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Started by contracycle, February 24, 2003, 05:00:50 PM
QuoteFor ninety years after its discovery in 1903 in Gough's Cave, Cheddar Gorge, the skeleton of 'Cheddar Man' was kept in London's Natural History Museum. But in 1996 it was the subject of an extraordinary experiment. It was sent to the Institute for Molecular Testing in Oxfordfor DNA testing, and samples of its mitochondrial DNA were compared with a score of similar samples taken from volunteers among the villagers in the present day Cheddar district. 'To the astonishmenty of the scientists', as The Times reported, ' close match was found between Cheddar Man and Mr [Adrian] Targett', a forty-two-year-old history teacher at the Kibngs of Wessex Community School in Cheddar Village. The experiment had proved beyond reasonable doubt that a man living in late-twentieth century Britain was a direct descendant through the maternal line of a person living in the same location in the Middle Stone Age.