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REMAINS OF KING RICHARD III FOUND UNDER A PARKING LOT AFTER MISSING FOR CENTURIES
1 year ago

LEICESTER, England (AP) — Scientists say they have found the 500-year-old remains of England’s King Richard III 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, who died at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, and whose remains have been missing for centuries.

“Richard III, the last Plantaganet King of England,” has been found,” said the university’s deputy registrar, Richard Taylor.

King Richard III
  • Dan Kitwood/Getty ImagesLEICESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04: A television screen displays the skeletal remains of what is believed to be King Richard III during a press conference at Leicester University on February 4, 2013 in Leicester, England. The University of Leicester has been carrying out scientific investigations on remains found in a car park to find out whether they are those of King Richard III since last September, when the skeleton was discovered in the foundations of Greyfriars Church, Leicester.
  • Rui Vieira/APJo Appleby, a lecturer in Human Bioarchaeology, at University of Leicester, School of Archaeology and Ancient History, who led the exhumation of the remains found during a dig at a Leicester car park, gestures at the university Monday Feb. 4, 2013. Tests have established that a skeleton found , including this skull, are "beyond reasonable doubt" the long lost remains of England's King Richard III, missing for 500 years.
  • Dan Kitwood/Getty ImagesLEICESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04: A television screen displays the skeletal remains of what is believed to be King Richard III during a press conference at Leicester University on February 4, 2013 in Leicester, England. The University of Leicester has been carrying out scientific investigations on remains found in a car park to find out whether they are those of King Richard III since last September, when the skeleton was discovered in the foundations of Greyfriars Church, Leicester.
  • Dan Kitwood/Getty ImagesLEICESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04: A television screen displays the skeletal remains of what is believed to be King Richard III during a press conference at Leicester University on February 4, 2013 in Leicester, England. The University of Leicester has been carrying out scientific investigations on remains found in a car park to find out whether they are those of King Richard III since last September, when the skeleton was discovered in the foundations of Greyfriars Church, Leicester.
    • Rui Vieira/APJo Appleby, a lecturer in Human Bioarchaeology, at University of Leicester, School of Archaeology and Ancient History, who led the exhumation of the remains found during a dig at a Leicester car park, speaks at the university Monday Feb. 4, 2013. Tests have established that a skeleton found , including this skull, are "beyond reasonable doubt" the long lost remains of England's King Richard III, missing for 500 years.
    • LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty ImagesA painting of Britain's King Richard III by an unknown artist is displayed in the National Portrait Gallery in central London on January 25, 2013. A skeleton found underneath a car park in the English city of Leicester is confirmed to be that of king Richard III, one of history's most notorious villains, scientists said on February 4, 2013.
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1 year ago
  • AP/APUndated photo made available by the University of Leicester, England, Monday Feb. 4 2013 of the skull found at the Grey Friars excavation in Leicester, potentially the long lost remains of England's King Richard III, ahead of an announcement about the identity of the skeleton found underneath a car park last September. Richard was immortalized in a play by Shakespeare as a hunchbacked usurper who left a trail of bodies including those of his two young nephews, murdered in the Tower of London on his way to the throne.

Osteologist Jo Appleby said Monday that the study of the bones provided “a highly convincing case for identification of Richard III.”

And DNA from the skeleton matches a sample taken from a distant living relative of Richard’s 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 – including those of his two princely nephews, murdered in the Tower of London – on his way to the throne.

Many historians say that image is unfair, and argue Richard’s reputation was smeared by his Tudor successors. That’s an argument taken up by the Richard III Society, set up to re-evaluate the reputation of a reviled monarch.

“It will be a whole new era for Richard III,” the society’s Lynda Pidgeon said. “It’s certainly going to spark a lot more interest. Hopefully people will have a more open mind toward Richard.”

Richard III ruled England between 1483 and 1485, during the decades-long tussle over the throne known as the Wars of the Roses. His brief reign saw liberal reforms, including introduction of the right to bail and the lifting of restrictions on books and printing presses.

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 Richard’s body has been unknown. Records say he was buried by the Franciscan monks of Grey Friars at their church in Leicester, 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of London. The church was closed and dismantled after King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1538, and its location eventually was forgotten.

