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'It’s not like CSI': The science of the search for Richard III
Date:11/15/2012

Search for King Richard III press portal: http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/media-centre/richard-iii

DNA testing, environmental sampling and radiocarbon dating are some of the tests being undertaken to determine whether the skeleton found in Leicester was once Richard III - and there are also plans to do a facial reconstruction.

Lead archaeologist Richard Buckley, of the University of Leicester's Archaeological Services, has explained the schedule for the scientific processes the skeleton is being subjected to.

The complexity and rigorousness of the tests along with the need to find specialist facilities for some crucial stages mean that the results of the skeleton's identity will not come overnight.

After the remains were exhumed, soil samples were taken from the grave and from around the skeleton which may provide information about the burial practice and its environment together with information related to health and diet of the person.

The skeleton has been given a computed-tomography (CT) scan which will allow scientists to build up a 3-D digital image of the individual.

From here, they hope to reconstruct the individual's face, in a similar way to the images created of King Tutankhamun following CT scans of the 3,000-year-old mummy.

Samples of dental calculus - mineralised dental plaque, which sometimes builds up around teeth - will be taken from the skeleton to help the scientists find out more about the person's diet, health and living conditions.

Further samples have been taken from the teeth and a long bone so that ancient DNA can be extracted and compared with that of Michael Ibsen, believed to be a descendant of Richard III's sister, Anne of York via the female line.

But extracting the DNA from these samples is not straightforward, as even the act of breathing on 500-year-old re
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Contact: Ather Mirza
pressoffice@le.ac.uk
01-162-523-335
University of Leicester
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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