Stonehenge: Not just a man thing

Prehistoric Stonehenge is shown in reconstructions as a place where men shout at each other. We might catch a glimpse of a woman or two watching on the sidelines, but the important stuff was all being done by males. We need to get the paints out. The largest analysis of human remains from Stonehenge ever … Continue reading Stonehenge: Not just a man thing

Ai Weiwei: Bringing Human Remains to London

Something controversial is going to kick off, and not for the first time it involves the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Ai creates the most beautiful things. He is a highly literate artist, a political artist, a lover of craft and an archaeological artist. His works are at once quiet and modest, and noisily ambitious – there really seems … Continue reading Ai Weiwei: Bringing Human Remains to London

Reburying Richard

  The Leicester Cathedral Quarter Partnership Board has published a provisional timetable for the reburial of Richard III’s remains in March next year. Here is what it adds up to. We really haven’t seen anything like this before! Sunday March 22 2015 [1] 12.00 Hearse departs from University of Leicester, to [2] Fenn Lane Farm … Continue reading Reburying Richard

Richard III’s death – the grim details

Forensic archaeology at its best – if perhaps not entirely welcome to everyone. We are now able to read exactly what Richard III’s skeleton tells us about his traumatic death. The description of the wounds, in a multi-authored paper published in the Lancet, changes little of what has already been told (so my summary in … Continue reading Richard III’s death – the grim details

Richard III’s teeth and bones: why we didn’t know it all before

Out today is the fourth peer-reviewed article deriving from the search for Richard III’s grave. It focuses on the king’s bones and teeth, specifically what a few of them might tell us about where he lived at different times in his life, and how his diet changed. And once again, the scientific release occurs on the … Continue reading Richard III’s teeth and bones: why we didn’t know it all before

Leicester celebrates its king

So Skeleton 1 will be buried back in Leicester next spring. It will be some two and half years since it was dug up, and two since it was identified as the remains of an English king. The exhumation licence proposed in effect that reburial would occur by October 3 2012 (“within 4 weeks”). Extensions … Continue reading Leicester celebrates its king

Is the car park skeleton Richard III? Of course not. It’s a skeleton

As I said to the editor Rob Attar, hat’s off to BBC History magazine for its lead news story, “Was the skeleton in the car park really Richard III?” Plenty of people could be accused of exploiting the identification, from the publishers of a seemingly endless supply of Richard III-related books (see selective list at … Continue reading Is the car park skeleton Richard III? Of course not. It’s a skeleton

Richard III in court

I was going to start with the king’s eyebrows, but Max Clifford’s penis has to come first. While I watched the dissection of the Plantagenet Alliance’s claims in the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Friday morning, across the river, at Southwark Crown Court, the high-profile publicist heard his anatomy being discussed. A witness … Continue reading Richard III in court

Does handling of Richard III’s bones raise serious questions?

Some think so. Are they right? We’ll need a clear head for this, as some of the allegations imply professional wrongdoing, and the issues reach beyond a dead monarch. The Independent (a national UK paper, on March 4) and the Yorkshire Post (a regional paper, on March 8) recently published the same letter from five … Continue reading Does handling of Richard III’s bones raise serious questions?

Is British Museum Vikings show a disaster?

First Stonehenge, now our old friend the BM. What’s gone wrong? “Disaster” is what art critic Brian Sewell calls the newly opened “Vikings: Life and Legend” exhibition – and also the room in which it’s held, part of the new and hugely significant extension to the British Museum. Writing in the Evening Standard, he describes … Continue reading Is British Museum Vikings show a disaster?