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Archive for the tag “Durham Cathedral”

Durham Cathedral’s central tower reopens after three-year restoration….

After being wrapped in white cloth for three years, the work on Durham Cathedral’s famous central tower has been completed, and from 1st June, visitors have once again been allowed to ascend the 325 steps to enjoy the fabulous views over the city.

To read more about the project, go to this article where there is also a video about it.

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A Scottish Crown Jewel found in Durham Cathedral?

Has the Black Rood of Scotland been hiding in plain sight, indeed? Well, David Willem think so and is speaking about it in Edinburgh on Wednesday, how Margaret of Wessex took this cross to Scotland in 1068, how Edward I removed it along with the Stone of Destiny but it was returned and relocated again, to Durham, after David II’s defeat at the nearby Neville’s Cross. It is known to have been there until about 1540.

At Durham Cathedral, a similarly jewel-encrusted gold cross was found in St. Cuthbert’s grave in 1827. Is this the missing part of the Scottish Crown Jewels?

THE ICEMAN COMETH–DNA Testing and Fabric

Recently, DNA testing has been used to sequence the genome of Oetzi the Iceman’s clothing. We are now able to trace exactly where the fibres of his garments, both animal and plants originated over 5000 years ago.

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep31279

Human DNA was a useful tool in the identification of Richard III’s remains. What about  other items from his time?  Of course, no fabric remains from his burial, but perhaps testing could clear up another mystery–the fate of the parliamentary robe he presented to Durham. It is supposed to have been ‘lost’ but there IS  a blue, late medieval robe amidst the cathedral’s treasures. It doesn’t have the ‘lions’ on it that Richard’s was said to have, but that might be expected as the panels of donated robes were often used to fashion other garments, or draperies. What remains today could be a reconstituted, heavily changed item. Durham cathedral, however,  says they think the robe is Italian…well, a modern test such as that performed on Oetzi’s garments could put the mystery to rest forever.

*An interesting connection between Richard and Oetzi the Iceman: they both share the same  y-DNA, G2. This haplogroup was  common in the earlier neolithic in Europe but lost ground in the chalcolithic/bronze age, when R1b became dominant. G2 reaches its highest frequencies in Sardinia and parts of France but can be found at very low levels throughout much of Europe. So, deep in time, Richard and Oetzi will share a common male ancestor.ice

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