Early DNA reveals two distinct populations in Britain after the last Ice Age

Miroslaw Miras / Pixabay alt=”An artist’s redesign of the DNA double helix.” Researchers in Britain have discovered two distinct groups of humans living in post-Ice Age Britain. image file by Miroslaw Miras / Pixabay ”/>

An artist’s redesign of the DNA double helix. Researchers in Britain have discovered two distinct groups of humans living in post-Ice Age Britain. image file by Miroslav Miras/Pixabay

Oct 25 (UPI) – Scientists have sequenced the oldest human DNA discovered in Britain and discovered two unique populations that lived in Britain after the last Ice Age.

A specimen was discovered in Gough’s Cave in Somerset, England about 14,000 years ago. Compared A specimen from about 1,000 years old was discovered in Kendrick Cave in Wales.

“We knew from our previous work, including the Cheddarman study, that Western hunter-gatherers were in Britain about 10,500 years ago, but we didn’t know when they arrived in Britain, and whether this was the only population that was there,” said Selina Price, principal investigator at the Museum. Natural History in Britain, which studies ancient DNA”.

By studying the remains found in Gough’s Cave, researchers were able to determine that humans were in Britain 300 years earlier than scientists previously thought, which means they were present before Britain began to warm after the last Ice Age.

Genetic studies of the two samples revealed that they came from two different genetic groups, which means that at least two completely different groups of humans were living in Britain within a relatively short time frame.

Artifacts discovered between the two groups indicate vastly different cultural practices.

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“Evidence from human remains that were found in Kendrick Cave indicates that the cave was used as a burial site by its occupiers,” said Silvia Bello, a researcher at the Museum of Natural History who specializes in the evolution of human behavior.

in contrast, Bello said, “Evidence in Gough’s Cave points to a sophisticated culture of butchering and carving human remains.”

It was also revealed that these early inhabitants were using parts of animals already believed to be extinct in Britain at the time, including a spear head made of mammoth ivory and a stick made of reindeer antlers.

According to Chris Stringer, one of the research leaders on human evolution at the Natural History Museum, “This raises many interesting questions: Did they bring these artifacts from somewhere colder? Or is Britain more complex and still has mammoths and reindeer surviving in the highlands?” ”

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