An archaeological team from University of Leicester, led by Richard Buckley, Leicester City Council and the Richard III Society, revealed they made an extremely exciting discovery. They have unearthed a skeleton in a car park which they believe was King Richard III.
Director of Corporate Affairs at the University of Leicester, and one of the prime movers behind the project, Richard Taylor, said, “What we have uncovered is truly remarkable and today (12 September) we will be announcing to the world that the search for King Richard III has taken a dramatic new turn.”
However, the remains are being tested for DNA, which will take approximately 12 weeks. The Richard III Society has located Canadian-born Michael Ibsen who is a direct descendant of Richard’s older sister, Anne of York.
A press conference was recently held in Leicester’s Guildhall, revealing the findings.
- The remains appear to be of an adult male and in good condition.
- The Choir was reported as King Richard III’s burial place, as reported in the historical record. John Rous reports that “Richard was buried at last was buried in the choir of the Friars Minor at Leicester.”
- The skeleton appears to have suffered “significant peri-mortem trauma to the skull” which appears consistent with (although not certainly caused by) an injury received in battle. A bladed implement appears to have split part of the rear of the skull.
- A barbed metal arrowhead was found between vertebrae of the skeleton’s upper back.
- The skeleton found in the Choir area has spinal abnormalities. The archaeologists believe the skeleton would have had severe scoliosis – a form of spinal curvature – which made his right shoulder appear visibly higher than the left shoulder, which is consistent with contemporary accounts of Richard III. The skeleton does not have kyphosis (a different form of spinal curvature) so it was not a hunchback
The dig was filmed by Darlow Smithson Productions for a future documentary which will air on Britain’s Channel 4. No details have been released whether the documentary will be shown on Australian television.
Richard III was born 2 October 1452, but he is best remembered as a hunchback in William Shakespeare’s play and for the alleged murder of the Princes in the Tower, Edward V, and his younger brother, Richard Duke of York. (We can safely assume they weren’t taken by dingos!) He has been given some bad press by Tudor historians, including Sir Thomas More.
Little was known about his death, except he was killed in battle at Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485 – the last in the bloody conflict known as the Wars of the Roses. Richard III was the last English king to die in battle, and the Lancastrian pretender Henry Tudor was crowned Henry VII.