Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Archaeologists to lift lid on mysterious stone coffin at Richard III site

Date:
July 23, 2013
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
University of Leicester archaeologists will exhume a 14th century stone coffin at the latest Grey Friars dig this week.

The choir of the church with the stone coffin uncovered.
Credit: University of Leicester

University of Leicester archaeologists will exhume a 14th century stone coffin at the latest Grey Friars dig this week.

Archaeologists are hoping to discover who was buried in a 14th century stone coffin found near the final resting place of Richard III.

The University of Leicester team will lift the lid on the lead-lined coffin at some stage this week -- the final week of their second dig at the Grey Friars site.

The dig team suspect the coffin may contain a medieval knight or one of two high-ranking Franciscans at the friary.

The archaeologists discovered the coffin during the first Grey Friars dig in September, but weren't able to investigate it further at the time.

Now, the team are carrying out their second excavation of the Grey Friars church -- and are hoping to examine the stone coffin in the final week of the dig.

The coffin is the first fully intact stone coffin found in Leicester, and is likely to contain a high-status burial -- though we don't currently know who is buried within.

The team suspect the coffin was buried in the 14th century -- more than 100 years before Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth and buried at the friary.

The archaeologists suspect the grave could belong to one of three prestigious figures known to buried at the friary.

These include two leaders of the English Grey Friars order -- Peter Swynsfeld, who died in 1272, and William of Nottingham, who died in 1330.

Records also suggest the friary contains the grave of 'a knight called Mutton, sometime mayor of Leicester'.

This may be 14th century knight Sir William de Moton of Peckleton, who died between 1356 and 1362.

Grey Friars site director Mathew Morris, of the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS), said: "Stone coffins are unusual in Leicester -- and this is the first time we have found a fully intact stone coffin during all our excavations of medieval sites in the city. I am excited that it appears to be intact.

"We plan to get a plan of the coffin by measuring it and taking photos. Then we will lift the lid up to see what is inside.

"The coffin could be William de Moton, Peter Swynsfeld or William of Nottingham -- who are all important people. Swynsfeld and Nottingham were heads of the Grey Friars order in England."

Leading UK construction and infrastructure company Morgan Sindall is currently on site constructing a King Richard III Visitor Centre to showcase some of the finds from the site. Morgan Sindall is working with the archaeological team to enable access to the site whilst building work continues.

The University's excavation is expected to take around four weeks. Latest information on the progress of the dig, and more, can be found on our Richard III website: http://www.le.ac.uk/richardiii/

The Dig for Richard III was led by the University of Leicester, working with Leicester City Council and in association with the Richard III Society. The originator of the Search project was Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society.

Keep up to date with the progress of the Grey Friars Dig Part II throughout July 2013 via regular updates on this site: http://www.le.ac.uk/richardiii/blog/page1.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leicester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "Archaeologists to lift lid on mysterious stone coffin at Richard III site." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130723095409.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2013, July 23). Archaeologists to lift lid on mysterious stone coffin at Richard III site. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130723095409.htm
University of Leicester. "Archaeologists to lift lid on mysterious stone coffin at Richard III site." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130723095409.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Museum Traces Fragments of Star-Spangled Banner

Museum Traces Fragments of Star-Spangled Banner

AP (Sep. 12, 2014) — As the Star-Spangled Banner celebrates its bicentennial, Smithsonian curators are still uncovering fragments of the original flag that inspired Francis Scott Key's poem. (Sept. 12) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spinosaurus Could Be First Semi-Aquatic Dinosaur

Spinosaurus Could Be First Semi-Aquatic Dinosaur

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — New research has shown that the Spinosaurus, the largest carnivorous dinosaur, might have been just as well suited for life in the water as on land. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Meet Spinosaurus, the First-Known Water Dinosaur

Meet Spinosaurus, the First-Known Water Dinosaur

AFP (Sep. 11, 2014) — Spinosaurus aegyptiacus was adapted for both land and water, and an exhibit featuring a life-sized model, based on new fossils unearthed in eastern Morocco, opens at the National Geographic Museum in Washington on Friday. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins