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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 March 2006, 10:11 GMT
Scientists row over Gosnold claim
A representation of Bartholomew Gosnold
Scientists still hope to establish remains were Gosnold's
US experts claim that bones alleged to belong to a founder of the country are authentic and a skeleton buried in the UK, thought to be his sister, is not.

The archaeologists in Virginia are arguing with UK experts over American founding father Bartholomew Gosnold, born in Grundisburgh, Suffolk.

DNA tests revealed a skeleton buried in Suffolk is not related to the US bones.

US experts claim they have the real Gosnold while UK scientists believe the Suffolk skeleton is authentic.

The British experts believe the body buried at Shelley, Suffolk, is Gosnold's sister, buried in the 1600s, and are casting doubts on the American find.

We are discussing the advisory panel's interpretation with researchers in an effort to reconcile the differences
Bill Kelso, of Historic Jamestowne

US scientists aim to prove the remains found in Jamestown in America were those of Gosnold and claim the woman buried at Shelley was probably not Elizabeth Gosnold Tilney.

Bartholomew Gosnold is said to have founded the first English-speaking American colony in Virginia in 1607.

Nick Clarke, spokesman for the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said the test results have now been examined by the Advisory Panel on the Archaeology of Christian Burials in England.

New tests planned

The panel has decided that the conclusions drawn by the American scientists remain open to interpretation and that the remains could belong to Elizabeth Gosnold Tilney, he said.

Further tests were carried out on the remains and Mr Clarke said carbon dating put the date of the woman's death at Shelley close to that of Elizabeth Gosnold Tilney, who died in 1646 aged in her late 60s.

This did not exclude the possibility that the Shelley skeleton was that of Anne Framlingham, an alternative that British historians offered when the results of the DNA comparison were revealed.

Bill Kelso, director of archaeology at Historic Jamestowne, said: "We are discussing the advisory panel's interpretation with researchers in an effort to reconcile the differences.

"Until questions about these new interpretations are answered, and we can learn more from further tests, we will continue to rely on the historical and archaeological evidence that so far tips the scale to Gosnold."

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13 Jun 05 |  Suffolk
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31 Jan 05 |  Suffolk


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