Skip to comments.Mystery deepens in coffin-within-a-coffin found at Richard III site
Posted on 07/30/2013 7:56:16 AM PDT by Red Badger
Archaeologists have unearthed a mysterious coffin-within-a-coffin near the final resting place of Richard III.
The University of Leicester team lifted the lid of a medieval stone coffin this week the final week of their second dig at the Grey Friars site, where the medieval king was discovered in September.
This is the first fully intact stone coffin to be discovered in Leicester in controlled excavations and is believed to contain one of the friary's founders or a medieval monk.
Within the stone coffin, they found an inner lead coffin and will need to carry out further analysis before they can open the second box.
Archaeologists have taken the inner lead coffin to the University's School of Archaeology and Ancient History, and will carry out tests to find the safest way of opening it without damaging the remains within.
It took eight people to carefully remove the stone lid from the outer coffin which is 2.12 metres long, 0.6 metres wide at the "head" end, 0.3 metres wide at the "foot" end and 0.3 metres deep.
The inner coffin is likely to contain a high-status burial though we don't currently know who it contains.
Tantalisingly, the individual's feet can be seen through a hole in the bottom of the casket.
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'.
Grey Friars site director Mathew Morris, of the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS), said: "The stone coffin was always the big thing we wanted to investigate during this dig. For me, it was as exciting as finding Richard III. We still don't know who is inside so there is still a question mark over it.
"None of us in the team have ever seen a lead coffin within a stone coffin before. We will now need to work out how to open it safely, as we don't want to damage the contents when we are opening the lid.
"The coffin could contain 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.
This shows lifting the lid on the Stone Coffin. Credit: University of Leicester
This is the Stone Coffin at the Greyfriars dig site. Credit: University of Leicester
Lead???? Whoever it is, somebody didn't want them to ever get out.......
Whatever happened to allowing the dead to rest in peace?
My guess is Jimmy Hoffa.
Lead???? Whoever it is, somebody didn’t want them to ever get out.......
This does not bode well for us methinks.
Headline: Construction crew drops dead on mysterious
job site, more at 11.
Whoa...now there’s some history.
Imagine if, in a strange, macabre twist, the gentlemen were still alive at burial. He awakes, tries to scratch, kick, and chew is way out, then dies of lead poisoning.
I'm assuming it is not the foundress of the Friary. I believe she was also found at the same time they found Richard.
Within the stone coffin, they found an inner lead coffinClearly, this is the final resting place of Spock, who was sent back in time after having been contaminated with ganymede radiation, during the third Star Trek reboot.
Resting in peace for these burials went away a long time ago. I believe the priory and church were destroyed as a part of Oliver Cromwell’s campaign in the 1600s and these burials were under a current parking lot. Better for history knowledge to map the site, investigate the burials, and then reinterr them in a more secure resting place.
This does not bode well for us methinks.
Headline: Construction crew drops dead on mysterious job site, more at 11.
The Black Death to make a resurgence?
Cor Blimey, they can’t X-ray it either.
And now, for something completely different.
I’m pouring salt along the doorways and windows immediately!
Salt? You’re supposed to use Salt?
OMG, I used sugar and now the giant ants are
tearing down my front door.....
May I use the lead for making ammo, now that the original user won’t need it any longer?
Wonder if this is a child? A king who was never to be.
Do use too much salt....There’s deer in them thar woods.
So does this mean they’ll let the original occupant of the grave have his place back, maybe move Richard III to Westminster Abbey? I can’t imagine the current royal descendants of German descent have any reason to oppose the last Plantagenet king getting in there?
I know, between them and the squirrels I don’t
have a blueberry left.
My time is coming though.
.... Lead coffins in the days of olde were used to bury wealthy and important people of the day. Something called logic tells me it wasn’t just used to entrap the imaginatively created Hollywood glamorized versions of undead and evil creatures and beasties. At least not very often that is LOL.
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