Skeleton descendants reunited... in a cave

PUBLISHED: 09:00 29 May 2013

Craig Dent and Adrian Targett who are related through a 9000year old skeleton with Andy Hunt pictured at the museum.

Craig Dent and Adrian Targett who are related through a 9000year old skeleton with Andy Hunt pictured at the museum.

Archant

THE living descendants of a 9,000-year-old skeleton met for the first time in the same cave their ancestor once called home.

Craig Dent flew half way around the world to meet Cheddar schoolteacher Adrian Targett, a distant relative who discovered he was related to Britain’s oldest complete skeleton in 1997.

The two men met in Gough’s Cave where the skeleton – the so-called ‘Cheddar Man’ - was discovered in 1903.

Mr Dent, from Melbourne, Australia, had been researching his family history when he found out he was related to Mr Targett and used people-finding website 192.com to contact him.

Mr Dent said: “I had been researching the family history for many years and first visited the UK in 2008, and since that visit I have returned to progress my research in 2011, 2012 and now again in 2013.

“I also share the same DNA with Adrian, though my paternal ancestors left the UK and arrived in Australia in 1860, my maternal ancestors left the UK and arrived in Australia in 1911.

“It is my maternal ancestors who link me with the Cheddar Man.”

The two distant relatives toured the caves where their Stone Age ancestors once lived before sitting down to compare notes on their family history.

Mr Dent said: “I knew through my research that my links to the Bristol region dated back many hundreds of years on both my paternal and maternal lineages.

“However, I was surprised to have learned through my DNA that my link with the region dates back thousands of years.

“When I first spoke with Adrian and other distant relatives in Stoke Gifford and Winterbourne, the heartland of my paternal link to the region, I was humbled by their kindness and warmth.”

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