It was thanks to the research of John Ashdown-Hill that the body of Richard III was rediscovered in August 2012.. - BUT for John the Search for Richard III began in 2003 !
THE CHRONOLOGY OF THE SEARCH FOR RICHARD III
2003 John Ashdown-Hill was asked by Belgian colleagues to find a mtDNA sequence for Richard III and his siblings.
2004 John Ashdown-Hill located Joy Ibsen in Canada - 16th generation all-female-line descendant of Richard III's eldest sister, Anne of York.
The BBC commissioned John Ashdown-Hill to write on the Fate of Richard III's Body for it's website LOCAL LEGENDS.
John concluded that the story that Richard III had been dug up and thrown into the river Soar was a myth.
2005 Joy Ibsen's (and Richard III's) mtDNA was sequenced for the first time.
Encouraged by Philippa Langley, John Ashdown-Hill made a proposal to TIME TEAM for the excavation of Richard III's grave site at the Leicester Greyfriars.
The proposal included a photograph, showing where John thought the Greyfriars Church and Richard's body would be found.
This photograph (later published in John's book THE LAST DAYS OF RICHARD III) was a very accurate prediction.
Sadly, after showing some interest in the project, TIME TEAM decided that its usual time allocation of three days would probably be inadequate for the work.
IF TIME TEAM HAD SAID YES, RICHARD III's BODY WOULD HAVE BEEN FOUND IN 2006!!!
2006 John Ashdown-Hill published RICHARD III's DNA SQUENCE for the first time in The Ricardian.
2008-2010 John Ashdown-Hill did further research on the fate of Richard III's body.
2010 John Ashdown-Hill published the whole of his research relating to the fate of Richard III's body and his DNA in his book, THE LAST DAYS OF RICHARD III.
Encouraged by Philippa Langley, John wrote for the first time to the University of Leicester, seeking to interest them in the project - but received no reply.
2011 Thanks to the persistence of Philippa Langley, Leicester University and Leicester City Council finally agreed to the project.
Ground penetrating radar was done on the site.
2012 Excavation began, On the first day Richard III's body was found.
John Ashdown-Hill carried the exhumed body to the vehicle which finally removed it from the Greyfriars site.