Bones Found In Parking Lot Confirmed As King Richard III’s

Bones Found In Parking Lot Confirmed As King Richard III'sBritish scientists announced Monday they are convinced “beyond reasonable doubt” that a skeleton found during an archaeological dig in Leicester, central England, last August is that of the country’s King Richard III, who was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.

‘Hunchbacked villain’

Mitochondrial DNA extracted from the bones was matched to Michael Ibsen, a Canadian cabinetmaker and direct descendant of Richard III’s sister, Anne of York, and a second distant relative, who wishes to remain anonymous.

Experts say other evidence — including battle wounds and signs of scoliosis, or curvature of the spine — found during the search and the more than four months of tests since strongly support the DNA findings — and suggest that history’s view of the king as a hunchbacked villain may have to be rewritten.

‘Humiliation injuries’

The skeleton was discovered buried among the remains of what was once the city’s Greyfriars friary. After centuries of demolition and rebuilding work, the grave’s exact location had been lost to history, and there were even reports that the defeated monarch’s body had been dug up and thrown into a nearby river. The remains will be reburied in Leicester Cathedral, close to the site of his original grave, once the full analysis of the bones is completed.

Archaeologists say their examination of the skeleton shows Richard met a violent death: They found evidence of 10 wounds — eight to the head and two to the body — which they believe were inflicted at or around the time of death. Bioarchaeologist Jo Appleby said there were also signs that Richard’s corpse was mistreated after his death, with evidence of several “humiliation injuries,” which fitted in with historical records of the body being displayed, naked, in Leicester before being laid to rest.

With the recent discovery and confirmation of King Richard III’s skeleton, should history be rewritten to change the view of him as a “hunchbacked villain”? Feel free to share your thoughts on this topic!

Source: Bryony Jones, CNN

Image: National Geographic

Skeleton Found By Archaeologists May Be Long-Lost King Richard III

Archaeologists searching for the grave of Richard III have said “strong circumstantial evidence” points to a skeleton being the lost king. The English king died at the battle of Bosworth in 1485.

A dig under a council car park in Leicester has found remains with spinal abnormalities and a “cleaved-in skull” that suggest it could be Richard III. The University of Leicester will now test the bones for DNA against descendants of Richard’s family. A university spokesperson said the evidence included signs of a peri-mortem (near-death) trauma to the skull and a barbed iron arrow head in the area of the spine. Richard is recorded by some sources as having been pulled from his horse and killed with a blow to the head.

The skeleton also showed severe scoliosis – a curvature of the spine. Although not as pronounced as Shakespeare’s portrayal of the king as a hunchback, the condition would have given the adult male the appearance of having one shoulder higher than the other.

As the defeated foe, Richard was given a low-key burial in the Franciscan friary of Greyfriars. This was demolished in the 1530s, but documents describing the burial site have survived. The excavation, which began on 25 August, has uncovered the remains of the cloisters and chapter house, as well as the church. The bones were lifted by archaeologists wearing forensic body suits in an effort to limit contamination by modern materials.

The tests are expected to take about 12 weeks to complete. If their identity is confirmed, Leicester Cathedral said it would work with the Royal Household, and with the Richard III Society, to ensure the remains were treated with dignity and respect and reburied with the appropriate rites and ceremonies of the church.

Do you think the bones these archaeologists dug up in Leicester really belonged to King Richard III? Share your thoughts and opinions with us!

Source: BBC News

Image: CBC News