SCIENTISTS have deciphered the DNA of a 7000-year-old Spaniard, revealing a striking figure who had dark, possibly black, hair and skin coupled with blazing blue eyes.

They were astonished to find a combination of African and European genes in the ancient hunter gatherer.

His remains were found in a cold subterranean cave in the Cantabrian mountains of north-west Spain, where conditions are ideal for preserving DNA.

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Results from the DNA analysis appear in the latest online edition of the journal Nature.