King Richard III: Found in Parking Lot!
Scientists say they have found the 500-year-old remains of the long-missing King Richard III of England under a parking lot in the city of Leicester.
University of Leicester researchers say tests on a battle-scarred skeleton unearthed last year prove “beyond reasonable doubt” that it is the king.
Richard III died at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. DNA from the skeleton matches a sample taken from a distant living relative of his sister.
The last English monarch to die in battle, Richard was depicted in a play by William Shakespeare as a hunchbacked usurper who left a trail of bodies.
Many historians say that image is unfair, and argue Richard’s reputation was smeared by his Tudor successors. They hope this discovery will renew debate.
Richard III ruled from 1483-1485, during the decades-long tussle over the throne known as the Wars of the Roses. His brief reign saw several liberal reforms.
His rule was challenged, and he was defeated and killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field by the army of Henry Tudor, who took the throne as King Henry VII.
For centuries, the location of his body has been unknown.
Then, last September, archaeologists searching for King Richard III dug up the skeleton of an adult male who appeared to have died in battle.
There were signs of trauma to the skull, perhaps from a bladed instrument, and a barbed metal arrowhead was found between vertebrae of the upper back.
The remains moreover displayed signs of scoliosis, which is a form of spinal curvature, consistent with contemporary accounts of Richard’s appearance.
Researchers conducted a battery of scientific tests, including radiocarbon dating to determine the skeleton’s age, and found that to be a match as well.
They moreover compared its DNA with samples taken from a London cabinet-maker identified as a 17th great-grand-nephew of the king’s older sister.