With the discovery of someone who might or might not have been Richard III (but probably was...) beneath a car-park in Leicester, archeologists who have relished their ‘Indiana Jones’ moment are busy looking for other historical figures in unlikely places.
“Alfred the Great will probably be next”, said Kevin Baxter, of the Archeological Department of Lancaster University, confidently. “We’ll recognise him immediately by the presence of a burnt cake... and maybe a grate. But history and myth are inextricably intertwined. Did Edward the Incontinent really exist, or was he just a figment of our imaginations? Well, if we find some bones under a lake, then, sure, he was real.
“If we find the remains of King Canute - and, believe me, we will - it’ll be on the seashore, probably around Morecambe Bay... certainly within the university's catchment area. And if we fail to come up with any bones at all, that’ll be conclusive proof that we have found the final resting place of Viking warrior, Ivar the Boneless. Yes, these are exciting times in the field of ‘fantasy archeology’.”
As he adjusted his fedora, and cracked his bullwhip impressively, Mr Baxter stressed that finding the remains of famous people from history, who might or might not have existed, had nothing to do with renewing - perhaps even increasing - the grant to the Archeological Department of Lancaster University...