Released by the University of Leicester ahead of the king’s reinterment on 26 March, the video shows archaeologist Mat Morris unearthing human remains on the first day of the dig – six hours, 33 minutes and 13 seconds in, at just after 3pm on Saturday 25 August 2012.
In it, Morris can be seen looking at a human leg bone. He confirms it is an articulated skeleton, records it as Skeleton One, and covers it over so that it is protected until more is known about its context within the site. Skeleton One was fully uncovered 11 days later.
Morris said: “Finding the skeleton’s leg on day one [of the dig] was the first significant medieval discovery of the project, although at the time we had no idea how significant it would prove to be.
“The skeleton was the first material evidence that we were digging in the right area and that the friary must be in the vicinity, but at this point on the first day the person could have been buried anywhere: inside the church, outside in the graveyard, in one of the other friary buildings. It took another 11 days to establish that the grave was in the right area of the church to investigate further, with spectacular results.”
More than 20 videos about the Richard III dig are being made available on the University of Leicester’s YouTube channel. Below, you can watch a time-lapse recording of the dig:
The remains of the last Plantagenet king will be reinterred at Leicester Cathedral on 26 March.