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Thread: British Archaelogists looking for Richard III -- will test DNA if remains found

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    British Archaelogists looking for Richard III -- will test DNA if remains found

    Archaeologists are hoping to find the lost grave of King Richard III under a Leicester car park, which they believe was once the site of a church where the medieval monarch was buried more than 500 years ago.

    Richard III, the last Plantagenet, ruled England from 1483 until he was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. It is believed his body was stripped and despoiled and brought to Leicester, where he was buried in the church of the Franciscan Friary, known as Greyfriars.

    But the exact whereabouts of the church have become lost over time and it is rumoured the monarch's bones could have been thrown in to the River Soar after the dissolution of the monasteries. Experts are hoping to dispel the rumours and uncover the site of the church and the monarch's remains.

    Richard Buckley, co-director of the archaeology service at the University of Leicester, said: "The big question for us is determining the whereabouts of the church on the site, and also where in the church the body was buried.

    "Although in many ways finding the remains of the king is a long shot, it is a challenge we shall undertake enthusiastically. There is certainly potential for the discovery of burials within the area, based on previous discoveries and the postulated position of the church."

    Any discovered remains will be DNA-tested to confirm that they are those of Richard III.

    The Richard III Society, which promotes research into the monarch, has been involved in the project.

    Philippa Langley, from the society, said: "This search for Richard's grave is only one aspect of the ongoing research effort to discover the real Richard III. After his defeat his reputation suffered enormous disparagement at the hands of his opponents and successors, the Tudors. The challenge lies in uncovering the truth behind the myths.

    "Richard III is a charismatic figure who attracts tremendous interest. Partly because he has been so much maligned in past centuries and partly because he occupies a pivotal place in English history. The continuing interest in Richard means that many fables have grown up around his grave.

    "Although local people like Alderman Herrick in 1612 knew precisely where he was buried and Herrick was able to show visitors a handsome stone pillar marking the king's grave in his garden nevertheless at the same time unlikely stories were spread of Richard's bones being dug up and thrown into the river Soar. Other fables, equally discredited, claimed that his coffin was used as a horse-trough.

    "This archaeological work offers a golden opportunity to learn more about medieval Leicester as well as about Richard III's last resting place and, if he is found, to re-inter his remains with proper solemnity in Leicester cathedral."

    Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/20...-leicester-dig

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    So if they are found, what are the bets? R1b?

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    >> Any discovered remains will be DNA-tested to confirm that they are those of Richard III.

    What would they be comparing against to confirm that the remains were Richard III?

    --david

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    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    >> Any discovered remains will be DNA-tested to confirm that they are those of Richard III.

    What would they be comparing against to confirm that the remains were Richard III?

    --david
    I was wondering that, too. I did a quick google search to see if any known descendants have been tested, but I didn't find anything.

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    According to Debbie Kennett (who actually spoke to the Richard III society some time ago) they will be undertaking a mt-DNA test, comparing any remains to the DNA of a mitochondrial descendant of Richard III's sister, Anne of York. She also posted a link:http://tinyurl.com/d8g4abb

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlet Ibis View Post
    So if they are found, what are the bets? R1b?

    R1b-U106.

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    Richard III dig: Search team uncovers human bones

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england...shire-19561018

    The bones, believed to well preserved, are undergoing DNA analysis "DNA testing will take between eight and 12 weeks".

    Richard Taylor, from the University of Leicester, said: "What we have uncovered is truly remarkable and today we will be announcing to the world that the search for King Richard III has taken a dramatic new turn."
    FullGenomes ID:....FG1048A
    YFull ID :...............YF01371 & YF02740

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    Great news! Let's hope they can extract good untainted Y-DNA and that they perform tests that we would consider satisfactory by 2012's standards.

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    Reuters reports: "The team will compare samples from the skeletal remains with the DNA of a direct descendant of the king’s sister, Michael Ibsen, 55, a Canadian furniture maker who lives in London."

    So seems the principal testing will be mtDNA -- which as we know is easier to recover that ancient Y-DNA.

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    for a bit more info on the Canadian that will be used to test...


    A Canadian link to Richard III?
    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNew.../20193596.html

    September 12, 2012
    A Canadian link to Richard III?
    By Alex Weber, QMI Agency


    Norm Ibsen sits in the living room of his London, Ont., home as he holds a photo of his late wife, Joy, who could be a descendant of King Richard III on Wednesday September 12, 2012. CRAIG GLOVER / QMI AGENCY
    LONDON, Ont. — A Canadian family’s DNA could be the missing link in a centuries-long quest to find the remains of King Richard III.

    A team of archeologists at the University of Leicester in England exhumed a skeleton believed to be Richard’s beneath one of the university’s parking lots Wednesday and are hoping DNA evidence from the London family will prove their suspicions true.

    Richard was killed in 1485 during the Battle of Bosworth -- often cited as the deciding battle in the War of the Roses -- by Henry VII, father of the famed King Henry VIII.

    Richard’s rise to power -- it’s believed he had his nephews murdered in order to seize the thrown -- and short two-year reign as king, is chronicled in Shakespeare’s play Richard III.

    In 2005, British historian John Ashdown-Hill traced Richard’s bloodline to Joy Ibsen, a retired journalist who moved to London, Ont., from England after the Second World War and raised a family.

    Ashdown-Hill discovered Ibsen and Richard shared the same maternal ancestor, Cecily Neville.

    Though Ibsen died in 2008, she passed the genes onto her three children Michael, who lives in the U.K., Jeff who lives in Toronto and Leslie on Vancouver Island.

    “It’s pretty exciting,” said Jeff, 49. “I wasn’t expecting the findings to be so concise ... I’m hoping that if there’s a proper funeral for him, we’ll get invited and maybe get a chance to rub elbows with some royals.”

    The skeleton exhumed Wednesday was found in what’s believed to be the choir of the lost Church of the Grey Friars, the same place historical records indicate Richard was buried. Initial examinations also found trauma to the skull consistent with a battle injury and a barbed arrow through the skeleton’s upper back.

    Especially telling is the spinal deformity found on the exhumed skeleton. It’s believed Richard had severe scoliosis, a form of spinal curvature that caused his right shoulder to appear visibly higher than the left, the same type of curvature found on the skeleton.

    Norm Ibsen, Joy’s husband, still lives in London and said he was very excited by the discovery.

    “I find it all very fascinating, it’s sort of an unreal feeling,” he said. “Joy was sort of skeptical at first when they told her but was thrilled by the revelation ... She’d love this. She was always a monarchist at heart.”

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