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A new children's book published by Bloomsbury and promoted in the U.K. by a government-funded group claims that Stonehenge was built by "people with brown skin" back when England was supposedly "a black country."
Atinuke, the daughter of a Nigerian university professor and a white English author, claims in "Brilliant Black British History" that "Britain was a black country for more than 7,000 years before white people came, and during that time the most famous British monument was built, Stonehenge," reported the Telegraph.
Stonehenge is a monument that was erected on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, roughly 4,000 years ago during the late Neolithic period and early Bronze Age.
The Telegraph noted that recent genetic analysis indicates that the inhabitants of Britain around the time of the monument's construction were "pale-skinned early farmers whose ancestors had spread from Anatolia," which is modern Turkey.
A 2019 study published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution indicated that around 6,000 B.C., there had been a massive expansion of such people out of Anatolia who then introduced farming to Europe.
The BBC reported that "DNA reveals that Neolithic Britons were largely descended from groups who took the Mediterranean route, either hugging the coast or hopping from island-to-island on boats."
These settlers are also believed to have introduced the practice of building monuments using large stones.
Millennia later, it was the pale Bell Beaker people from mainland Europe — who settled in Britain around 4,500 years ago and ultimately replaced 90% of the gene pool — who "were associated with the elaboration and refurbishment of Stonehenge around 2000 BC as a stone circle rather than an earth and timber monument," according to "The Oxford Illustrated History of Prehistoric Europe."
English Heritage, a charity that manages hundreds of the nation's historic monuments, noted that the "stone settings at Stonehenge were built at a time of great change in prehistory, just as new styles of 'Beaker' pottery and the knowledge of metalworking, together with a transition to the burial of individuals with grave goods, were arriving from the Continent."
While the ancient engineers behind the megaliths may not have been dark-skinned as Atinuke claims in her book, scientists have speculated that "Cheddar Man," the 10,000-year-old skeleton unearthed in Gough's Cave in Somerset, England, may have had "dark to black" skin and blue eyes, based on DNA analysis.
However, whereas Atinuke claimed with certainty that Cheddar Man had "skin as dark as dark can be," the Daily Mail reported that an expert involved in the project, geneticist Susan Walsh at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, suggested that the dark skin claim was a "probable profile" contra a scientific certainty.
Atinuke's focus in the book is not just prehistoric. She also catalogues black populations throughout Britain's history, from the time of its Roman conquest through the Middle Ages and onward.
For instance, according to the author, during the period of the Tudors and Stuarts — which partially overlapped with the Barbary slave trade — Britain was enlightened by black Muslims who brought "new knowledge about textiles, medicine, maths and navigation."
While stressing in her introduction that "Britain has been a mostly white country for a lot less time than it has been a mostly black country" and underscoring nonwhite contributions, Atinuke reportedly noted on a page devoted to the identitarian, Marxist group Black Lives Matter that "race does not scientifically exist."
Historian and author Zareer Masani suggested that Atinuke's book "seems typical of the kind of wokedom that's been colonising our schools and universities," reported the Telegraph.
Masani added that the book, which was promoted by the BookTrust, a Arts Council-funded literacy charity, is "evidence of brainwashing children with outright lies, confusion and misinformation."
"The Nazis claimed that the cultural achievements of the north were the work of blond, fair-skinned folk," said David Abulafia, a historian and professor emeritus at Cambridge. "Making skin color a criterion for judging great achievements like Stonehenge is therefore not a new idea. It is also rubbish. It only gets interesting if their skins were blue or green."
British conservative commentator and Anglican deacon Calvin Robinson told GB News, "It's massively hyperbolic. It's actually insane, the revisionist history that takes place in there. ... You can say that we had a diverse culture to some extent, but it was so minuscule. Up until the 1950s, Britain was predominantly white and that's not a judgment call. That's not saying it's a good thing or a bad thing. That's a fact."
Robinson noted on X that the "book provides no sources, funnily enough."
"Brilliant Black British History" appears to be the latest in a burgeoning genre of revisionist agitprop aimed at either distorting facts to paint Caucasians uniquely as history's villains or erasing them from history altogether as part of a broader leftist-identitarian agenda.
The BBC program "Horrible Histories" released a song in 2021 that has since gone viral called "Been Here From the Start," which advanced a similar alternate history to that favored by Atinuke, suggesting Roman Emperor Septimius Severus, the Aurelian Moors, and the early Britons were black. It was widely criticized by historians and those tiring of liberal identitarianism.
'Been Here From the Start' song | Horrible Histories: Black British History | CBBCyoutu.be
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.