Of Parking Lots and Kings

Hey, all. Suze here (no, that’s not me in the picture!). Glad you could drop by today.

Richard%20III%20Reconstruction[1]Have you heard the news? Richard III, one of Britain’s most notorious kings, has been dug up under a parking lot. (Click here to read more about it) Physical evidence includes hideous wounds to the skeleton consistent with death in battle, as well as a pronounced curvature of the spine consistent with accounts of Richard being a hunchback. (That rumor was likely spread by his enemies–according to the scientists he probably wasn’t hunched, just lopsided). There’s been a facial reconstruction! And there’s a DNA match with a living descendant of Ricky’s sister. A DNA match!

I live for this stuff. Kings buried unceremoniously in unmarked graves. Hoards of ancient gold and jeweled objects found just under the surface of a nondescript field by an ordinary guy with a metal detector. Reclusive heiresses who die, leaving safety deposit boxes that haven’t been opened in decades.
I must have an Inner Indy who needs to be constantly fed new and fascinating discoveries. It belongs in a museum? Not hardly. It belongs in my head, as fodder for future stories.

There’s a wonderful book by Elizabeth Peters (one of my all-time favorite authors) called The Murders of Richard III. If you’re a mystery fan, you’ll love this one about a librarian, Jacqueline Kirby, who finds herself tangled up in a modern-day plot that has strange connections to the Richard III legend. I’d love to know what Ms. Peters thinks about the discovery of the king’s final resting place.
How about you? Any news stories that have fascinated you recently?


13 thoughts on “Of Parking Lots and Kings”

  1. I completely geeked out when I saw this story. I think it’s great that they found him at long last (though there are people who claim it’s not him- I say whatever). How many bent spine, battle axed to the skull warriors could there have been with similar DNA? And you know what they say about history – it’s written by the victors. And William Shakespeare – now is the winter of our discontent!

  2. Way cool, Suze! I love this stuff too. I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was in the fifth grade learning about prehistoric man. My husband has a metal detector and there are lots of old celler holes out here in the woods. We’ve only found old farm tools and such, so far, but I’m hoping to run across some old civil war coins or something interesting like that.

    Every time I start digging in the back yard with my backhoe, I wonder what treasure I’ll find. So far, it’s been mostly boulders…some, the size of my car. But even that fascinates me when I think about the ice age that rolled through and dumped them all here. I might discover some bones or treasure yet. Thanks for the fun post!

      1. Oh, dear! May I suggest a Yankee Candle? Can you get those where you live, Juli? They will cover up the scent of just about anything 🙂

    1. PJ – try digging around the oldest part of your foundation. Often times, people would just toss broken pottery and other trash right outside the window. And if your land hasn’t been too heavily excavated, there are probably trash pits somewhere around there (the other place people would toss stuff, then bury it). I got a degree in anthropology so I could be an archaeologist (except life didn’t turn out that way). One of my favorite books about “material culture” is “In Small Things Forgotten” by James Dietz. It was out of print for a while, but I think it’s out there again now. Fascinating look at all the things our forefathers liked to toss away.

      1. Ooh, field trip to PJ’s house! Let’s go dig stuff up and make up stories about what we find!

  3. I just spent 20 minutes reading and digesting the whole article! So fascinating! I long for a chance to rummage through an attic filled with long forgotten treasures.

  4. I’ve got to say, this story really is fascinating. I was just watching a show on PBS about Shakespeare and this story was one one them they told. Then the news about his discovery came on. Wow! How could you not be inspired by that?????

    1. Shakespeare did, and Elizabeth Peters did. But I’ll bet you’re right–somebody will be writing a new story soon. Too bad he or she couldn’t have timed it to come out now!

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