New film footage provides unique insight into archaeological dig at King Richard III's burial site

Posted by ap507 at Mar 09, 2015 12:05 PM |
University of Leicester reveals time-lapse recording of second excavation at the site of the Grey Friars

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 9 March 2015

The University of Leicester has released a unique insight into the archaeological dig that has captured the imagination of the world, with new film footage of a second excavation at the site where the remains of King Richard III were discovered in 2012.

The sequence – an 11 minute time-lapse video – documents the month-long dig undertaken by archaeologists at the University of Leicester in July 2013. This is the first time such a behind-the-scenes insight has been revealed into the archaeological process.

Mathew Morris, the Grey Friars Site Director from the University of Leicester’s Archaeological Services (ULAS) narrates the video to describe the archaeological process of excavating the car park.

He said: “This is a bit of the excavation that you don’t often get a chance to see. The video shows all aspects of the dig. This was a much bigger excavation than our first on this site when we discovered Richard III, and was our last chance to document the archaeology before the Visitor Centre was built on top of the car park.

“This second dig was key to providing us with more information about the relationship of Richard III’s grave to the rest of the church. We were able to excavate the additional graves we had identified during the first dig and also found evidence of a new friary building. This film footage is a great way to capture all of the aspects of the dig.”

The footage was taken from a camera positioned looking down onto the dig from the old school building which is now the Richard III Visitor Centre. At the time the building had no electrical power so the camera was run from a car battery which was changed every four days. Over the 28 day period, the camera took more than 50,000 individual still images which were then rendered into the final clip, a process that took over 40 hours.

Carl Vivian, Video Producer explained: “The University of Leicester has always been keen to record and make all aspects of the Richard III project freely available, and when the second dig was announced, it was suggested immediately that a time-lapse recording should be made to allow for the whole process to be viewed. This is another fascinating insight into the hard work that has underpinned the search and discovery of the remains of Richard III.”

The University is releasing 26 video sequences to illustrate the key events in the discovery, science and reburial of the last Plantagenet King. These sequences are accessible to the media by contacting Carl Vivian (details below).

Carl added: “The search and discovery of Richard III has been an extraordinary adventure and part of why it has been so unique is the fact that the archaeologists and scientists have allowed every step of the journey to be recorded, so everyone can see and share the moments of each discovery being made. I’m really proud of the recordings we’ve made and the part they play in telling the story.”

You can see the time-lapse sequence here:

  • Time-lapse Recording at the Richard III Burial Site

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEEnBGOB9KA

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

FILM FOOTAGE FOR MEDIA

To access the complete package of film footage being made available to media by the University of Leicester ahead of the reinterment of King Richard III in March 2015, please contact Carl Vivian: cav2@le.ac.uk

SATURDAY 21 MARCH - RICHARD III DAY AT UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER

A free day of family-friendly activities celebrating the University of Leicester’s research, discovery and identification of Richard III will be held on Saturday 21 March.  Free interactive and hands-on workshops and talks take place from 10am – 4pm at the University of Leicester campus and the experts involved in the discovery and identification of the remains will be available to speak to media about their work. For more information, visit www.le.ac.uk/kr3events or contact er134@le.ac.uk to arrange media interviews.

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