Archaeological news about the Archaeology of Later Medieval Europe from the Archaeology in Europe web site

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Five missing kings and queens – and where we might find them

Eadgyth and her husband Otto I, Magdeburg Cathedral. Chris 73/Wikimedia, CC BY

As 2016 begins, the recent public interest in hunting for royal burials shows no sign of abating.

Hardly has the dust begun to settle on Richard III’s expensive new tomb in Leicester than work is starting on locating the resting place of another medieval monarch, Henry I (d. 1135), in Reading (like Richard III, Henry is also thought to be under a car park).

Meanwhile, the Church of England is stoutly refusing to allow DNA tests to be carried out on bones thought to be those of the “princes in the Tower” who disappeared in 1483, and who may be buried in Westminster Abbey.

With the honourable exception of Alfred the Great (d. 899), whose bones were – disappointingly for some – probably not found in recent Winchester excavations, this interest has tended to concentrate on the kings of England after 1066 at the expense of earlier kings, kings of British kingdoms other than England and queens.

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