Archaeologists comment on second skeleton found in Grey Friars dig

Posted by pt91 at Oct 30, 2012 04:25 PM |
Experts speculate on female remains uncovered in University of Leicester-led Search for Richard III
Archaeologists comment on second skeleton found in Grey Friars dig

Early stages of excavation; the burial was found towards the north (farthest) side of the shallow excavated section.

In September, the University announced that it had discovered two sets of human remains at the site of the church of the Grey Friars. One set is currently being subjected to rigorous laboratory tests. Now, the experts have provided some theories as to whom the second set, of disarticulated remains of a female, could have belonged to.

The team have suggested that the remains could be of a woman with connected to the church, and a likely candidate would be Ellen Luenor, a possible benefactor and founder of the church with her husband, Gilbert. 

Richard Buckley, lead archaeologist of the Grey Friars project and co-director of the University of Leicester Archaeological Services, said that at some point in the past, the bones had been disturbed and subsequently reburied. He said the skeleton may have been dug up by a gardener when the site was the garden of a mansion house in the 17th century. The remains were then reburied at a higher level than the church floor.

Archaeologist Deidre O'Sullivan said: "The founders of the friary may well have been buried in the east end of the friary church and it is not impossible that the disturbed skeleton is one of these. But we don't know this for sure, and may never do so although there are still a couple of trails to pursue. If a further stage in the project develops, and more of the church is excavated, we will be in a better position to make an informed comment about the friary founders."

The University team have yet to examine this second set of disarticulated remains but say it is unlikely that they will ever know its identity for certain.