The oldest British human DNA known to date represents two distinct groups.
researchers in London We analyzed the DNA of two late British people who lived towards the end of the Paleolithic period.
One specimen was found in Gough’s Cave in Somerset and another was recovered from Kendrick’s Cave in North Wales.
Experts say the Gough Cave specimen was female and lived 14,900 years ago, while the Kendrick Cave specimen was male and lived 13,600 years ago.
The results show that each belonged to a different group that immigrated to Britain at the end of the last Ice Age, and both had very different eating habits.
Gough Cave females were part of a group that likely practiced cannibalism, and the second group’s diet consisted primarily of marine and freshwater foods.
A new study suggests there were two different groups in England at the end of the last Ice Age, and one may have engaged in cannibalism. The group likely used the victims’ skulls to drink after eating the victim’s flesh.
Skull vessels and other fragments from Gough Caverns.The Gough Cave individual analyzed for this study was female and lived about 14,900 years ago
For this study, researchers analyzed the DNA of two individuals. Researchers of Gough cave individuals share genetic ancestry data related to her 15,000-year-old individual from Belgium (“Goyet Q2”). Kendrick’s Cave individual, on the other hand, shares ancestry with her 14,000-year-old Villabruna individual in Italy.
Gough’s Cave (Somerset)
– lived about 14,900 years ago
– Member of a group likely to have practiced cannibalism
Kendrick’s Cave (North Wales)
– lived about 13,600 years ago
– ate sea and freshwater food
The new research is led by experts from the Museum of Natural History, University College London (UCL), and the Francis Crick Institute, natural ecology and evolution.
“I’ve always wanted to know more about who these early populations in Britain were,” said Dr Selina Brace, a study author at the Museum of Natural History.
“We knew from previous jobs. Cheddarman’s studyWestern hunter-gatherers are believed to have been in Britain by about 10,500 years ago.
“But we didn’t know when they first arrived in the UK, and if this was the only population that existed.”
The DNA of a Gough Cave individual indicates that her ancestors were part of the first migrations to northwestern Europe.
Kendrick’s cave figure, on the other hand, comes from a later period, about 13,500 years ago, and his ancestors hail from a group known as the “Western Hunter-Gatherers” who have ancestry in the Near East.
The study found that these populations were not only genetically distinct, but also culturally distinct.
“Bone chemical analysis showed that the Kendrick’s Cave individuals ate many marine and freshwater foods, including large marine mammals,” said UCL study author Rhiannon Stephens, Ph.D.
“However, humans in Gough’s caves show no evidence of eating marine and freshwater food, primarily terrestrial herbivores such as red deer, bovids (such as wild cattle called aurochs), and horses. was eating.”
Human temporal bones carved from Gough Cave, Somerset, analyzed for this new study
A close-up of a Gough Cave bone that belonged to a female individual who lived about 15,000 years ago
Kendrick’s Cave has no animal bones to indicate any evidence of human consumption, indicating that the cave was used as a burial ground by its occupants.
The animal bones found included portable artefacts, such as a decorated horse mandible (mandible).
In contrast, the animal and human bones found in the Gough caves showed significant human alterations, including human skulls that were altered into “skull cups” and interpreted as evidence of ritual cannibalism. rice field.
Human fossils from Kendrick Cave (North Wales) about 13,600 years old
A 13,600-year-old Kendrick Cave human jaw. The oldest UK human DNA known to date is presented in a paper published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.
Last glacier maximum
About 20,000 years ago, a major climate event called the Last Glacial Maximum caused global temperatures to drop.
During the Last Glacial Maximum, the continental ice sheets reached their maximum total mass, but the lands near the ice sheets that escaped the ice age were cold and covered with tundra vegetation.
Cooler temperatures have caused western hunter-gatherer groups to experience extreme population declines, with some on the brink of extinction.
These individuals were part of a population that invaded Britain thousands of years after the Last Glacial, a major climatic event that plunged temperatures about 20,000 years ago.
Humans lived in Britain prior to the height of the last ice age, but were sparsely populated as much of the island was uninhabitable due to extensive ice sheets until the ice began to melt about 19,000 years ago. did.
About 17,000 years ago, humans began to return to northern Europe as the climate warmed and glaciers continued to melt.
“The period 20,000 to 10,000 years ago that we were interested in is part of the Paleolithic period, the Paleolithic period,” said study author Dr. Sophie Charlton of the University of York.
“This was a critical time for the British environment, and there must have been significant climate warming, forest growth and changes in the types of animals that could be hunted.
“There are very few human remains from this period in the UK. There are probably a dozen or so individuals from six sites.
The researchers say that the Gough Cave individuals share genetic ancestry data related to a 15,000-year-old Belgian individual (“Goyet Q2”).
The Kendrick’s Cave individual, on the other hand, shares an ancestry with the 14,000-year-old Villabruna individual in Italy.
However, Kendrick’s Cave individuals have shown no evidence of having an ancestor related to older Gough’s Cave individuals.
Human tooth from Kendrick Cave (North Wales) about 13,600 years old.
This suggests that there were two genetically distinct groups in Britain within about 1,000 years of each other, reflecting the pattern of so-called ‘double ancestry’ seen elsewhere in Europe during the late Pleistocene. It shows, experts say.
Francis Crick’s study author Dr Mateja Heidinjak said, “The discovery of two ancestors in Britain very close together, separated by only a thousand or so years, is one of the most important findings of a changing and dynamic population. “It adds to the new picture of Paleolithic Europe,” said the Institute.
writing on attachments Some of the News & ViewsChantel Conneller, a prehistoric researcher at the University of Newcastle who was not involved in the study, said it “provides new evidence for the genetic make-up of the Upper Upper Paleolithic people in Britain.”
However, she cautioned against the “necessary simplifications” that result from organizing and interpreting DNA data on a large scale.
“Paleolithic archeology, with its relatively imprecise chronology and small data sets, reveals the synchronicity of population events and changes in material culture that may be hundreds or thousands of years apart. We are particularly vulnerable to allegations regarding
Britain during the last ice age
The last glacial maximum was about 22,000 years ago when much of Europe was covered in ice.
During the Ice Age, which ended about 11,500 years ago, ice covered about 30% of the world’s land.
In the UK, glacial ice and water currents extend south as far as the Bristol Channel.
Average temperatures were 5°C (8°F) cooler than today, and a layer of ice 1 km thick covered much of the country.
In the northern regions, especially Scotland, temperatures remained below 0 °C all year round, allowing the sheets to stay above land all year round.
Ice linked Britain and Scandinavia, allowing large numbers of large wildlife to roam freely between Britain and mainland Europe.
In the UK at this time of year you would have seen woolly mammoths, giant deer, wolves and more roaming ice planes.
A large glacial lake covered Manchester, Doncaster, Newcastle and Peterborough, leaving much of the country uninhabitable.
A rapidly flowing corridor of ice, known as the Ice Stream, flowed eastward over Edinburgh and west of Glasgow.
All of Ireland was covered in ice, which flowed through the Irish Sea, met the Welsh ice, and flowed south towards the Isles of Scilly.
Permanent ice covered much of Scotland, Wales, the Midlands and northern England.
Covered by a huge glacial lake, Cambridge was the southernmost region most affected by the frigid climate.
Over time, ice and its massive water currents carved out the land of England, forming geological imprints that can still be seen today.
These include glacial ridges sculpted by moving ice, and winding rock streams that have traveled for miles across the country.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-11348159/Oldest-human-DNA-Britain-cannibal.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Britain’s oldest human DNA may have been cannibal