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Last Updated: Friday, 17 June, 2005, 08:07 GMT 09:07 UK
History hopes in 400-year-old DNA
A representation of Bartholomew Gosnold
Archaeologists believe they have found the pioneer's remains
DNA taken from the bones of a woman who died 400 years ago is due to be analysed as scientists try to identify one of America's founders.

Scientists took the DNA from the skeleton of Elizabeth Tilney, who was buried in a church in Shelley, Suffolk.

She was the sister of Bartholomew Gosnold, said to have established founded the first English-speaking US colony in Virginia in 1607.

It is hoped the DNA will authenticate Gosnold's remains, found in the US.

About two years ago, US archaeologists found a nearly intact skeleton outside the site of the Jamestown Fort, on the east coast of America, which they believe is Captain Gosnold's.

Immediately after the excavation was completed Shelley's rector conducted a quiet ceremony over the grave shaft
Church of England spokesman
The estimated dating of the grave and the ceremonial artefacts found with the skeleton suggest it belongs to Captain Gosnold.

The sample of DNA taken from Elizabeth Tilney earlier this week will be analysed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC.

The results will be compared to a sample taken from the remains believed to be Grundisburgh-born Gosnold.

A spokesman for the Church of England said: "The remains of Elizabeth Gosnold Tilney were not removed from the ground.

"Immediately after the excavation was completed Shelley's rector, Canon David Stranack, conducted a quiet ceremony over the grave shaft.

"A plain wooden cross was placed on the remains before the site was covered."

Grave may hold US explorer clue
13 Jun 05 |  Suffolk
DNA bid for US 'founding father'
31 Jan 05 |  Suffolk



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