June 15, 2005

Dem Bones Be Speakin' To Me

Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in North America. It was founded in 1607 in what is now Virginia. One of the founders was Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, and there is evidence that a skeleton found outside the site of the Jamestown Fort is Gosnold's.

Archaeologists hoping to determine whether an unearthed skeleton belongs to one of the founders of the first permanent English settlement in North America began work Monday to excavate his sister's 360-year-old remains in eastern England.

A DNA match would be confirmation.

British and American researchers on Monday began work to remove a small part of Elizabeth Gosnold Tilney's skeleton from beneath the floor of All Saints Church in the English village of Shelley, 60 miles northeast of London. Scientists working with skeletal remains can only trace DNA through maternal relatives.

I didn't know that part about maternal relatives. Archeologists also believe they've located one of Gosnold's nieces and will attempt a DNA match from her remains as well.

Gosnold, though largely unrecognized historically, is considered a primary organizer and head of the expedition that led to Jamestown's founding. Capt. John Smith's role received most of the attention because Gosnold became ill and died at age 36 - three months after arriving in Virginia.

You can read the whole story here. I also did another post about Jamestown way back, there are good links there too if you're into history.

Posted by Ted at June 15, 2005 04:23 AM
Category: SciTech

They're probably looking at mitochondrial DNA, which is only passed through the mother. Why that makes a difference if they're looking at first degree relatives, I have no clue.

Posted by: owlish at June 15, 2005 05:39 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Site Meter