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Medieval Knight Found Under Parking Lot In Scotland; Mysterious Remains Thrill Archeologists

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MEDIEVAL KNIGHT FOUND PARKING LOT
The remains of an ancient knight have been discovered beneath an old parking lot in Scotland. | Ross Murray / Headland Archaeology Ltd.

Archeologists this week announced the discovery of an unidentified medieval knight's skeleton buried along with several other bodies under a Scottish parking lot.

The knight -- or possibly nobleman -- was uncovered during construction work, according to The Scotsman. Also found was an intricately carved sandstone slab, several other human burial plots and a variety of artifacts researchers believe are from the 13th-century Blackfriars Monastery.

(Story continues below.)

medieval knight found parking lot

Councillor Richard Lewis, a member of the City of Edinburgh Council, said the archeological treasure trove has “the potential to be one of the most significant and exciting archaeological discoveries in the city for many years, providing us with yet more clues as to what life was like in Medieval Edinburgh," according to a statement released by the Edinburgh Center for Carbon Innovation (ECCI).

"We hope to find out more about the person buried in the tomb once we remove the headstone and get to the remains underneath but our archaeologists have already dated the gravestone to the thirteenth century," Lewis added.

The team leading the excavation is part of Headland Archeology, which noted with glee that many of its researchers may have once walked over the bones while studying nearby at the former University of Edinburgh's archaeology department. A statement released by the group says members are "looking forward to post excavation analyses that will tell us more about the individual buried there."

Ross Murray, a project officer for Headland, told The Huffington Post in an email that the team has already divined some clues about the knight's background.

"The knight would have been buried in the graveyard associated with the monastery meaning he had money or was important in the society of time," Murray told HuffPost. "The more important you were the closer you got placed to the church. He was also pretty tall for the time being around 6ft or so."

Echoing Councillor Lewis, Murray went on to say that the contents of the grave site and monastery will be "fantastic" additions to Scottish art history.

"We have now taken the body back to our labs and will have an osteo-archaeologist examine the body to try and establish their sex, age, if they had any diseases or even how they died," Murray said. "The medieval was a pretty brutal time so a violent death wouldn't be uncommon. We would also get radiocarbon dates from the bones to get a more accurate date for the burial and have an expert in medieval sculpture looks at the carved grave slab."

After the excavation is complete, the former parking lot will house the rainwater-harvesting tank of the University of Edinburgh’s new ECCI building.

This impressive Edinburgh find comes on the heels of scientists' confirmation this February that bones found under an English city council parking lot do indeed belong to King Richard III. Researchers from the University of Leicester used DNA analysis to identify the 15th-century monarch, who died in battle during the War of the Roses.

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