Tuesday, February 05, 2013

King found buried under parking lot!

Richard III
Yesterday a story broke in England and it's an exciting one for anyone studying medieval history! The remains of Richard III, the last Plantagenet king to rule in England have been found. What makes this all so interesting is that the archeologists went on a treasure hunt that would rival any Indiana Jones storyline. Using historical documents, carbon dating, 500 year old maps, and even DNA testing, these archeologists have positively identified a skeleton as this widely reviled king.

Below you can watch two videos from the University of Leicester detailing the search for the remains and how they used historical accounts and detailed cultural knowledge to plan their dig.

The search for Richard III, the archaeological dig

This video shows the lengths to which the archaeologists had to go to determine if this was in fact Richard III. Using contemporary descriptions of the king along with carbon dating and DNA evidence they have been able to prove "beyond a doubt" that the skeleton is in fact this long-missing king. 
The search for Richard III, identifying the remains

You can read more about the search here and see a photograph of the entire skeleton. This discovery has even allowed a specialist in craniofacial identification at the University of Dundee to create a reconstruction of what Richard would have looked like! You can see that here.

I find all of this to be so fascinating. What do you think? If you're interested in learning more about Richard III, check out our Medieval History Through Literature study guides for high school and junior high

You may also enjoy these other blog entries featuring important historical discoveries or places:

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