Monday, February 4, 2013
TESTS have established that a skeleton found under a car park in Leicester is that of King Richard III.
Scientists at the University of Leicester confirmed the news at a press conference in the city.
The university’s lead archaeologist Richard Buckley said the tests proved the remains were the king’s “beyond reasonable doubt”.
Deputy registrar Richard Taylor described the discovery as “truly astonishing”.
Archaeologists previously said there was strong circumstantial evidence to suggest the bones, exhumed from a car park behind social services offices in the city are those of the Plantagenet king but did not want to make any academic decision before the skeleton was subjected to a number of tests.
The skeleton, with a metal arrow in its back and severe trauma to the skull, was exhumed in September last year during an archaeological dig.
It was found in the same area of what was Grey Friars church where Richard III was recorded to have been buried after his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, the last major act in the Wars of the Roses.
Initial examinations showed the bones to be those of an adult male and the remains were said to be in a good condition.
The skeleton had a curved spine, consistent with accounts of Richard III’s appearance.
DNA taken from the skeleton has been analysed and compared with that of Michael Ibsen, a descendant of Richard III’s family. Radiocarbon tests and genealogical studies have also taken place.
Richard III’s demise was dramatised by Shakespeare, who had the king calling out “a horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse” before he was killed on the battlefield.