Medieval Knight Found: How Did Scottish Archaeologists Find Skeleton Underneath Parking Lot?
A medieval knight found underneath a parking lot in Scotland's capital of Edinburgh has archaeologists hoping they'll find more. The grave of the medieval knight, or possibly a nobleman, was discovered while the site was being cleared for the construction of a new university center in Edinburgh's Old Town, archaeologists announced this week.
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The medieval knight found below the construction site has been dated to the 13th Century. A sandstone slab with carvings of an ornate sword and Calvary Cross marked the grave and was discovered next to the skeleton of the medieval knight.
According to the BBC, the site where the skeleton was exhumed is already known to be the location of an 18th Century high school, a 16th Century high school and a 13th Century Blackfriars Monastery. Along with the skeleton of the medieval knight and the sandstone grave, archaeologists found evidence of a 13th century monastery, believed to be the Blackfriars Monastery. The monastery was established in 1230 by Alexander II, who ruled Scotland from 1214 to 1249. It was destroyed in 1558 during the Reformation, a period of intense warfare in Europe when early Protestants broke away from the Roman Catholic Church.
The City of Edinburgh council culture convener Richard Lewis had this to say to the BBC regarding the discovery of the medieval knight:
"This find has the potential to be one of the most significant and exciting archaeological discoveries in the city for many years, providing us with yet more clues as to what life was like in Medieval Edinburgh."
The medieval knight's skeleton and teeth will be analyzed to determine where he was born, what he ate, where he lived and how he died, the Scotsman reports. In the same excavation site that the medieval knight was discovered, archaeologist have also found several more human remains, including those of children. Archaeologist believe the burials to be Christian ones, based on the skeletons having been laid in an east-west position, which is typical of Christian burials, the Scotsman notes.
After the excavation is complete, the parking lot will become the rainwater-collecting tank for the University of Edinburgh's new Edinburgh Center for Carbon Innovation.
The excavation in Scotland follows news in February that archaeologists in England uncovered the remains of what later were identified as those of King Richard III. Scientists were able to match mitochondrial DNA extracted from the bones of King Richard III to a Canadian cabinetmaker named Michael Ibsen, who is a direct descendant of the king's sister, Anne of York. They also matched the DNA to a second distant relative who wants to remain anonymous, CNN reported.
Photos of the medieval knight found in Scotland can be seen here.
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