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Looking for Richard

King Richard III by unknown artist, late 16th century.

Looking for Richard

This Looking for Richard quiz concentrates on finding the skeleton.

Following his death at the Battle of Bosworth, Richard III's body was taken to Leicester, where it was buried in the Franciscan Friary of Greyfriars. In 1538, when Henry VIII dissolved Greyfriars, Richard's body was said to have been cast into the River Soar and his coffin used as a trough for animals to drink from, but this story turned out to be false. The site of Greyfriars was sold and, over time, built upon. Until recently it was a car park and the once great king of England lay beneath the wheels of vehicles, rather than the grand tomb more befitting of a past monarch.

In 2009 Leicester City Council, Leicester tourist marketing, the University of Leicester, Leicester Cathedral, a TV Productions company and the Richard III Society launched a project to search for Richard's remains. However, one of the sponsors pulled out endangering the project. How much money were they short of?
£1,000 short
£10,000 short
£100,000 short
£1,000,000 short
The project went ahead after an appeal led to the donation of £13,000 in only two weeks by members of the public and Richard III appreciation groups
Archaeological excavations began at the site on 25th August 2012, although those leading the project were pessimistic about the chances of success. What is one of the team, Richard Buckley, quoted as saying?
"We have more chance of finding the Loch Ness Monster than of finding Richard."
"We don't know if this is the right church, let alone if Richard's body is there."
"We have more chance of striking oil than of finding Richard's grave."
"We don't know precisely where the church is, let alone where the burial site is."
After the ground was surveyed by radar the team chose to dig two trenches in the car park and possibly one more in a nearby playground. The choice of sites was based on land available for digging as much as on the likelihood of finding Richard's grave
Shortly after digging began, the archaeologists uncovered two leg bones. On which day of the dig was this discovery made?
On the first day of the dig
On the second day of the dig
On the third day of the dig
On the fourth day of the dig
On the very first day of excavations, two parallel human leg bones were found buried 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) deep. The bones were covered in order to preserve them while the dig continued elsewhere in the trench
During the next few days archaeologists found the remains of medieval walls. From these they could find out the location of the church and where the bones lay in comparison to the building. Where did the bones turn out to be?
In the western part of the church
In the church graveyard
In the eastern part of the church
In a mass burial site
The body of Richard III was said to have been buried in a part of the church known as the Choir. These were to be found in the eastern part of churches, exactly where the bones were discovered
On 31st August, the team asked for a licence allowing them to remove six sets of human remains. They planned only to exhume the bodies of who?
Men who suffered violent deaths
Men with disfigurements
Men in their thirties
Men under six feet tall
The team hoped to narrow their search by digging up only the bodies of men of a similar age to Richard and buried inside the church. Disfigurements and causes of death cannot be ascertained until after the bodies are exhumed, and Richard's height was unknown
In early September of 2012 the body found by archaeologists was exhumed and was found to be missing which feature?
The hands
The head
The feet
The arms
The feet were missing due to 19th century building work. The position of the hands suggested that they were tied when the body was buried and there was neither a coffin nor a shroud. It seemed that the body was put in a grave too small for it to be laid out properly and that the burial had been rushed
On 12th September it was announced that the body could be that of Richard III. It belonged to an adult male and was found in the part of the church where Richard was said to have been buried. What other factor supported the theory that the body was that of Richard III?
The ring of a monarch was found on one of the hands
The body was exceptionally tall
The body was clothed in royal garments
The spine was curved in an 'S' shape
Whoever the body belonged to had suffered from scoliosis of the spine, in which the vertebrae become curved. It is thought that Richard had been a sufferer of this condition, which was exaggerated by the Tudors who portrayed him as a hunchback
In an attempt to confirm whether or not the body was Richard's, the DNA in the bones was compared to that of Michael Ibsen, a living relative. What relation is Michael Ibsen to Richard III?
17th generation great-nephew
17th generation second cousin
17th generation great-grandson
17th generation third cousin
Tests showed that the mitochondrial DNA, which is passed from mother to child, was the same in the exhumed skeleton and in Michael Ibsen. This shows that the two are related and makes it all but certain that the bones do in fact belong to Richard III
The bones showed signs of several serious injuries. How many fatal wounds were found on the skull?
Three fatal wounds
Two fatal wounds
One fatal wound
No fatal wounds
The back of the skull had been removed by a strike from a sharp blade and another blade had entered the right side of the skull, passed through and hit the other side. There were also several non-lethal blows such as dagger wounds to the jaw and glancing blows to the head
The wounds found on the body match a description of Richard's death by a Welsh poet of the time, Guto'r Glyn. In it Glyn says that Richard's killer did what?
Cut off Richard's head
Sliced Richard's head
Shaved Richard's head
Squashed Richard's head
The actual line is, "Lladd y baedd, eilliodd ei ben," which translates from the Welsh as "Killed the boar, shaved his head." The boar is a reference to Richard's symbol on his coat of arms and "shaving his head" could refer to the wounds found on the body, which would have removed not only Richard's hair, but his scalp too


Author:  Graeme Haw

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