12 Sep 2012

Richard III Found?

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The search in Leicester for the remains of Richard III, the last Plantagenet monarch of England slain August 22, 1485 at Bosworth Field, may have achieved success.

The Telegraph reports the finding of remains that may very possibly be those of Richard.

Over 500 years since he was killed in battle, archaeologists believe they have finally found the skeleton of King Richard III, buried deep beneath a council car park.

Experts said a fully intact skeleton matched much about what they knew about the medieval king, and are hoping that DNA tests will put their beliefs beyond doubt.

The remains were found three weeks into an archaeological dig by a team from Leicester University, which recently pinpointed the site of the ancient Grey Friars church, where Richard was believed to be buried after being killed in the Battle of Bosworth in August 1485, and which was razed to the ground in 1538 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries ordered by Henry VIII.

To their astonishment, an excavation unearthed a result which experts said were “beyond out wildest dreams”.

Five key aspects underlined their belief that appears to have ended a decade-long search for his remains.

The skeleton was an adult male, who appeared fit and strong. He had suffered significant trauma to the head where a blade had cut away part of the back of his skull; an injury consistent with battle.

A barbed arrow head was found lodged between vertebrae in his upper back, and spinal abnormalities pointed to the fact that he had severe scoliosis, a form of spinal curvature. This would have made his right shoulder appear visibly higher than his left, which is consistent with contemporary accounts of Richard’s appearance.

Richard’s two year reign was the subject of one of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays, which portrayed him as an evil, ugly hunchback, and which helped cement the public perception of him.

The remains were found in the Choir area of the church, again consistent with historical record of where he was buried.

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