Archeologists from the University of Leicester recently confirmed that the skeleton found under a car park belongs to King Richard III. There were several DNA tests that matched the remains of the king with the DNA from a distant relative on maternal line.
Radiocarbon dating tests were also performed and they showed the skeleton dated back to a period from 1455 to 1540. King Richard III died in 1485 in a battle near Market Bosworth in Leicestershire.
“Beyond reasonable doubt it’s Richard,”
Richard Buckley, chief archeologist from the University of Leicester, told journalists.
Dr Jo Appleby, an osteo-archeologist, said the skeleton belonged to a young man in his late ’20s or early ’30s. Richard died at the age of 32. The skeleton also had 10 injuries. Eight of the injuries were made to the head, two of which seemed to be fatal. One of the fatal wounds was caused by a sharp weapon and was 10cm (4ins) deep. Experts say that this kind of injury would have cause an almost instant loss of consciousness followed by death. Specialists are not sure if the blade went into the brain 10 cm deep – if that was the case death would have been instantaneous.
Some historians say the king was slightly deformed. This fact is also confirmed – the skeleton had the spine visibly curved due to a condition called scoliosis that made him look shorter than he really was (about 1.7 m/5.8 ft). Dr Appleby also said that the skelton belonged to a man “unusually slender”.
“Taken as a whole, the skeletal evidence provides a highly convincing case for identification as Richard III,”
It seems that Richard III didn’t receive a proper funeral – he was burried in a hurry underneath the Greyfriars Church. Experts say that his grave was “clumsly cut” and wasn’t deep enough for the body. There was also no coffin or shroud and the skeleton had the arms crossed. The Greyfriars church was torn down during Reformation era and historian lost its track.
Richard III’s DNA was confirmed by DNA samples taken from a 17th-generation descendant of the king’s sister, Joy Ibsen who died in Canada several years ago. Her son Michel provided a sample of his mother’s DNA.
Experts were concerned that Richard’s DNA would have been too damaged for the DNA tests, but they needn’t have worried – there was a perfect match between Joy’s DNA and the remains founded at Greyfriars site.
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