Tuesday, August 19, 2014

His Majesty's meals

Discovery of the remains of Britain’s last Plantagenet king, Richard III, in 2012 has allowed the commission of a facial reconstruction (ABOVE) from his skull. It has also provided the British Geological Society with evidence to reconstruct the medieval monarch's diet over time. The chemicals in the teeth allow insight into his early childhood and confirmed his move from Fotheringay Castle in eastern England by the age of 7. The rate at which the femur renews itself represents an average of the 15 years before death and shows that Richard moved back to eastern England as an adolescent or young adult, and had a diet that matched the highest aristocracy. From the ribs, which renew themselves in 2 to 5 years, they determined that once he ascended the throne in 1483 the king began to drink more wine and enjoyed lavish foods including swan, crane, and heron. Lead archaeologist Richard Buckley of the University of Leicester Archaeological Services remarks,This cutting edge research has provided a unique opportunity to shed new light on the diet and environment of a major historical figure – Richard III. It is very rare indeed in archaeology to be able to identify a named individual with precise dates and a documented life."

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