In 2017, the discovery of Graecopithecus freybergi, aka ‘El Graeco’ was said to prove that our European ancestors were already enjoying life in Europe 200,000 years before the existence of the earliest of our African ancestors.
Which an International team of researchers said entirely change the beginning of human history and place the last common ancestor of both chimpanzees and humans – the so-called Missing Link – in the Mediterranean region.
As an African, I jokingly thought if this finding is true, Africans original home is not the jungles of Africa, but the wildlands of Europe! It then made sense why Africans are rushing to Europe. We are going back to our root. We are going home.
But with this year revelation from the DNA analysis that Cheddar Man, a human male fossil found in Gough’s Cave in Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, England, and one of the first modern Britons who lived about 10,000 years ago had a ‘dark to black’ skin and curly hair, I now think Africans migrants should have privileged access into the UK, because we are family.
According to the Guardian, “Intense speculation has built up around Cheddar Man’s origins and appearance because he lived shortly after the first settlers crossed from continental Europe to Britain at the end of the last ice age. People of white British ancestry alive today are descendants of this population. It was initially assumed that Cheddar Man had pale skin and fair hair, but his DNA paints a different picture, strongly suggesting he had blue eyes, a very dark brown to black complexion and dark curly hair.”
Also just like today’s African immigrants, Scientists thinks the results suggest Cheddar Man’s ancestors left Africa, moved into the Middle East and later headed west into Europe, before eventually crossing the ancient land bridge called Doggerland which connected Britain to continental Europe, as he was different from the cannibals who inhabiting Gough’s Cave 5,000 years earlier.
According to the Guardian, Scientists now believe that the people living in Europe became lighter-skinned over time because pale skin absorbs more sunlight, which is required to produce enough vitamin D, and that the latest findings suggest pale skin may have emerged later, possibly when the advent of farming meant people were obtaining less vitamin D though dietary sources like oily fish.
They did not explain the “blues eyes” part of the revelation, in terms of the Cheddar Man originating from Africa or relate it to the famous Man from Ape narrative. Are they saying early humans in Africa had blue eyes as there is no evidence or rationale that apes or early humans in Africa had blue eyes. Is it not likely that the Cheddar Man was originally from from Europe and El Graeco discovered in Europe, is his ancestors?
I think, It is just hard for the scientists to change their views on race and the migration-from-Africa theory, or be open-minded toward the probability that theories we have come to accept as promoted by early European scholars may be flawed and Cheddar Man may originally be from Europe and not Africa.
According to the Guardian, Tom Booth, an archaeologist at the Natural History Museum who worked on the project, said: “It really shows up that these imaginary racial categories that we have are really very modern constructions, or very recent constructions, that really are not applicable to the past at all.”