LIC Blog

A Shadow of a Doubt

The history of mathematics is riddled with good practitioners, who were convinced that they had proved a theorem, only to find a fatal error buried in their algebra.

So, when the University of Leicester announces that the skeleton on display is "beyond reasonable doubt" that of King Richard III, this mathematician reaches for a bottle of caution.

Proof is a tricky business.

Read More

How do we determine identity?

It is an old adage that fossils are dated by the rocks in which they are found and the rocks are dated by the fossils inside them. It is a flaw and difficult to overcome. Our preconceptions colour our conclusions and we are fools to think it is otherwise.

The evidence from Leicester today raised one problem in my mind: did preconceived ideas contribute to the conclusions?

Read More

What is Idiopathic Structural Scoliosis?

This condition begins in childhood or adolscence (often 10 to 12 years) and tends to increase progressively until skeletal growth is complete. It can lead to severe deformity, especially when the chest (thoracic) region is affected. In adults with longstanding deformity it may be accompanied by pain.

The skeleton (from the photographs) exhibits mainly a thoracic scoliosis with the curve to the right. This would be accompanied by rotation of the vertebrae on a vertical axis, thrusting the ribs backwards on the convex side, increasing the appearance of the deformity.

The cause is unknown.

Dr. F. J. Fox

Objectivity: Fact or Fiction?

More4 has just broadcast their programme "Richard III: Fact or Fiction?"

As usual this presented the establishment version of events through the mouth of Tony Robinson, who explicitly stated that Richard murdered his nephews. He said this in the same breath that he admitted that the meagre evidence against the King was only circumstantial.

The programme illustrated that objectivity is a complete myth. The historians Dockray and Pollard - both of whom in close up are far more scary than Richard III - were the spokesmen of the enlightenment, presiding god-like over the "wicked" King. Clearly their view must be right, since gods do not err.

When we produced our DVD on Sandal Castle, several reviewers were shocked by my lack of "objectivity" in uttering a precise and passionate condemnation of Henry Tudor, the upstart Welsh traitor. 

Let us be clear. 

There is no such thing as objectivity. 

All men and women are inextricably biased. 

Our loyalties bind us as surely as they did Richard.

February Press Conference about Richard III Dig in Leicester

The latest official news about the dig in Leicester ...

The Search for King Richard III: Announcement of media conference

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 9 January 2012

The University of Leicester has today announced that it plans to reveal the results of a series of scientific investigations into human remains – which are suspected of being that of King Richard III - in the first week of February.

Read More

Parliamentary Debate on the (possible) Remains of King Richard III

Transcript of the answers given in the House of Commons on October 25th 2012

John Mann (Bassetlaw) (Lab): What assessment the Church Commissioners have made of the potential Church sites available for the reburying of King Richard III. [124677]

Jonathan Ashworth (Leicester South) (Lab): What discussions the Church Commissioners have had on laying to rest the remains of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral. [124683]

Read More

If this is Richard ... why is there an arrow in his back?

According to the initial report from the archaeologists excavating Greyfriars Church in Leicester, the skeleton that they suspect is that of King Richard III has:

A barbed metal arrowhead {was} found between vertebrae of the skeleton’s upper back.

It seems quite unlikely that the arrow entered the body after death. We know that Tudor paid scant regard to the rights due to a dead King. But if the body had been used for target practice after death, there should be more evidence in the form of nicks to ribs and other bones and possibly more arrowheads at the site where the skeleton was found.

Read More

A Tomb for King Richard III

An archaeological dig is now underway to determine whether the mortal remains of King Richard III are under a car park in Leicester.

Over a year ago, Lost in Castles were invited to make the preliminary computer impressions for a potential tomb to re-bury the remains of King Richard, should they be discovered. The design has undergone several changes and is now being finalised.

BBC coverage is inevitably pro-Tudor: BBC and Richard III