Tags: king richard iii | mystery | woman

King Richard III: Mystery Woman Buried Nearby Examined; ID Unknown

By    |   Tuesday, 03 Mar 2015 04:28 PM

Scientists have begun to learn details about the mystery woman buried near the tomb of King Richard III, though her identity is still unknown.

According to LiveScience, experts say the woman was buried at the Grey Friars monastery in Leicester, England, sometime in the late 13th or 14th century, before Richard III. Her bones reportedly show a lifetime of eating well, suggesting she was of high status.

Four other graves at the site also belonged to women.

"We were naturally expecting to find friars," site director Mathew Morris told LiveScience.

The ruins of the monastery, along with Richard III’s grave, were discovered under a parking lot in 2012.

"Although it might seem unusual that Richard III is the only male skeleton found inside the Grey Friars church, the other four skeletons all being female, it must be remembered that we have only excavated five of 10 identified graves in the church's chancel with the potential for hundreds more burials elsewhere inside the church, the other friary buildings and outside in the cemetery," said Mathew Morris, an archaeologist at the University of Leicester who led the excavation, UPI reported.

The mysterious elderly woman was found in a lead coffin encased in a stone coffin.

"A grave like this — very elaborate stone sarcophagus, lead inner casket buried in a very prominent position in the church, close to the high altar — you've got to think this person was important," Morris said, according to CNN.

Some have speculated that the woman was a church benefactor. Documents suggest she may have been a woman named Emma who was married to John of Holt.

"We know little about (Emma) and a lack of fundamental information, such as her age at death, what she did for a living, what she looked like or where in the church she was buried, coupled with no known descendants who can provide a DNA sample, make it impossible to say for certain (if the skeleton) is that of Emma," Morris said, according to CNN, adding that the skeleton may remain anonymous forever.

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Scientists have begun to learn details about the mystery woman buried near the tomb of King Richard III, though her identity is still unknown.
king richard iii, mystery, woman
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2015-28-03
Tuesday, 03 Mar 2015 04:28 PM
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