“Now is the winter of our discontent.”

So said King Richard III in Shakespeare’s play of the same name. I wonder how discontent Richard would be npgcropto know that more then 500 years after he was killed in battle, archaeologists found his skeletal remains in a grave under a parking lot in Leicester, England?

Richard, who is also quoted saying, “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse,” was the infamous hunchbacked king who killed a slew of relatives to gain possession of the crown of England. The last Plantagenet king is supposed to have even had his two young nephews killed in the tower of London. His villainous deeds made him one of the most famous figures in the history of British royalty. Lawrence Olivier played him in the screen version, complete with artificial hump.

The archaeologists, according to the New York Times, have proved to their satisfaction that the remains they found is Richard, by comparing the skeleton’s DNA to the DNA of living descendants of the king. The skull shows fractures consistent with the types of wounds Richard is said to have suffered during the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. And according to the scientists, Richard received more wounds after he was dead, from his enemies who paraded his body around naked on horseback afterwards.

The grave was found by radar detection equipment under a church that was buried beneath the parking lot. That’s the weird thing about archaeology. It shows you how each period of time is slowly buried not only in the past, but under new layers of dirt. Makes you wonder where they’ll find your remains 500 years from now, doesn’t it? You could could end up centuries from now buried under some future version of a McDonald’s or a Walmart.

That is, if they even bothered to look. As the great American humorist Jean Shepherd once said, “Can you imagine 4,000 years passing, and you’re not even a memory? Think about it, friends. It’s not just a possibility. It’s a certainty.”

 

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