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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Scientists Barking Up the Wrong Family Tree

From The (Norfolk, Va.) Virginian-Pilot:

DNA from the wrong woman can't confirm colonist's identity

By DIANE TENNANT, The Virginian-Pilot
© November 10, 2005 | Last updated 11:40 AM Nov. 10

DNA samples that scientists had hoped would identify a skeleton found at Jamestown turned out to be from the wrong woman, and not from Bartholomew Gosnold’s sister.

Archaeologists still believe they have his remains; they just can’t prove it.

The results of the DNA tests were announced today at a press conference by archaeologists from Jamestown Rediscovery and a forensic anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution.

It was not the result they had hoped for when bone and tooth samples were painstakingly removed from a 17th-century burial vault in a small English church last June. Researchers were searching for Elizabeth Gosnold Tilney, a sister of the man who helped found Jamestown in 1607. DNA tests have revealed that the samples came from a woman too young to be Tilney. None of the DNA matched that of the Jamestown skeleton.

[snip]

[Read the whole story]

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