What’s In the ‘Mystery Coffin’ Near Richard III’s Burial Site? Archaeologists Are About to Find Out

The archaeological site of a Franciscan friary where King Richard III’s body was unearthed earlier this year might hold more for researchers.

The team at the University of Leicester is set to exhume a “mystery coffin” from the Grey Friars site.

grey friars dig site coffin
The coffin that has taken weeks to excavate will soon be opened. It was found in the same area where King Richard III’s body was located. (Image: University of Leicester)

The stone coffin from the 14th century is lead lined, according to the university press release. Researchers believe it likely holds someone with high status:

The list of suspects includes two leaders of the English Grey Friars order – Peter Swynsfeld, who died in 1272, and William of Nottingham, who died in 1330.

Records also suggest the friary contains the grave of ‘a knight called Mutton, sometime mayor of Leicester’, who may be 14thcentury knight Sir William de Moton of Peckleton, who died between 1356 and 1362.

“Stone coffins are unusual in Leicester — and this is the first time we have found a fully intact stone coffin during all our excavations of medieval sites in the city,” site director Mathew Morris said, according to the LiveScience. “I am excited that it appears to be intact.”

The team is expected to lift the lid later this week.

Finding what is likely the remains of King Richard III in the same area was announced in February of this year.

(H/T: Huffington Post)



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