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The putative skull of St. Bridget can be questioned
Date:2/16/2010

ars, respectively. This corresponds well with the theory that the skulls in the Vadstena relic shrine could be from Bridget and her daughter Catherine.

The scientists analysed small pieces of the skulls and concluded that both skulls are female by a nuclear DNA-analysis. Moreover, a maternal relationship can be excluded by analysis of mitochondrial DNA. There were indications of a difference in the preservation of the DNA, which could be due to an age difference between the skulls. Therefore, Professor Gran Possnert at Uppsala University's Tandem Laboratory performed further testing, using advanced radiocarbon dating (C-14) technology. The results confirmed those obtained by the DNA analysis.

"One skull cannot be attributed to Bridget or Catherine as it dates back to the period 1470-1670. The other skull, thought to be from Saint Bridget, is dated to 1215-1270 and is thus not likely to be from the 14th Century when Bridget lived. It cannot, however, be completely excluded that the older skull is from Bridget if she had a diet dominated by fish, which can shift the dating results. But this is unlikely," says Gran Possnert.

"The results from both methods support each other. Our DNA analyses show that we can exclude a mother and daughter relationship. This is also confirmed by the dating as a difference of at least 200 years between the skulls is seen," says Marie Allen.


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Contact: Marie Allen
Marie.Allen@genpat.uu.se
46-070-892-4444
Uppsala University
Source:Eurekalert

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