Meet a real-life ‘Bones’

Central Leader - - NEWS -

THE sci­en­tist who helped find the 500-year-old skele­ton of Richard III un­der an English car park is in Manukau to tell all about her dis­cov­er­ies.

Dr Jo Ap­pleby, an ex­pert in hu­man re­mains iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, was part of the team that found the slain 15th cen­tury king of Eng­land’s bones in Le­ices­ter last Au­gust.

The os­teoar­chae­ol­o­gist from Le­ices­ter Univer­sity is at the New Zealand Fam­ily His­tory Fair at the Voda­fone Events Cen­tre this week­end as part of a na­tion­wide tour ex­plain­ing how her team un­earthed and iden­ti­fied the king. Dr Ap­pleby ar­rived in Auck­land on Tues­day just as her col­leagues an­nounced an­other ground­break­ing dis­cov­ery.

The Ar­chae­ol­ogy Ser­vices team says it has now dug up a mys­te­ri­ous cof­fin-within-a-cof­fin from the car park.

The ex­perts say they have never be­fore seen a lead cof­fin en­cased within a stone cof­fin and be­lieve it could con­tain one of three ma­jor his­toric fig­ures as­so­ci­ated with the Grey Fri­ars church site where it was un­earthed.

Richard III, Eng­land’s last reign­ing Plan­ta­genet king, was killed in 1485 aged 32 at the Bat­tle of Bos­worth Field where his army was de­feated. His body was taken to Le­ices­ter and buried by the Fran­cis­can monks of Grey Fri­ars at their church.

Dr Ap­pleby and her team drew world­wide at­ten­tion af­ter they used his­tor­i­cal records, ra­dio­car­bon dat­ing and bone anal­y­sis to pin­point the skele­ton’s age and pos­i­tively iden­tify the bones as Richard III’s.

They were able to show phys­i­cal ev­i­dence of the king’s sco­l­io­sis with an anal­y­sis of his curved spine.

Dundee Univer­sity sci­en­tists then used 3D map­ping tech­niques to cre­ate a foren­sic facial re­con­struc­tion of the king based on his skull and por­traits of him.

Photo: LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIR­FAX ME­DIA

Un­cov­er­ing his­tory:

Dr Jo Ap­pleby from Le­ices­ter Univer­sity speaks to a large au­di­ence at Auck­land Li­brary.

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