Medieval Knight Found as Construction Workers at Scotland University

Thursday, 14 Mar 2013 12:30 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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The grave and remains of a medieval knight were found in Edinburgh Wednesday, unearthed during construction for a state-of-the-art university.

The site, once a 13th century monastery, was eventually turned into a city parking lot. It was being demolished to make way for the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation.

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"We always knew that the building retrofit might uncover historical artifacts, given the site's history — but this knight is an extraordinary and exciting find," ECCI director Andy Kerr told the Daily Mail. "We want our new building to play a key role in shaping Scotland's future, as these historical buildings on this site did in their time."

Construction workers called archaeologists to the site after they happened upon a stone slab decorated with carvings of a sword and a cross. A man's skeletal remains were laid underneath. The inscriptions on the gravestone signify that the man was a medievel knight.

"This find has the potential to be one of the most significant and exciting archaeological discoveries in the city for many years, providing us with yet more clues as to what life was like in medieval Edinburgh," Richard Lewis, the City of Edinburgh council culture convener, told the BBC.

The knight's skeleton and teeth were reportedly in good condition. Forensic experts removed the remains and will investigate to find out more about the nobleman.

Archaeologists said the monastery, which was founded in 1230 by Alexander II (King of Scotland 1214-1249), was destroyed during the Protestant Reformation in 1558.

The discovery comes just months after King Richard III's 500-year-old remains were found under a parking lot in Leicester, a site that reportedly used to be a medieval friary.

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Related stories:

Face of King Richard III Revealed

Skeleton Found Under Tree in Historic Conn. Town

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