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‘The king in the car park’: new light on the death and burial of Richard III in the Grey Friars church, Leicester, in 1485

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Richard Buckley
Affiliation:
1University of Leicester Archaeological Services, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
Mathew Morris
Affiliation:
1University of Leicester Archaeological Services, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
Jo Appleby
Affiliation:
2School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
Turi King
Affiliation:
2School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK 3Department of Genetics, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
Deirdre O'Sullivan
Affiliation:
2School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
Lin Foxhall
Affiliation:
2School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
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Abstract

Archaeologists today do not as a rule seek to excavate the remains of famous people and historical events, but the results of the project reported in this article provide an important exception. Excavations on the site of the Grey Friars friary in Leicester, demolished at the Reformation and subsequently built over, revealed the remains of the friary church with a grave in a high status position beneath the choir. The authors set out the argument that this grave can be associated with historical records indicating that Richard III was buried in this friary after his death at the Battle of Bosworth. Details of the treatment of the corpse and the injuries that it had sustained support their case that this should be identified as the burial of the last Plantagenet king. This paper presents the archaeological and the basic skeletal evidence: the results of the genetic analysis and full osteoarchaeological analysis will be published elsewhere.

Type
Research article
Creative Commons
The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution licence <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/>;.
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd.

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