I know I posted about forensics last week. But I recently saw this article, which is fascinating. A skeleton found under a parking lot in England has been pretty much proven to be that of King Richard III, who died in 1485. Here are several things I think are cool about this:
–They could confirm his ID by matching mitochondrial DNA with that of living descendants.
–The analysis also suggested that maybe English royalty fooled around more than we thought.
–Now that we know it’s King Richard III, scientists could possibly help solve a murder mystery. King Dick’s young nephews–one of whom was actually heir to the throne–disappeared while locked up in the Tower of London. A couple hundred years later, the skeletons of two children were discovered at the Tower. Since we know where those bodies are buried, now scientists could check their DNA and compare to Uncle Dick’s.
–British parking lots are damned interesting places. See also this, and this, and this, and this. I’ve actually seen that last one in person, and I think it’s funny. Yes, I have sort of a dark sense of humor. In defense of my home state, however, I should mention that California parking lots are also occasionally interesting.
–Actually, one can find long-dead British people in a variety of surprising places. Like Jeremy Bentham, for instance.