Richard III to be reinterred in March 2015
The former Plantagenet king Richard III is to be laid to rest in Leicester in March next year, it has been announced
The king, whose skeleton was discovered underneath a Leicester car park in September 2012, will be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral on 26 March.
The remains will be received into the care of the cathedral on the evening of 22 March, and will lie in repose for three days before being reburied on the morning of Thursday 26 March.
The following days – Friday 27 and Saturday 28 – will mark the end of the journey with the reveal of a specially designed tomb and a service. The reinterment ceremony will be broadcast on Channel 4.
Museum finds 6,500-year-old human skeleton in own storage rooms
An archaeology museum in Philadelphia has rediscovered a human skeleton from the Ubaid period (5500–4000 BC) in its own storage rooms.
The AP reports that staff stumbled upon the skeleton, which was originally excavated from southern Iraq in around 1930, when digitising the museum's collection from an expedition to Ur, an ancient city near modern-day Nasiriyah.
The remains, which had been kept in a coffin-like box, are believed to be those of a man aged at least 50. It is hoped that a skeletal analysis, possibly including a CT scan, will reveal more about his diet and ancestral origins, and any diseases he suffered from.
Iron Age fort bought for £450,000
An Iron Age hill fort that features earthworks that date from 2,850 BC has been bought by the National Trust.
Hambledon Hill in Dorset, which stands at twice the height of the White Cliffs of Dover and is the size of 50 football pitches, is the first Iron Age fort the trust has acquired for 30 years.
The Telegraph reports that the fort has been owned for the past three decades by the Hawthorn Trust and managed by Natural England, the government agency, as a national nature reserve.
The acquisition is being funded by a land purchase grant from Natural England and with money from a legacy left to the Trust for the countryside in Dorset.
First World War anniversary remembered
Monday marked the 100th anniversary of the day Britain entered the First World War.
A wreath-laying service was held at the Cenotaph in George Square, Glasgow, attended by representatives of the Commonwealth nations and the Prince of Wales. Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Prince Henry of Wales attended a commemorative service at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s St Symphorien cemetery in Mons, Belgium.
Later, a service of solemn commemoration took place at Westminster Abbey. The Abbey moved from light into darkness until one candle remained at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, which was extinguished at 11pm, marking the exact moment of the declaration of war.
Forgotten astronomers remembered
A group of amateur 19th-century scientists who paved the way for some of the biggest astronomical discoveries in history have been remembered in a new book.
In Starlight Detectives: How Astronomers, Inventors, and Eccentrics Discovered the Modern Universe, Professor Alan Hirshfeld reveals how the likes of a reverend, a construction worker and a young apprentice went on to transform our scientific understanding of the universe.
A professor of physics at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Hirshfeld recounts how these British amateurs used innovative technology to usher astronomy into the modern age. They envisioned the true layout of our solar system, helped to measure the speed of light, and masterminded methods to pinpoint the distances of star clusters and galaxies.