(p. A4) LONDON — Looking for a dead medieval king? You might want to check under a parking lot.
That theory, at least, is on the minds of archaeologists and historians in Reading, about 40 miles west of London, who this week will begin searching for the high altar of the abbey founded by King Henry I. They believe that the altar — and, they hope, the king’s remains — could be under the parking lot of a local prison, near the abbey ruins. The area around a nearby nursery school will also be searched.
Nearly four years ago, archaeologists discovered King Richard III’s grave under a parking lot in Leicester, about 100 miles northwest of London, on the site of a former monastery.
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John Mullaney, a historian who is part of the team undertaking the search, said that archaeologists knew “within a few yards” where Henry was probably buried. He said the team would use ground-penetrating radar to search the area around the prison, and around a nearby nursery school.
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As to whether a former monarch would roll in his grave at the prospect of spending eternity under a parking lot, Mr. Mullaney was philosophical.
“I’m afraid that England is a nation of car drivers,” he said. “We are a small country and most people travel by cars, so we need lots of car parks. Henry was a reforming king and would have been fascinated by the idea of cars and transport, and may well have liked being buried under a car park.”
For the full story, see:
DAN BILEFSKY. “The Search Is On for King Henry I, Who May Be Buried Under a Parking Lot.” The New York Times (Tues., JUNE 14, 2016): A4.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date JUNE 13, 2016, and has the title “Search Is On for King Henry I, Who May Be Buried Under a Parking Lot.”)