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Author Topic: Medieval British king sought under carpark  (Read 2130 times)
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« on: 25 August 2012, 22:29:15 »

Medieval British king sought under carpark
16:52 Sat Aug 25 2012

British archaeologists are hoping to find the lost remains of King Richard III - by digging up a carpark believed to be his burial site.

Historians believe the medieval king, who ruled England from 1483 and is today best known as the villain of a William Shakespeare play, was buried at a church in Leicester, central England, after his death during a battle in 1485.

But the Franciscan friary, known as Greyfriars, was demolished in the 16th century and its exact location was lost.

Researchers at the University of Leicester now think they have found the site, situated somewhere beneath a car park used by the city's council offices.

Archaeologists were surveying the car park on Friday using ground-penetrating radar in what they say is the first ever archaeological search for the lost grave of an anointed King of England.

It has been rumoured that the remains of Richard III -- the last monarch of the House of Plantagenet -- were thrown into the River Soar after monasteries across the country were dissolved under Henry VIII.

But archaeologists hope to dispel the myths when they start digging two trenches across the car park on Saturday, even if the chances of finding his remains are slim.

Richard Buckley, co-director of Leicester University's archaeology service, said: "The big question for us is determining the whereabouts of the church on the site, and also where in the church the body was buried.

"Although in many ways finding the remains of the king is a long shot, it is a challenge we shall undertake enthusiastically.

"There is certainly potential for the discovery of burials within the area, based on previous discoveries and the postulated position of the church."

If any remains are found, they will undergo DNA analysis at the university to confirm that they are those of Richard III.

The Richard III Society, which has been involved in the project, is also keen to uncover the truth about the monarch.

Philippa Langley, from the society, said: "After his defeat his reputation suffered enormous disparagement at the hands of his opponents and successors, the Tudors. The challenge lies in uncovering the truth behind the myths."


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