Richard III dig

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Richard III dig

Postby Motley » 12 Sep 2012 14:56

I know this has been news that they were doing the dig for a little while.

But it all seems to be getting a bit exciting now http://www.thehistoryblog.com/archives/19646
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Re: Richard III dig

Postby Motley » 12 Sep 2012 15:00

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Re: Richard III dig

Postby Motley » 12 Sep 2012 15:01

Interesting about the 'barbed' arrow head.
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Postby Ty N. » 13 Sep 2012 22:03

I'm curious about their plans to compare DNA samples (if any) from the king's remains to a living descendant... not sure how meaningful (if at all) the results would be.
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Re: Richard III dig

Postby Scoobing » 14 Sep 2012 07:34

If I'm remember my biology lessons correctly (correct me if I'm wrong) the DNA from living descendents even after a few hundred years of being diluted by DNA from husbands/wives not of his blood line their "should" be enough genetic information to positively identify him
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Re: Richard III dig

Postby Cutlery Penguin » 14 Sep 2012 08:07

Male lines can be traced through the Y chromosone which is passed on intact. Mitochondrial DNA is passed on intact through the female line.

Of course that supposes that he has confirmed descendants, otherwise all we can say for certain is that he is of the correct line. Though add that to the rest of the evidence and it all starts to look pretty convincing.
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Re: Richard III dig

Postby admin » 14 Sep 2012 10:08

Motley wrote:Interesting about the 'barbed' arrow head.


Type 16 arrowheads are kind of barbed and also happen to be the most common military arrowhead from that period.
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Re: Richard III dig

Postby admin » 14 Sep 2012 10:09

Scoobing wrote:If I'm remember my biology lessons correctly (correct me if I'm wrong) the DNA from living descendents even after a few hundred years of being diluted by DNA from husbands/wives not of his blood line their "should" be enough genetic information to positively identify him


Indeed. I don't know what Ty's query is, but DNA from skeletons has been used for a long time to show a relation to living people - they did it with the Russian royal family famously. The police also use it in phorensic cases.
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Re: Richard III dig

Postby admin » 14 Sep 2012 10:12

Cutlery Penguin wrote:Male lines can be traced through the Y chromosone which is passed on intact. Mitochondrial DNA is passed on intact through the female line.


This is not enough unfortunately - y-chrom only gives you a type. Thousands of living people would share that type, without necessarily being related (except by a common ancestor thousands of years back). Y-chrom is only really useful in analysing populations, not individuals. They need a much broader spread of DNA sequence to confirm relation to a living person, but the good news is that they've been doing this for years now and it should be straight forward.
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Re: Richard III dig

Postby Motley » 14 Sep 2012 12:38

I think one of the articles says that they have a descendent of his sister that they hope to use.
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Postby Ty N. » 14 Sep 2012 19:38

The supposed descendant lives in Canada.


Perhaps he will declare war on the Windsors, and the Plantagenet line will be reforged from the shards of, er... Richard, I guess.
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Re: Richard III dig

Postby Lyceum » 14 Sep 2012 21:01

We also use haplogroupings, amongst other things, when working with bronze and early iron age bodies as Classicists so it is quite possible and fruitful.
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