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Richard III

  • Originally published 08/07/2013

    Richard III: Historian claims he was 'airbrushed out of king story'

    Historian Dr John Ashdown-Hill claims he has been airbrushed out of the city's Richard III story, despite making one of the project's pivotal discoveries.On Monday, February 4, the University of Leicester announced to an astonished world's press that it had identified the Greyfriars remains as those of King Richard III.Academics explained how the skeleton's DNA matched with that of Canadian furniture maker, Michael Ibsen - who had been proven to be the monarch's 16th great grandnephew....

  • Originally published 07/29/2013

    Sealed coffin found near Richard III grave site in Leicester

    Another body has been recovered from the Leicester car park where the remains of Richard III were discovered last year – but while a king of England was bundled into a hastily dug hole slightly too short for his corpse, the mystery man was buried in splendour, his body sealed in a lead coffin placed in a handsome limestone sarcophagus.The stone lid was lifted carefully by hand last week. Archaeologists from Leicester University expected to find a fragmentary skeleton, since the weight of the lid and centuries of soil on top of it had long since crushed the sides of the box. Instead, to their surprise, they discovered an inner lead coffin, carefully soldered on all sides, its lid decorated with a cross."It's in remarkably good nick except for one end where we think water trickling down has degraded the lead, so we could just see the feet. They look to be in very good condition, so we hope to learn a lot more from the bones," said the site director, Matthew Morris....

  • Originally published 07/19/2013

    Richard III to get $1.5-million burial

    He was buried in an unmarked grave, but finally Richard III is to get a tomb fit for a king.British officials say they will spend US$1.5 million interring the 15th-century ruler, whose skeleton was found earlier this year beneath a parking lot in the central England city of Leicester.Officials at Leicester Cathedral said Thursday that Richard will be buried “with honor beneath a raised tomb within a specially created area in the cathedral.” The plans also include a new floor and a stained glass window....

  • Originally published 04/30/2013

    Archaeologists plan more digs at Richard III site

    Archaeologists who unearthed the skeleton of England's King Richard III under a municipal parking lot say they want to dig up a 600-year-old stone coffin found nearby.University of Leicester scientists say they hope to learn more about the medieval Church of the Grey Friars, where Richard was unceremoniously buried after he was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.In February scientists from the university announced that remains found on the site were "beyond reasonable doubt" those of the king....

  • Originally published 04/03/2013

    Smithsonian Channel gets North American rights to ‘Richard III’ documentary

    Smithsonian Channel has snagged exclusive North American program rights to a documentary about the recent discovery of King Richard III’s remains under an English parking lot that ended a 500-year mystery.When “The King’s Skeleton: Richard III Revealed” made its world debut on Channel 4 in the U.K., nearly 5 million viewers tuned in.You know Richard III — bad back, nasty guy, snuffed his young nephews in the Tower of London to snag the throne, then decided he’d trade his kingdom for a horse? Played over the years by Kenneth Branagh, Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Ian McKellen and Laurence Olivier?...

  • Originally published 03/27/2013

    Have we now found Alfred the Great?

    It couldbe the year for discovering notorious monarchs.Just weeks after remains found under a car park were confirmed as Richard III, archaeologists now believe they may just have stumbled on Alfred the Great.Amid great secrecy, a team exhumed an unmarked grave at a more fitting location for a Royal burial - a churchyard in Winchester named in ancient documents as his burial place.After a delicate 10-hour operation on Monday, human skeletal remains were unearthed in the churchyard of St Bartholomew’s in the Hyde area of the city, and taken for storage at an undisclosed location....

  • Originally published 03/26/2013

    Battle rages over bones of England's Richard III

    (Reuters) - King Richard III is at the center of a new fight over the location of his final resting place, just weeks after the remains of the last English king to die in battle were found underneath a council car park.Archaeologists announced one of the most remarkable finds in recent English history last month when they confirmed the discovery of the body of Richard, who was slain at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, during excavations in Leicester.

  • Originally published 03/07/2013

    Richard III: psycho or control freak?

    Thanks largely to his portrayal in Shakespeare’s eponymous play, Richard III is generally remembered as a murderous, hunchbacked villain who killed his nephews to gain the throne. But now that his remains, found beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England, have been positively identified, researchers at the University of Leicester now say the 15th century monarch was no bloodthirsty psychopath — just a control freak in need of some security.In findings presented this past weekend, Psychologist Mark Lansdale and forensic psychologist Julian Boon suggest that there is no evidence supporting Shakespeare’s depiction of the last Plantagenet king. After going through historians’ consensus on Richard’s experiences and actions, they found that the king exhibited little sign of the traits used to identify psychopaths today — including narcissism, deviousness, callousness, recklessness and lack of empathy in close relationships....

  • Originally published 02/14/2013

    After Richard, hunt for Alfred the Great

    His remains are believed to lie in an unmarked grave in Winchester and a team is reportedly applying for permission to dig up the spot at St Bartholomew’s Church.It is thought Alfred’s skeleton could be found among a collection of bones there.But the job is expected to be much harder than the analysis on Richard III, as finding a living relative to provide a DNA sample would involve searching a much older family tree.Katie Tucker, an archaeologist from Winchester University, told The Times: “As far as we’re aware there are five skulls plus other bones. The most simple part will be to work out ages, sexes, and put the bones back together....

