University of Leicester’s discovery of King Richard III named Research Project of the Year

Julian Richards (of Meet the Ancestors) presents ULAS’ Richard Buckley with the prestigious ‘Research Excavation of the Year’ award for the Search for Richard III, at the Current Archaeology Awards. Credit: Current Archaeology/Aerial-Cam

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The archaeological team behind the discovery of the mortal remains of King Richard III after over five hundred years has been honoured by a leading archaeology magazine.

Top honours for Research Project of the Year at the prestigious Current Archaeology Awards went to University of Leicester international headline-grabbing discovery of Richard III under a Leicester car park. This astonishing achievement has finally allowed the lurid comments by Tudor chroniclers about the physique of this most controversial king to be objectively assessed.

Despite being up against five other impressive archaeological projects, the University of Leicester Archaeological Services’ won by a significant margin, with almost forty percent of readers voting in their favour.

The University announced the results of its scientific investigations into remains found at the site of the Grey Friars church in Leicester at a press conference on Monday 4 February attended by local, national and international media.

The University of Leicester led the Search for Richard III, working with Leicester City Council and in association with the Richard III Society.

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Richard Buckley, the lead archaeologist on the project, picked up the prestigious accolade at a London awards ceremony, hosted by the magazine.

He said:  “I am very grateful that the readers of Current Archaeology have chosen our project as Research Project of the Year – for me, what is really nice, having done so much archaeological work in Leicester over the decades, is that this discovery has focused international attention on Leicester’s fantastic archaeology, which is some of best in Britain.

“I am proud to accept this award for the Grey Friars Project, and in particular I want to thank Philippa Langley, who was the inspiration for the investigation and never doubted for a minute that we would find Richard III. This discovery is down to the hard work by our team, particularly Mathew Morris, who led the work on site, and our scientific team, who did the osteological and forensic work back at base camp. Jo Appleby, the team’s osteologist, Turi King, who masterminded the DNA, and Professor Kevin Schürer, who led on the genealogical work, deserve special mention.”

The University of Leicester contributed 80% of the total £142,633 cost of the project (at 31 December 2012)

Professor Lin Foxhall, Head of the University’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History, said: “This is a huge honour for all of our colleagues across University who have participated with us in the investigation, and particularly for the University of Leicester Archaeological Services, whose outstanding archaeological skill and dedication have produced such stunning results.”

The dig for Richard III will be the cover feature of the next issue of Current Archaeology, which will be available on Friday 8 March.

Contributing Source : University of Leicester

HeritageDaily : Archaeology News : Archaeology Press Releases

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Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.

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