Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Additional DNA Tests for Richard III

Thursday, February 14, 2013

LEICESTER, ENGLAND—Geneticist Turi King of the University of Leicester used mitochondrial DNA to identify the remains of Richard III. She was able to match a sample from the skeleton with one taken from a descendant of Richard III’s sister, Anne of York. This type of mitochondrial DNA is transmitted through women and is carried by about one percent of the English population. King’s team is now working on identifying Richard III through DNA on the Y chromosome, which is only carried by men. She has identified four living descendants of John of Gaunt, son of Edward III, who was Richard III’s great-great-grandfather. She hopes to produce enough Y chromosome DNA from the skeleton in order to make a comparison.