  • Originally published 02/12/2013

    Historian correctly predicted location of Richard III

    Historian David Baldwin is feeling very pleased with himself after making a startling prediction 27 years ago regarding the Greyfriars project.In 1986, he wrote an article claiming the remains of Richard III would be found in the northern part of the Grey Friars church and that the discovery would take place in the 21st century.The historian, from Oadby, used scores of medieval accounts of the Battle of Bosworth.He correctly theorised the final resting of place of Richard was buried close to New Street, in the choir of the church – the area between the nave and the sanctuary – and would be found after about 30 years....

  • Originally published 02/08/2013

    Reconstructing Richard III’s resting place

    Two days after unveiling a reconstruction of the face of Richard III, Leicester experts have now recreated how Greyfriars, his final resting place, might have looked.Built in 1230, Greyfriars was one of the first Franciscan friaries to be established in England, just 6 years after the order came  to Britain, but it was completely demolished during the 16th century Dissolution of the Monasteries.Now artist and archaeological illustrator Jill Atherton has recreated the friary church, as well as the choir where Richard’s grave was located, in sketches based on similar Medieval buildings, together with archaeological evidence from the recent excavation , including window fragments and pieces of lead, suggesting stained glass, together with stonework, pieces of a large window frame, and roof and floor tiles....

  • Originally published 02/07/2013

    John Watkins: What Richard III Can Teach Us Today

    John Watkins is distinguished McKnight university professor of English and affiliate faculty in history at the University of Minnesota.I like the idea of the hunchbacked Richard III, newly exhumed from his final resting spot beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England, visiting the Oval Office. You can imagine the late, unlamented English monarch exchanging pleasantries with U.S. President Barack Obama about horseback riding and complaining about what a pain it is to deal with the intolerable French. They might also exchange notes on the inevitable headaches of leadership -- though, in Obama's case, he's not likely to take his skeet-shooting gun and parachute into Helmand province to battle the Taliban.

  • Originally published 02/06/2013

    Princes in Tower will not be dug up

    The Church of England, with support from the Queen and government ministers, has reportedly turned down a number of requests to perform forensic tests to establish whether the bones buried in Westminster Abbey are those of the king’s two nephews.According to previously confidential correspondence, permission to carry out DNA testing has been withheld for fear of setting a precedent for digging up royal remains to test various historical theories.There was also uncertainty by the church about what would be done with the remains if the DNA tests were negative, The Guardian reported....

  • Originally published 02/05/2013

    Hero or villain? Historians debate the legacy of King Richard III

    ...Described as "deformed" and "unfinish'd", jealous, and ambitious hunchback in Shakespeare's play, which was first performed in the 1590s, it is difficult to know if the man the playwright said battled on foot and cried out "A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!", is a true reflection of the king, or merely a creation of imagination.According to scientists at the University of Leicester, there is evidence of curvature of the spine - suggesting the unattractive quality had not been a slander by those who opposed Richard....Historian Suzannah Lipscomb wrote in a BBC online article: "It is not surprising that for centuries Richard III has been synonymous with evil tyranny and physical deformity."To argue otherwise has been to take on three of history's greats - Sir Thomas More, William Shakespeare and Winston Churchill, all of whom argued that Richard had been a man with a crooked back and a crooked life."...

  • Originally published 02/05/2013

    Richard III facial reconstruction

    A facial reconstruction based on the skull of Richard III has revealed how the English king may have looked.The king's skeleton was found under a car park in Leicester during an archaeological dig.The reconstructed face has a slightly arched nose and prominent chin, similar to features shown in portraits of Richard III painted after his death.Historian and author John Ashdown-Hill said seeing it was "almost like being face to face with a real person"....

  • Originally published 02/04/2013

    Richard III's body found

    LEICESTER, England (AP) — He wore the English crown, but he ended up defeated, humiliated and reviled.Now things are looking up for King Richard III. Scientists announced Monday that they had found the monarch's 500-year-old remains under a parking lot in the city of Leicester — a discovery Richard's fans say will inspire new research into his maligned history.University of Leicester researchers say tests on a battle-scarred skeleton unearthed last year prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that it is the king, who died at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, and whose remains have been missing for centuries....

  • Originally published 01/24/2013

    Skeleton of Richard III may have been found -- but where will it end up?

    Archaeologists may have uncovered the skeleton of the lost English king Richard III. But if they have, what should be done with the remains?That question is causing contention among Richard III enthusiasts, according to a new report in the Wall Street Journal. The University of Leicester, which is overseeing the excavation and analysis of the remains, has jurisdiction over the remains, but various societies dedicated to the king have their own opinions.Two groups, the U.S.-based Richard III Foundation and the Society of Friends of Richard III based in York, England, argue that the remains should be reburied in York, because Richard III was fond of that city, the Journal reported. The Richard III Society, which has been involved with the archaeological dig in Leicester that uncovered the remains, is officially neutral — a stance which itself has triggered anger....

  • Originally published 12/04/2013

    The Mideast is America's New Wild West

    Ira Chernus's MythicAmerica

    The "special relationship" between the U.S. and Israel rests on an old myth of "civilization" versus "savages."