Tuesday, 18 December 2012

King Richard III’s medieval inn recreated by archaeologists


Blue Boar inn rises again in model and digital form, recreated from detailed drawings found in Leicester family’s archives

The medieval inn in Leicester where King Richard III slept before riding out to meet his fate at the battle of Bosworth has been recreated by the team of archaeologists and academics who dug up a local car park this summer searching for his bones.

News of their discovery of the remains of a man with a twisted spine and a gaping war wound, in the foundations of a long demolished abbey, created ripples of excitement around the world. Results of the scientific tests on the remains have not been announced, though there have been rumours that they proved inconclusive. Although DNA has been extracted from far older bones, the success of the technique depends on the quality of their preservation.

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Sunday, 16 December 2012

University of Oxford Online Courses in Archaeology



Now is the time to enrol for Hilary term online courses in Archaeology.

Each courses lasts for 10 weeks, with the expectation of c. 10 hours study a week.  Students submit two short assignments.   

Successful completion of the courses carries a credit of 10 CATS Points.

CATS Points from these courses can now be used as part of the requirement for the new Certificate in Higher Education offered by the University of Oxford.

The following courses are available: (click on the title for further information)


Greek Mythology                  Origins of Human Behaviour               Pompey and the cities                                                                                                         of the Roman World

Ritual and Religion in Prehistory                          Vikings: Raiders, Traders and Settlers

You can find general information about University of Oxford courses here...

Concert to tell story of King Richard III’s life through medieval music


The University of Leicester will hold a concert of medieval music which will tell the story of King Richard III’s life.

Members of the archaeological team behind the search for King Richard III are organising a concert featuring music from the times and places the King would have known.

The concert will be held on Friday 11 January at the Fraser Noble Hall in Leicester and will feature a trio of leading Early Music performers.

It coincides with the annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology, hosted by the University’s Centre for Historical Archaeology in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History.

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You may also be interested in this Oxford Experience Summer School course "The Lifeand Times of Richard III"

Further information...

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Winter of discontent as we await the truth


In the New Year we’ll learn if bones from a city car park really are those of Richard III. Michael Hickling reports on the future for the last King of the House of York.

History is written by the victors, or most memorably in this case by one of the inheritors of the victors’ story, William Shakespeare.

He created the Richard III we know, with a hump and a limp and a shrivelled arm, a character who gleefully confides to the theatre audience that he’s so ugly dogs bark at him. He’s a child murderer, a sexual predator, a psychopath crippled in mind and body. It’s a magnificent creation. But Shakespeare had no first-hand knowledge of the man he wrote about. 

His play Richard III was published just over a century after the naked body of this last Plantagenet monarch, newly-slain in battle at nearby Market Bosworth, was displayed at Leicester in the summer of 1485. To create his monstrous character, the playwright drew on unreliable sources which put a spin on scarce facts to suit the outlook of the victor of Bosworth, Henry Tudor and his successors.

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