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Stone Age people in Ireland had dark skin and were lactose-intolerant

View from the chamber entrance on Bengorm mountain, Ireland

Thorsten Kahlert

Some Stone Age people in Ireland left the bodies of their dead to decompose in a natural rocky chamber on a mountain. Genetic analysis of two of these bodies shows they had darker skin, like many people in Europe at the time, and suggests they lived in fairly large communities.

The boulder chamber was accidentally discovered in 2016 by a hillwalker exploring Bengorm mountain in north-west Ireland. Finding human bones on the floor, he called the police. The bones turned out to be thousands of years old and the …

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