Richard III geneticist among those nominated for national archaeology award

Posted by er134 at Dec 08, 2016 10:25 AM |
The team, headed by Dr Turi King, who carried out the DNA analysis in the King Richard III case is shortlisted for The Current Archaeology Award for Archaeological Innovation of the last 50 years

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 7 December 2016

Access to background information, images and multimedia for the DNA and genealogical work can be requested here:

The University of Leicester geneticist who led the international research team involved in the DNA identification work of Richard III has been nominated for a new award.

Dr Turi King and the team’s work is nominated in the section ‘Archaeological Innovations of the past 50 years’ by Current Archaeology and cited as follows: DNA: As exemplified by the Grey Friars Project (CA 277):

Geneticists and archaeologists at the University of Leicester used mitochondrial DNA to link Richard III’s maternal line to a skeleton found on the Grey Friars site, leading to a positive identification of the ‘king in the car park’.

The University of Leicester also has another project nominated for an award by the journal in the category ‘Rescue Project of the Year’. This is the second year running a project led by University of Leicester archaeologists has been nominated in the Current Archaeology Awards.

Dr King, of the Department of Genetics, said: “New genetic technologies allowing detailed analysis of DNA from archaeological contexts has sparked an exciting new field of research in the past few years: that of ancient DNA.  Not only has it allowed us to identify the remains of individuals, such as in the Romanov case in the 1990s and, more recently, King Richard III but it is now allowing us to answer questions about ancient disease, diet, human evolution and  population movements across the centuries. It’s an incredibly thrilling time to be working in this field, carrying out interdisciplinary projects combining the expertise of archaeologists, historians, geneticists and others to answer questions about our past.”

Dr Turi King read Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge before moving into the field of genetics at the University of Leicester where Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys was on her PhD panel.  She is now a Reader in Genetics and Archaeology at the University of Leicester.

The results of the competition are decided on a public vote which has now opened and can be accessed from the Current Archaeology Awards webpage:

Voting will be open until Monday 6 February 2017, and the winners will be announced at Current Archaeology Live! 2017, held at the University of London’s Senate House on 24-25 February.

The nomination is the fifth for the University of Leicester in the past five years. In 2013 the University was awarded ‘Research Project of the Year’ for the Grey Friars Project and the discovery of Richard III. The following year Dr Richard Buckley, Lead Archaeologist on the Greyfriars Project, was awarded ‘Archaeologist of the Year’ and in 2016 the School of Archaeology and Ancient History’s summer fieldschool at Burrough Hill Iron Age Hillfort was nominated for ‘Research Project of the Year’.


Notes to editors:

Contact Dr Turi King at:

More on the Innovation category nominees here:

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