A dead man in England is talking and what he says involves you.
His tale is told from Cheddar Gorge, Somerset.
He was found quite dead in Gough's cave. There nothing left of the poor man except his bones. But it was the DNA in those bones that is talking about you and what it says is amazing.
The man died over 9,000 years ago. His remains are, in fact, the oldest complete human skeleton found in England.
So what is this Mesolithic man saying about you?
He's telling us that his DNA is virtually identical to that of the current residents who abide in the Somerset region of England. That is, those beloved Britons with their precisely spoken words and knack for understatement are the man's descendants, or the prodigy of his kinfolk.
That, in turn, tells us that the popular myth that Britain is a people of immigrants is largely nonsense. Cheddar Man speaks to you directly. He tells you that your language and culture are a product of a sophisticated ancient civilization that survived and thrived for at least ten thousand years, maybe more. He warns you that your rich heritage is being stolen away and, once gone, will never be restored. He pleads with you from nine thousand years in the past to sit up and take note that your generation is responsible for destroying what may be the oldest, continuous culture in human history. Your generation!
Did I say ancient Romans?
Cheddar man, and his culture thrived 7,000 years before Emperor Claudius' army left foot prints on the shore near Dover. The Romans were ancient from our view point, existing 2,000 years before us. Cheddar man was more ancient from the Romans' view point, existing 5,000 before them!
The invading Romans, however, knew nothing of Cheddar man nor his rich legacy. The Romans dismissed the island people as brutes and uncivilized barbarians; trophies to be conquered for the sake of satisfying their lust for conquest and the gold that was rumored to lay beneath British soil.
The Romans were wrong on all counts.
but for copper that was mined from tunnels estimated to be as long as thirty miles.
They were brilliant craftsmen; makers of seaworthy ships that exported their ore in exchange for goods from abroad. They built sophisticated houses, like those unearthed in Skara Brae, that included plumbing for sewage and displayed people as intelligent as those who scurry down the highways and byways of Britain today with their GPS systems and iPhones at hand; perhaps more so.
Cheddar man reminds you that your ancient kinsmen were a religious folk whose Druid temples can still be seen throughout the land, most notoriously at Stonehenge. Like country churches today, hundreds of such worship centers once dotted the island's landscapes, serving the religious people with the promise of life hereafter.
I wonder what the man from the past would say to us were he to be brought back from the dead and allowed to tread the streets of London. Would he be appalled that his progeny is willfully yielding their heritage that he and millions like him left for posterity?
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