One of the Archaeologists Who Discovered the “King Under the Car Park” to Speak at Assumption
The Assumption College HumanArts Series and the Archeological Institute of America (AIA) will host a lecture by Dr. Richard Buckley, project manager and lead archaeologist at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. Dr. Buckley will speak about his experience, and role, in uncovering the resting place of Richard III, England’s last Plantagenet King, under a car park in central Leicester on Tuesday, March 21 at 7 p.m. in Hagan Hall of the Hagan Campus Center at Assumption College, 500 Salisbury St., Worcester. A reception will precede the lecture, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
In August and September 2012, a team of archaeologists from the University of Leicester set out to find the final resting place of King Richard III, which they believed to be under what was then a car park in central Leicester. The archaeologists were correct, as they located the remains of a potential candidate whose identity was confirmed to be that of the King after extensive scientific analysis, including a DNA match with modern-day relatives.
Richard III might be best known due to William Shakespeare’s play, Richard III¸ however, much of Richard’s lore comes from what happened after his death. Crowned king in 1483, Richard III ruled until 1485, when he became the last English king to die in battle. According to the University of Leicester, Richard III’s death brought an end to both the Plantagenet dynasty and the Wars of the Roses. Richard’s body was returned to Leicester and released to a group of Franciscan friars. However, when the friary disappeared, so did any record of Richard III’s grave. His burial place remained a mystery for many centuries and the subject of many tall tales, until 2012 when his remains were found by Dr. Buckley and his team of archaeologists.
In 1995, Dr. Buckley helped form the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) where, as co-director, according to ULAS, he manages archaeological fieldwork projects principally in the East Midlands, specializing in urban sites and historic buildings. ULAS also shares that after graduating from the University of Durham in 1979, he served as a field officer with Leicestershire Archaeological Unit from 1980 to 1995 and is an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), a member of the Institute for Archaeologists, and a fellow of the Society of Antiquities. He also worked on the investigation of Leicester Castle Hall and John of Gaunt’s Cellar (1986), the Shires excavation (1988-89) and the Causeway Lane excavation (1991).
For more information on the discovery of Richard III, visit the ULAS website.
Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College