DNA project turns spotlight on Cheddar Man

A Channel 4 documentary to be broadcast on February 18 will put Cheddar Gorge & Caves under the spotlight and tell the story of Britain’s oldest complete skeleton.

The First Brit: Secrets of the 10,000-Year-Old Man, follows scientists as they investigated ‘Cheddar Man’, who was found in Gough’s Cave, Somerset, more than 100 years ago.

The documentary features a DNA project carried out by scientists at the Natural History Museum and University College London.

The results enabled palaeontological model-makers to recreate the head of this Stone Age man, complete with blue eyes and dark skin.

The striking face of Cheddar Man was seen in national newspapers and on TV news bulletins today (February 7).

Leon Troake, operations manager at Cheddar Gorge & Caves, said: “The latest findings are fascinating. We now know so much more about this very special individual who lived in Cheddar Gorge 10,000 years ago.

“We now know so much more about his skin colour, hair, facial features and eye colour, which has not been possible until now.

“Visitors to Gough’s Cave will now not only be able to see where Cheddar man was discovered but also have a good idea of what he looked like and imagine what life would have been like so long ago.”

Cheddar Man’s skeletal remains are kept at the Natural History Museum in London.

A replica of the skeleton is now exhibited in Gough’s Cave, close to where it was discovered in 1903.

For details of the documentary, click here.

Picture credit: Channel 4 Plimsoll Productions