A search is underway to find the final resting place of King Richard III. It is newly speculated the 15th century King is buried under a parking lot located in Leicester, England.
Yesterday, the search commenced to see whether or not King Richard III is buried underneath the parking lot which is currently used for city council offices.
According to Live Science (courtesy Fox News), the search is a combined effort by the University of Leicester, Leicester City Council and the Richard III Society. Reportedly, King Richard III is one of few kings whose burial place is unknown.
The team is using ground-penetrating radar to find the "ideal spots to dig", reported Live Science.
"This archaeological work offers a golden opportunity to learn more about medieval Leicester as well as about Richard III's last resting place — and, if he is found, to re-inter his remains with proper solemnity in Leicester Cathedral," Philippa Langley, a Richard III Society member, said in a statement.
King Richard III was King of England from 1483 to 1485; he died during the Battle of Bosworth Field, during the War of the Roses. Reuters reported he was the last English king to die in battle.
Reportedly, it was announced in 2010 the location of the battle itself was positively identified after artifacts were found on a farm in 1999, which included a tiny silver badge of a white boar, an emblem of Richard III. This location is only a mile from where it had been previously believed the battle was fought.
It is believed the king was stripped and brought to the Franciscan Friary after his death; this Friary is known as "Greyfriars", however the location of Greyfriars was eventually lost over the centuries.
"The big question for us is determining the whereabouts of the church on the site and also where in the church the body was buried," University of Leicester archaeologist Richard Buckley said in a statement. "The chances of getting the Greyfriars are about 80 percent. As for Richard III, it's a real long shot," he also said.
Daily Mail reported Greyfriars was destroyed about 50 years after King Richard III's burial.
"The continuing interest in Richard means that many fables have grown up around his grave." Langley said, adding that some far-fetched tales include that the bones were thrown into the river Soar. "Other fables, equally discredited, claimed that his coffin was used as a horse-trough."
The search is expected to last about two weeks. Archaeologists are hoping with any luck they'll be able to determine once and for all where King Richard III was buried. If found, his remains will be DNA tested against a descendant of King Richard III's sister. Canadian-born Michael Ibsen's mother was a direct descendant of Richard's eldest sister, Anne of York, reported Darlington and Stockton Times. Joy Ibsen died four years ago.
Mr Ibsen, 55, said, “The family were entertained when she got the call several years ago from a historian claiming she [his mother] was a descendant. We thought it was more of a story than anything else but as time went by it became more serious and a DNA connection to Richard’s eldest sister Anne of York was found.”
Ibsen, who now lives in London, was present for this week's searches.