With a close to total absence of reliable research on the subject, what are we left with if we want to know from whence we come?
We can take the information we have and test it against reality. If it computes with reality as we know it, then we should be able to trust it.
Let us take the Cheddar Man claim for instance; that he had light eyes and very dark skin. So let me present to you a few control questions:
1. Why do humans have light eyes?
2. Why do humans have dark skin?
3. Are there any humans today with light eyes and dark skin?
1. Humans have light eyes because that give you an edge in low-light conditions. Like in the dark forest that used to cover all our continent in the past (save the areas under glaciers, and for some time where the glaciers had been, when they retracted). It makes sense that our forebears had light eyes. I would argue that this part of the claim is correct.
2. Humans have dark hair and skin to protect themselves from too much sunlight. Therefore they have dark hair and skin in Africa, in Southern India, etc. If you have dark hair and skin and live in Europe, and even in a Europe dressed in a deep and dark forest, then not only is it a huge disadvantage, it might well be… disastrous. You will not get enough sunshine vitamins and you will succumb to infections, cancer and viruses; your body will not develop properly; you stand a serious risk of getting Rickets and if you are a pregnant woman with dark hair and skin you stand a great risk of losing your child and at least of giving birth to a weak and under-developed child – that in turn will hardly survive in the wild.
Unless of course you have an extremely vitamin D rich diet, like the Eskimos have, and eat plenty of fatty fish every day, all year-round. This will enable you to survive, even in a dark forest, but only barely, and anyone with a fair skin will have an edge on you, because they don’t depend on being in a position to be able to catch and eat fatty fish all the time to survive. They can eat just about anything and still get plenty of vitamin D, because their skin is fair and thus need much less sunlight to produce such vitamins.
So although theoretically possible, it is highly unlikely that a people in Europe was dark-skinned, unless they were only visiting – or like today received plenty of vitamin D supplements.
3. Human beings come in many different hues, but in recorded history, we have never found a race of man with dark skin and hair, but light eyes. The only ones with such features, are a few exceptional mixed race individuals. They all have European ancestry.
And of course we haven’t found any such races of man, because… those are highly contradictory features. Light eyes are good for low-light conditions. Dark hair and skin is good for sunny conditions. Although man can make such individuals, by interbreeding, Mother Nature doesn’t make such individuals, and under natural conditions she punishes any who makes such individuals brutally and swiftly.
Since Mother Nature hardly makes such individuals we can assume that the Cheddar Man was either a mixed race individual, part non-European/immigrant, perhaps only visiting or living there for a short time, or he didn’t have dark hair and skin to begin with…. and they just made that part up for political propaganda purposes.