Scotland’s First Migrant: A Lactose-Intolerant Woman, with Dark Hair and Brown Eyes

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Archaeologists have found a skeleton that’s at least 4,250 years old in the north of Scotland in the year 1987. They did some new analysis, and it’s been shown that it used to be a migrant from the north of Europe.

The skeleton was found with a beaker and cow bones

When the remains were first found, they also discovered a beaker, cow bone and flint artifacts. The work showed that the skeleton, which was then called Ava, belonged to a woman, with age between 18 and 25, who had been buried in a very unusual grave, that was cut into bedrock at Achavanich.

They reconstructed her looks

They did a reconstruction of her looks, with red hair and blue eyes, but the fresh DNA showed that she probably had brown eyes, actually, and black hair, and the complexion was generally darker than the local population. They also found out that she was probably intolerant to lactose. It all looked like her ancestors moves into the Caithness are just a few generations before she was born – this suggests that she was a second, or perhaps a first generation migrant, with her predecessors coming from somewhere in the North of Europe – The Netherlands.

It was first found by the archaeologist called Robert Gourlay, right after the beaker and the skeleton was found by other two men who were quarrying rock for a road.

The analysis was made by a team working at London’s Natural History Museum and Harvard Medical School. They did a total facial reconstruction of Ava. It’s like time-traveling, it’s amazing! They know so many details about this woman and her life, it’s simply breath-taking. They thought they would never find so many details about a simple skeleton, such as the fact that the person was lactose-intolerant.

Patrick Supernaw

Patrick Supernaw is the lead editor for Great Lakes Ledger. Patrick has written for many publications including The Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Patrick is based in Ottawa and covers issues affecting his city. In addition to his severe hockey addiction, Pat also enjoys kayaking and can often be found paddling the Rideau Canal. Contact Pat here