Elderly mystery woman found buried in coffin near Richard III

Who Was the Wealthy Woman Buried Near King Richard III?

Finding King Richard III's grave was so 2012. We know how he died (in battle), when he died (1485) and, as of 2012, where he was buried (Grey Friars monastery). Old news.

Now we've moved on to more interesting and mysterious things like the wealthy woman's coffin inside of a coffin near where Richard III was buried. We don't know who she is, how she died or if she had a connection to the king. (Video via The University of Leicester)

And we all love a good mystery, right? Researchers found a stone coffin inside a lead casket. And since the woman was buried in a rather elaborate way, and also in a prominent position, she was probably pretty important.

"This coffin's actually right in front of the high order, and so it's probably a very high-status burial," The University of Leicester's Richard Buckley told CNN.

The woman was over 60 years old when she died, and an examination of her bones revealed she had a good diet, never suffering from malnutrition.

King Richard III identified with DNA
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Elderly mystery woman found buried in coffin near Richard III
portrait King Richard III, Leicester Cathedral, Leicester, England, UK
Richard III of England (1452-1485) on engraving from 1830. King of England during 1483-1485.
Bosworth Battlefield, near Hinckley, Leicestershire, UK. 18th Aug, 2013. The Wars of the Roses Federation re-enact the 528th Anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth (22nd August 1485) King Richard III watches the battle prior to his defeat when he lost the throne of England to Henry Tudor. He was the last English king to die in Battle. This battle was the last significant battle in the Wars of the Roses a civil war between the houses of York and Lancaster © eye35/Alamy Live News
Guide booklets about King Richard the Third displayed inside Leicester Cathedral.
A stone inside Leicester Cathedral acknowledging that King Richard the Third maybe be buried nearby.
Stone marking the spot where King Richard III fell, Bosworth Field, Leicestershire. Artist: Graham Easby
A portrait of King Richard the Third inside Leicester Cathedral.
A road sign in City Centre, Leicester.

And the fact it is a woman adds another element. Before, outlets were predicting the very intact stone coffin could belong to a knight or one of the friars themselves.

But nope - woman. A woman who couldn't have been a knight or a friar because these were considered male roles in medieval times.

And the woman wasn't alone. Archaeologists also found three other graves, all containing female skeletons. The Huffington Post reports radiocarbon dating indicates all four women died between 1270 and 1400.

So far, Richard III is the only male skeleton that has been excavated, but the archaeologist who led the dig said there's the potential of finding hundreds more burials.

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