Bones on Mary Rose could help identify living relatives

Scientists are using human bones found on the wreck of the Mary Rose to work out who was on board nearly 500 years ago, and perhaps even to identify their living descendants.

Almost 100 complete or nearly-complete skeletons were found amidst the wreck. By analysing the bones and belongings, it was possible to identify crew members' hair and eye colour, height and clues about their role.

Look familiar? Scientists are hoping to identify some of their living descendants
Look familiar? Scientists are hoping to identify some of their living descendants Credit: Oscar Nilsson Facial/PA Wire

The people represented by an artist above were identified as (clockwise from top left) a bosun, carpenter, cook, master gunner, stranger gentleman, royal archer, purser and ologies archer.

The genetic information extracted could also enable scientists to find living relatives, although one expert likened the task to "searching for one blade of grass in a field" since there are no records of crew members.

Read: Mary Rose museum to open

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Mary Rose museum to open

A new £27 million museum is to open tomorrow which will bring together the wreck of the Mary Rose with thousands of its artefacts for the first time since they were lifted from the seabed more than 30 years ago.