After Richard III, is it time to dig up other famous skeletons?

Following the success of the Richard III exhumation, there may be a case for analysing the remains of other eminent individuals such as Elizabeth I and the princes in the Tower, historian Dan Jones has said

Princes-pic-2-489ede0

Speaking to History Extra following a new DNA study that the University of Leicester claims “confirms 99.999%” that the skeleton discovered in Leicester is that of Richard III, Jones said: “This raises the question: is there a case for exhuming and analysing other infamous skeletons? It is rather paradoxical that in a relatively secular age, where we are better equipped to study historical remains than ever before, we are so squeamish and prissy about meddling with the dead.

Advertisement

“Wouldn’t we like to have a look inside that urn in Westminster Abbey containing the supposed remains of the princes in the Tower? Or to stick a camera inside Elizabeth I’s tomb?

“In the 18th century tomb-raiding was all the rage. It is such a shame that it has gone out of ethical fashion at a time when we would be better equipped than ever to glean new information from these long-dead bones.”

Advertisement

What do you think? Share your views by commenting below, or by tweeting us @HistoryExtra or posting on our Facebook page.