Look at it this way - February 8, 2013

0
Have your say

Archaeological digs are not, by and large, glamorous affairs.

They tend to be wet and miserable in Britain.

So the last time I joined one I travelled out to Cyprus - in support of a team of dishy Italians.

Now that puts a swing in your mattock...

There was a time when I would spend a fair old chunk of my holidays standing in soggy trenches and sifting through the spoilheap of ages for signs of the past.

It gave me arthritis and intolerance of American visitors to archaeological sites who ask questions such as “why did the Vikings bury their dead so deep?”

Think about it.

In York my speciality was Viking age oysters. Hundreds of them.

I still have two to this day in my collection of strange stones, shards of pottery and interesting but worthless artefacts amassed over the years.

My hope is Eric Bloodaxe, last Viking king of Jorvik (York) might have wolfed them down.

But now the discovery of Richard III beneath a Leicester city social services car park has fired my enthusiasm anew.

I now look at public sector car parks with whole new interest.

Let’s face it, they found Richard III beneath a spot marked “R” to boot. Reserved. Just for him.

Finding Richard was the “holy grail” for archaeologists - said one archaeologist. This amateur begs to differ. Finding King Arthur would be the holy grail.

Even if he turned out to related to the Romans - who swarmed over our area.

I’d check car parks for clues but A) it’s quite hard to find a car park in Blackpool thanks to all the other holes in the ground here and B) the only public sector car parks with “A” upon them tend to have ambulances upon them.

Instead I may content myself rewriting the resort’s Horrible Histories and float the theory that Arthur may be buried here.

Perhaps we should excavate the site of the old ABC Theatre before plonking a car park upon it.

Although I’m not sure if carbon dating goes back as far as the ageless “king” of pop Cliff Richard.

Forgive the flight of fancy. Then again readers regularly ask what Plan(tagen)et I’m on.

I’m firmly on the side of Richard III. Shakespeare pilloried the man, pushed propoganda to help consolidate the questionable claim of the Tudors.

Although to be fair Richard probably had his own nephews bumped off in the Tower (London not Blackpool) in order to claim his late brother’s throne.

The woman who sparked the search for Richard in Leicester is no archaeologist - and that’s heartwarming.

You could see her shock at the disclosure he truly had curvature of the spine. She had always had a hunch (sorry) that was wrong.

I was more appalled by the osteo-archaeologist who took a chunk out of Richard’s skull with her pick axe in her retrieval of the bones.

This added what she conceded was a “10 minute old hole” to the eight existing injuries incurred to the skull in 1485. Oops....