Dig for Richard III Wrapping Up: Will Mystery Be Solved?
Shakespeare portrayed him as 'deform'd, unfinish'd' ... was he?
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2012 10:03 AM CDT
Richard III.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Archaeologists believe that Richard III could be buried underneath a parking lot in the city of Leicester, and they've officially embarked on their quest to find out, reports the Los Angeles Times. They're currently digging up a government lot in hopes of finding the bones of the English monarch who ruled from 1483 to 1485—and, perhaps, finding the answer to another mystery. Namely, was he actually the deformed hunchback Shakespeare portrayed him to be? (Another Richard III mystery the parking lot can't solve: Did he murder his nephews after locking them in the Tower of London so he could claim the throne?)

Archaeologists won't have much time to find out. The dig began on Aug. 25, and will end on Sunday, per the government's demand (it wants its lot back). "It's a long shot," says the head of the project. "It's like a game of Battleship. You pick a square, H-3, and—Miss!" But there have been encouraging signs, in the form of some medieval ruins that have been uncovered. And if bones do surface, the archaeologists are ready: They're armed with a DNA swab taken from a likely descendent of Richard III's sister.