Then, last September, archaeologists searching for Richard 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 also displayed signs of scoliosis, which is a form of spinal curvature, consistent with contemporary accounts of Richard’s appearance, though not with Shakespeare’s description of him as “deform’d, unfinished,” hunchback.

Researchers conducted a battery of scientific tests, including radiocarbon dating to determine the skeleton’s age. They also compared its DNA with samples taken from a London cabinet-maker identified as a 17th great-grand-nephew of the king’s older sister.

The mayor of Leicester, Peter Soulsby, said the monarch would be interred in the city’s cathedral.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/04/remains-of-king-richard-iii-found-under-a-parking-lot-after-missing-for-centuries/

Richard III dig: DNA confirms bones are king
1 year ago
Richard III dig: DNA confirms bones are king
Richard III's skeleton as found in the grave
Richard's grave was marked for decades after his death but was then lost for 400 years

A skeleton found beneath a Leicester car park has been confirmed as that of English king Richard III.

Experts from the University of Leicester said DNA from the bones matched that of descendants of the monarch's family.

Richard was killed in battle in 1485 but his grave was lost when the church around it was demolished in the 16th Century.

The skeleton had suffered 10 injuries, including eight to the skull.

The bones, which are of a man in his late 20s or early 30s, have been carbon dated to a period from 1455-1540.

Richard was 32 when he died at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

Lead archaeologist Richard Taylor, from the University of Leicester, said to applause at a press conference: "Beyond reasonable doubt it's Richard. This is a historic day for Leicester."

It has also been confirmed the bones will be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral, yards from where they were found.

Details of the ceremony have yet to be released.

  
1 year ago

Utterly AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1 year ago
Richard III: The twisted bones that reveal a king
8 hrs ago

Richard III: The twisted bones that reveal a king

Skeleton laid out horizontally

When Richard was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, he was said to have been buried in Greyfriars church, Leicester. But this church was lost until archaeologists excavated a car park and discovered medieval remains. Victorian foundations had almost destroyed the entire grave and the feet were lost, but the bones still promised to provide a treasure trove of information - would they also reveal a king?


Skeleton laid out horizontallyDNA tests

Richard III was portrayed by Shakespeare as having a hunched back and the skeleton has a striking curvature to its spine. This was caused by scoliosis, a condition which experts say in this case developed in adolescence. Rather than giving him a stoop, it would have made one shoulder higher than the other. Highlighted are the facing sides of the 10th and 11th thoracic vertebrae, showing uneven growth as the spine bent.


Head wounds

DNA tests

Evidence of a number of wounds were found on the skeleton but the face area was largely unmarked, apart from a sliced cheekbone. The skull has undergone a CT scan and the results will be used to reconstruct the king's appearance. No portraits made during his lifetime have survived and some later copies show signs of having been altered to make him appear more sinister.


1 year ago

Skull of a king?

The back of the skull shows dramatic injuries. One consists of a hole near the spine, where a large piece of bone has been sliced away by a heavy bladed weapon such as a halberd. This, along with a smaller wound opposite, may well have been a fatal injury. A smaller dent which cracked the inside of the skull, is thought to have been caused by a dagger. There are a further five wounds on the skull, all believed to have been inflicted around the time of death


DNA tests

The teeth of the skeleton have provided important information. As well as evidence of disease and tooth decay, calcified plaque can be analysed for evidence of diet and environment. He had lost several of his back teeth before he died, probably due to dental caries. DNA samples were extracted from the teeth and the right femur to compare with known descendants of Richard's family. Despite the potential for DNA to degrade, a match was found.


When the skeleton was discovered, University of Leicester osteo-archaeologist Dr Jo Appleby excavated and helped lift the remains. She was one of the team who ran a battery of tests on the bones to determine whether or not they were those of Richard III, England's last Plantagenet king

Video http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-21282241



This post was modified from its original form on 04 Feb, 13:02
Richard III dig: Grim clues to the death of a king
1 year ago

Richard III dig: Grim clues to the death of a king

Richard Charge The decisive act: Richard III leads a charge of his knights in an attempt to kill rival Henry Tudor and, despite getting close enough to strike down Henry's standard bearer, became surrounded moments later

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If you know a quotation from Shakespeare's Richard III, chances are it is the king's last, desperate plea to escape his fate.

But the writer's imagination aside, the discovery of his skeleton beneath a Leicester car park - combined with historical research and weapons analysis - means we now are closer to the grisly truth.

