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  1. #1
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    Archaeologists to dig under car park for Greyfriars - and lost grave of Richard III

    Gloucester (later Richard III) from the Shakespeare play:
    Now is the winter of our discontent
    Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
    And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
    In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
    Is this the lost grave of King Richard III? Archaeologists dig under council car park for monarch killed in Battle of Bosworth (Daily Mail)
    Archaeologists are hoping to find the lost grave of a medieval monarch in a dig that is due to get underway today.

    In what is believed to be the first-ever archaeological search for the lost grave of an anointed King of England, experts from the University of Leicester are set to begin their quest to find the site of a church where it is believed King Richard III was buried in the city [at Greyfriars monastery] more than 500 years ago.

    It is thought the site of the church may be on land currently being used as a car park.

    King Richard III, the last Plantagenet, ruled England from 1483 until he was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.
    ---
    The battle ended decades of civil war and was won by the Lancastrians. It paved the way for Henry Tudor to become the first English monarch of the Tudor dynasty.
    ---
    Richard Buckley, co-director of the archaeology service at the university, said: 'Although in many ways finding the remains of the king is a long shot, it is a challenge we shall undertake enthusiastically.'
    ---
    The key to locating the Battle of Bosworth was a hoard of medieval weapons found in the field where it occured, including the silver white boar badge believed to have been carried by one of Richard's trusted knights.
    ---
    MUCH more, huge article with pictures, video, and sidebar, at link above.

    Shakespeare deliberately made Richard III more ghastly than he is thought to have been - in order to flatter his queen, Elizabeth I, a Tudor monarch - creating the illusion of the "hunchbacked" king whose evil led him to order the murders of the two boy princes in the Tower. Here, Richard soliloquizes about his deformity:
    I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
    Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
    Deformed, unfinish'd, sent before my time
    Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
    And that so lamely and unfashionable
    That dogs bark at me as I halt by them....
    The play also contains the well-known expressions, "Off with his head," and "A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse."

  2. #2
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    I cannot wait to hear more about this
    England's dancing days are done...

  3. #3
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    Hoorah! Big doings. Just finding Greyfriars after these many years is a big achievement.

    Breakthrough in the search for King Richard III as archaeologists find 'tantalising clues'
    to the location of his body (and it really could be under a council car park in Leicester)

    • Team say dig is 'exceeding expectations', and now plan to look for the monarch's burial site
    • Archaeologists have identified the Franciscan friary known as Greyfriars from window and tile fragments
    • If remains are found, they'll undergo DNA analysis at University of Leicester to confirm that they're Richard III's
    entire story, with pictures, at link Daily Mail link above

  4. #4
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    Garden unearthed in Leicester Richard III dig (Independent)
    ---
    Experts from the University of Leicester who are leading the search discovered paving stones which they believe belong to the garden of Robert Herrick where, historically, it is recorded there was a memorial to Richard III.
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    Philippa Langley, of the Richard III Society, said: "This is an astonishing discovery and a huge step forward in the search for King Richard's grave.
    ---
    In 1612, Christopher Wren, father of the famous architect, was visiting Herrick and recorded seeing a handsome three foot stone pillar in Herrick's garden.

    Inscribed on the pillar was: "Here lies the body of Richard III sometime King of England."

    This is the last known record of the site of King Richard's grave.
    ---
    more at the link above, and at Daily Mail, with plenty of pictures and the whole story:

    Richard III's body comes even closer: Archaeologists hunting for lost King find the garden where his grave stood in 1612

    A bit unfortunately, the Robert Herrick in question isn't the same fellow as the poet Robert Herrick, of "Sons of Ben" fame.

  5. #5
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    Thank you for posting this. How interesting. Just exactly what would be left to do a DNA test on after hundreds of years buried. Wouldn't the bone also be gone by now?
    "Sarcasm"... my super-power!

  6. #6
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    Bone survives pretty well, but it really is going to depend on the conditions of the grave site.

  7. #7
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    Looks like they may have found him


    • Skeleton found in Leicester 'prime candidate' for Richard III
    • 'Strong circumstantial evidence' supports belief body found
    • 'Potentially big find' latest in search for English king's lost grave
    • Skeleton had 'near death trauma' and 'spinal curvature'
    • Leicester University archaeologists detail 'stunning' breakthrough
    • Bones now subject to 'rigorous' testing at unnamed lab

    More at Telegraph link
    England's dancing days are done...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundar View Post
    Thank you for posting this. How interesting. Just exactly what would be left to do a DNA test on after hundreds of years buried. Wouldn't the bone also be gone by now?
    They'll probably get mitcochondrial DNA even after all this time. I'm wondering who they will test it against? The Plantagenets are long gone, unless they're planning to exhume another dead monarch for a DNA sample.

  9. #9
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    This is a very interesting geneology link about Plantagenet descendents.

    From link;

    Since 2001, I have been seeking a means of obtaining a Y-DNA signature for the Plantagenets. There are problems to obtaining Y-DNA from ancient remains and the best chance remains that of finding living male-line descendants of Geoffrey Plante Genest (Plantagenet) and having them agree to be Y-DNA tested.

    The names Somerset (Beaufort), Cornwell and Warren have been associated with such descent and, more contentiously, in the nineteenth century so was Plant:

    Much more at link. (I am a total armchair archaeology geek)
    England's dancing days are done...

  10. #10
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  11. #11
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    Shakespeare, laying it on a bit thickly in Act V scene iii as eleven ghosts of Richard's reputed victims appear before him on the eve of battle:

    Despair and die!
    The ghosts of Edward of Wales; Henry VI; Clarence; Grey; Rivers; Vaughan; Hastings; The Princes; Anne and Buckingham

  12. #12
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    Let us to't pell-mell, if not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell.
    England's dancing days are done...

  13. #13
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    Conscience is but a word that cowards use,
    Devis'd at first to keep the strong in awe;
    Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law.

    (Having just listened to a glut of Led Zep on YouTube, I can imagine Plant singing this!)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cappuccino View Post
    They'll probably get mitcochondrial DNA even after all this time. I'm wondering who they will test it against? The Plantagenets are long gone, unless they're planning to exhume another dead monarch for a DNA sample.
    They've found a descendant of his sister so they are hoping to test it against that.

    Earlier, the university identified a direct descendant of Richard's elder sister — a 17th great grand-nephew — and obtained a DNA swab for possible matching with any bones found at the site.

    "In reality this will be a long process," said Turi King, who is leading the DNA analysis.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/offbeat/story...ists-find.html

  15. #15
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    Daily Mail shares an opinion, followed by a nice history of Richard III:

    Yes, he may have killed the princes in the Tower, but now we should give our last ENGLISH king a decent burial
    Once we know if these bones are in fact Richard III’s, we need to decide whether a more dignified resting-place than a council car park is suitable for a man who was the last truly English king.

    When the remains of the last Tsar of All the Russias, Nicholas II, and some of his family were found down a disused mineshaft outside Yekaterinburg in the 1990s, the government of Boris Yeltsin held a full state funeral in the cathedral of St Peter and St Paul in St Petersburg. I believe we should do something similar for Richard III, if these bones are his.

    I know that would be controversial. Even the Richard III Society, which does much nationally and internationally to try to make the case for the last Plantagenet, has a section on its website devoted to the subject of ‘reputation management’.
    ---
    much more at the link

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