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HomeNewsGosnold DNA Dig Begins Next Week
Gosnold DNA Dig Begins Next Week

Archaeological conservator Michael Lavin applying Rhoplex to bridge of nose to prevent further deterioration.
Archaeological conservator Michael Lavin applying Rhoplex to bridge of nose to prevent further deterioration.
The first ever excavation to retrieve DNA from remains in a church in the UK for a scientific project begins next week (Monday 13th June). Archaeologists from Suffolk and the United States will begin a careful operation to recover a small fragment of the skeleton of Elizabeth Gosnold Tilney, the sister of Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, the Suffolk entrepreneur who led the expedition to establish the first permanent English-speaking colony in the New World and the birthplace of the United States of America.

In 1607, Gosnold's group landed at Jamestown in what is now Virginia, but died a few months later. He is considered the most overlooked of the country's founders.

The remains of a 17th century captain were uncovered in 2003 by the APVA Preservation Virginia at Historic Jamestowne on Jamestown Island. Backed by the National Geographic Society, the unique project starting at Shelley church next week, aims to prove that the captain in Virginia is the USA's Founding Father.

Dr William Kelso, the Director of Archaeology for the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, will join a team of archaeologists from Suffolk County Council at Shelley for the dig.

A second excavation to recover a DNA sample from Katherine Blackerby, Gosnold's niece who is buried at St Peter and St Mary church in Stowmarket, will also begin that week.

The research will be featured in an upcoming episode of National Geographic Channel's signature series EXPLORER.

Media Contact:
Paula Neely
804.781.0116

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