On Feb. 4, 2013 University of Leicester researchers confirmed the remains of King Richard III have indeed been found. They had been under what is now a parking lot in the English Midlands for more than 500 years. According to those present there were cheers when Richard Buckley, lead archaeologist on the hunt for the king's body, finally announced that the university team was convinced "beyond reasonable doubt" that it had found the last Plantagenet king, bent by scoliosis of the spine, and twisted further to fit into a hastily dug hole in Grey Friars church, which was slightly too small to hold his body.
Carbon-dating, DNA and bone experts said the evidence was overwhelming. Even the computer-imaging technology used to peer on to and into the bones in raking detail, and recreate a visual image of the face fit what is known about the last English king of that period. Genealogists compared the DNA of the remains to a distant descendant of the royal family.
The bones were uncovered by an excavation worker just digging through the tarmac of the lot, during the first hour of the first day of the dig. Based on bones expert Jo Appleby, King Richard III was killed almost immediately after receiving a blow from a halberd that sliced off his skull in one hard blow. The blade probably penetrated several centimeters into his brain. A halberd is a 2 kilo razor-sharp iron axe mounted on a wooden pole meant to be used at close range. It was already known that he died at Bosworth on August 22, 1485 in battle.
There is still discussion about where the remains will be interred. Some believe they should go back to Leicester and others argue for burial in Westminster Abbey or Windsor Castle with other royals. Richard III was made famous by William Shakespeare’s play. The king’s death at the Battle of Bosworth Field, outside of Leicester, marked a pivotal moment in English history and in the struggle for power between the House of York and the House of Lancaster, known as the "The Wars of the Roses." Richard was the last of the Plantagenet kings to rule and his defeat by Henry VII began the start of the Tudor dynasty, which lasted for more than a century.
Can you name three famous buildings that are credited to the Plantagenets era?