Thursday, 17 January 2013

Richard III probably was buried in Leicester

Last week’s Society for Historical Archaeology conference at Leicester was probably the reason why the last summer’s excavations were in the news again. At least Dan Snow visited Leicester and discussed with the archaeologists involved. Although we have to wait for the definite news until early February, it seems likely that the skeleton found belonged to the king. This was at least strongly suggested by Richard Buckley when Dan Snow interviewed him in The One Show. This type of publicity is like manna from heaven to the universities and the appearance was duly published on the University web site. The skeleton had exactly the type of trauma Richard III is supposed to have had.

The One Show visits the Richard III dig

What really caught my eye again was how beautifully the traditional background work had been done. Before the ground penetrating radar investigation the old maps had been digitized and georeferenced and the position of the Greyfriers was placed on top of the current city map with all modern streets and buildings beneath. In that way the researchers could confirm that the cloister where Richard III was likely to lie was under the car park instead of being bulldozed when the surrounding buildings were erected.

Sadly, the public family-oriented day related loosely to the conference, themed The Past Beneath Your Feet: Archaeology and History in Leicestershire, cannot give a definitive answer, yet. Nevertheless, the event was worth visiting (see my 'review').

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