And that truth combines heroic chivalry with the most visceral realities of medieval hand-to-hand combat.

Despite being one of the most pivotal events in English history, reliable accounts of the Battle of Bosworth in general, and Richard's death in particular, are patchy.

However, what information the chronicles do provide tells an extraordinary story.

Base of Richard III's skull
The major wounds are to the base of the skull, either side of the spine, and would have been caused by heavy bladed weapons

On 22 August 1485, Richard met his rival Henry Tudor - the soon-to-be Henry VII - in fields near Market Bosworth in Leicestershire.

Most sources agree Richard's army was larger, but it failed to sweep his enemy from the field.

Dr Steven Gunn, a fellow in modern history at Merton College, Oxford, said Tudor historian Polydore Vergil wrote a vivid account of Richard's next, extraordinary, move.

He explained: "He says spies told Richard that Henry was riding with a small number of men, so when he sees this, Richard leads a charge straight at him.

"He then goes on to say: 'In the first charge Richard killed several men; toppled Henry's standard, along with the standard-bearer William Brandon; contended with John Cheney, a man of surpassing bravery, who stood in his way, and thrust him to the ground with great force; and made a path for himself through the press of steel.'

"Richard is then surrounded by enemy troops but Vergil only says he was killed 'fighting in the thickest of the press'.

"More detail comes from a Burgundian historian Jean Molinet, who describes Richard's horse becoming stuck in a marsh and then 'unhorsed and overpowered, the king was hacked to death by Welsh soldiers'."

When the discovery of the bones was announced, it was confirmed they showed signs of major head trauma. After more than four months of study, the research team has drawn its first conclusions.

University of Leicester osteo-archaeologist, Dr Jo Appleby said the most obvious damage was at the back of the skull.

"The appearance of this injury is typical of an attack with a large-bladed weapon which was sufficiently sharp to slice off a large area of bone from near the base of the skull.

Page 1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-21245346

1 year ago

"Although we cannot identify the specific weapon that caused this injury, it would be consistent with a halberd or similar weapon.

Boar badge found at Bosworth
A boar badge - the symbol of Richard's household - was found at Bosworth and may mark his final stand

"This wound is likely to have been fatal, although that would have depended on exactly how far the blade penetrated into the brain."

A second wound on the other side of the spine indicates where a blade was forced deep into the skull.

Another wound had taken a small chunk out of the top of the head.

"This wound was caused by something hitting the top of the skull sufficiently hard to push in two flaps of bone on the inside surface. Although it looks dramatic, this wound would probably not have been fatal," said Dr Appleby.

She added: "We have evidence of significant injuries on the skeleton, but we cannot conclusively prove that they were the cause of death.

"There are many ways of killing someone that leave no traces on the bones, even in a battle situation."

Robert Woosnam-Savage is curator of European edged weapons at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds and has also studied Richard's skeleton.

He said: "Medieval battlefields saw an array of weapons used, from swords, battle hammers, maces, arrows and even early firearms.

"Most of the 'common' foot soldiers would have used staff weapons, such as bills or halberds, which have heavy cutting blades, often with a spike, mounted on a long wooden haft.

"Many of these were designed to be able to punch through elements of armour, or at least damage it in such a way that it no longer functioned."

Mr Woosnam-Savage said using the physical evidence and historical accounts, a possible scenario could be imagined.

Re-enactment at Bosworth
Halberds were among the most common weapons used by foot soldiers at Bosworth

"Richard probably got within a few yards of Henry before his horse possibly became stuck in marshy ground or was killed. On foot, with foot soldiers closing in, the fight becomes a close infantry melee.

"It would have been difficult to get through the armour, so attackers would have gone for gaps, or tried to break pieces off.

"The skeleton only shows the minimum number of injuries - the soft tissue has gone - and he is likely to have taken many more wounds of which there is now no trace.

"At some point he loses his helmet and then the violent blows start raining down on the head, including a possible blow from a weapon like a halberd, including the one which I think kills him.

"Then I think it possible that someone has come along, almost immediately afterwards, possibly with his body lying face down and stuck a dagger into his head.

"From becoming unhorsed, it probably only took a matter of a few minutes, before he was dead - not a long time at all."

Page 2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-21245346


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