Meet a real-life ‘Bones’
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.
Dr Jo Appleby from Leicester University speaks to a large audience at Auckland Library.