealed ahead of a Channel 4 documentary released on the 18th of February – show that the genes for lighter skin became widespread in European people much later than originally thought, and that the Cheddar Man is directly related to 1 in 10 people living in the UK today.
In a huge blow to white nationalists the country over, one researcher – computational biologist Yoan Diekmann – said this proves that the supposed connection between Britishness and whiteness is "not an immutable truth. It has always changed and will change."
We know this already, of course: for most people, being British has nothing to do with being white. But not everybody feels this way. Some people – namely readers of the Mail Online, The Sun and the Mirror – aren't best pleased that a team of political correctness-obsessed, so-called "experts" have waded in and suggested that, maybe, there were black people living in Britain before their white ancestors.
Look, we've collected some comments from those sites below:
H/T to Broadly Editor Zing Tsjeng for pointing all of these wonderful comments out.