King Richard

Talk about an unceremonious way to be found.

The remains of England’s King Richard III were discovered under a parking lot in Leicester, England. The bones were actually discovered in September of last year, however the team from the University of Leicester had to do some DNA analysis including comparing the skeleton’s DNA with descendants from King Richard III himself.

Before the DNA findings came in, Mr. Taylor and other team members said, the university team had assembled a mounting catalog of evidence that pointed conclusively at the remains being those of the king. These included confirmation that the body was that of a man in his late 20s or early 30s, and that his high-protein diet had been rich in meat and fish, characteristic of a privileged life in the 15th century.

Still more indicative, they said radiocarbon dating of two rib bones had indicated that they were those of somebody who died between the years 1455 and 1540. Richard III died in the Battle of Bosworth Field, 20 miles from Leicester, in August 1485.

Equally conclusive was the evidence available at the time the bones were unearthed, that they were found exactly where a 16th-century Tudor historian, John Rouse, had identified as the burial place, in a corner of the chapel in the Greyfriars priory, and with a distinctive spinal curvature that pointed to the remains being that of a sufferer from scoliosis, a disease that causes the hunchback appearance that has come down through history as Richard III’s most pronounced physical feature.

Of course, Richard III was the subject of a Shakespeare play of the same name. While the play did not paint Richard III in anything close to a favorable light, it did grace us with the memorable line: “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse.”


Pleistocene Fossils In Colorado

A massive set of fossils has been found near Aspen, CO that date back 75,000-125,000 years. They were discovered during the construction of a reservoir dam near Snomass, CO.

In the span of 70 days, when the archaeologists got to dig the site, they found over 4,500 fossils from mammoths, mastodons, bison, camels and other massive creatures from the Pleistocene ice age

Here at Snowmastodon, as the site is called, the human clock ran partly on adrenaline, with 50 or more shovel-wielding scientists, volunteers and interns from the Denver Museum pawing the lake bed on a typical day. Their goal: sift 7,000 tons of sediment, 35 feet worth to the bottom of the glacial scrape, by the deadline.

Something very big, a mammoth tusk taller than LeBron James, a partial mastodon skull half the size of a Smart Car, was turning up every few days. By the end, more than 4,500 fossil specimens from 20 different animals were hauled out.