University of Leicester researchers in collaboration with the Richard III Society and Leicester City Council began a very ambitious search for the lost grave of Richard III.
According to the University website:
Lead archaeologist Richard Buckley of University of Leicester Archaeological Services delivered the unanimous verdict that the skeleton, found by our archaeologists in August – belonged to the Last Plantagenet King.
The former monarch was buried 5 centuries earlier in a church of the Grey Friars, which was dissolved by Henry VIII in the early 1500’s.
Researchers claim that Richard III’s skeleton was battle scarred with spinal curvature resulting from scoliosis, which made the 5-foot 8-inch tall monarch appear to be much shorter than he actually was.
Richard III’s body was marred with several battle wounds, including ‘humiliation injuries’ , one of which was a sword through the right buttock, according to a University of Leicester press release.
The project was launched by archaeologist Richard Buckley, who was a Field Officer with Leicestershire Archaeological Unit from 1980 to 1995. Buckley worked in conjunction with a field research team including; Richard Buckley, Dr Turi King of our Department of Genetics who led the DNA analysis, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Kevin Schürer, who led the genealogical research and osteoarchaeologist Dr Jo Appleby, of ourSchool of Archaeology and Ancient History, who carried out the skeletal analysis. Also contributing to the discovery was Professor Lin Foxhall, Head of the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, who presented historical context from Richard III’s life.
Concerning Richard’s cause of death, the research team explained how the ruler most likely died:
The skeleton was likely to have been killed by one of two fatal injuries to the skull – one possibly from a sword and one possibly from a halberd. A total of 10 wounds were discovered on the skeleton.
The skeletal DNA was matched with two of Richard III’s maternal line relatives, using geneology to verify the relationship between those families and Richard III.
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