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Old 04-02-13, 14:31   #1
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Arrow Right Body Found Under Parking Lot is King Richard III

Updated 9:06 AM EST, Mon February 4, 2013

Royal remains: Skull of the skeleton found at the Grey Friars excavation in Leicester.

DNA tests have confirmed that human remains found buried beneath an English car park are those of the country's King Richard III.
British scientists announced Monday they are convinced "beyond reasonable doubt" that a skeleton found during an archaeological dig in Leicester, central England, last August is that of the former king, who was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.

Mitochondrial DNA extracted from the bones was matched to Michael Ibsen, a Canadian cabinetmaker and direct descendant of Richard III's sister, Anne of York.

Experts say other evidence -- including battle wounds and signs of scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, found during the search and the more than four months of tests since support the DNA findings.

The skeleton was discovered buried among the remains of what was once the city's Greyfriars friary, but is now a council car park.

Richard III's remains will be reburied in Leicester Cathedral, close to the site of his original grave, in a memorial service expected to be held early next year, once analysis of the bones is completed.

Archaeologists say the man they found appears to have met a violent death: There is evidence of two severe blows to the skull, and it appears Richard's corpse may also have been mistreated.

Richard Buckley, the lead archaeologist on the project, said the unusual position of the skeleton's arms and hands suggested the king may have been buried with his hands tied.

Investigators from the University of Leicester had been examining the remains for months. Others got their first glimpse of the battle-scarred skull that may have once worn the English crown early Monday when the university released a photograph ahead of its announcement.

"The skull was in good condition, although fragile, and was able to give us detailed information," said Jo Appleby, a lecturer in human bioarchaeology at the university who led the exhumation of the remains last year.

Turi King, who carried out the DNA analysis, said it was a "real relief" when the results came through. "I went really quiet. I was seeing all these matches coming back, thinking, 'That's a match, and that's a match, and that's a match.' At that point I did a little dance around the lab."

Michael Ibsen, whose DNA matched with that of the king's remains, said he reacted with "stunned silence" when told the closely-guarded results on Sunday. "I never thought I'd be a match, and certainly not that it would be so close, but the results look like a carbon copy."

Supporters of the infamous king, including members of the Richard III Society, hoped the discovery would force academics to rewrite history, which they say has been tainted by exaggerations and false claims.

Screenwriter Philippa Langley, who championed the search for several years, told CNN she wanted "the establishment to look again at his story," saying she wanted to uncover the truth about "the real Richard, before the Tudor writers got to him."

"The trouble is we judge Richard by a pseudo-Victorian values system, but we judge others in the context of their time," she said. "He was a medieval man. If you put him back into the 15th century, he's exactly as the others are -- princes, dukes, nobles, they're all doing exactly the same things, and he's better than some."
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Old 04-02-13, 19:23   #2
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New PHOTOs-King Richard III Remains Found Under Parking Lot

More Info & Photos:

It IS Richard III: Scientists reveal DNA results confirm 15th century king's body has been found under a car park in Leicester

  • University of Leicester academics unveil their findings at press conference
  • DNA sample matches that of a descendant of the king's maternal line
  • Skeleton's spinal curvature also matched accounts of the humpback king
  • Remains were uncovered by archaeologists at former church in Leicester
  • Historical records say he was taken to the city after he was killed in 1485
By Damien Gayle, Daily Mail UK, 4 February 2013

Human remains found buried beneath a social services car park in Leicester are those of Richard III who was killed in battle in 1485, archaeologists confirmed today.

In an extraordinary discovery which rewrites the history books, the skeleton of the last of the Plantagenet kings was identified by DNA analysis after researchers traced his living descendants.

Investigators from the University of Leicester today revealed that the remains bore the marks of ten injuries inflicted shortly before his death.

More gruesome, however, was evidence of ‘humiliation’ injuries, including several head wounds - part of the skull was sliced away - a cut to the ribcage and a pelvic wound likely caused by an upward thrust of a weapon, through the buttock.

The hunchback king: The skeleton, unearthed in a dig last September, showed evidence of the same curvature of the spine and battle injuries thought to have been suffered by the last Plantagenet king

The face of a king: There were cheers from media who had gathered from around the world as the announcement was made at the University of Leicester this morning

The fatal blows? This image of the skull shows where Richard III was injured

This X-ray tomography image shows the two injuries which could have killed Richard: The area in the middle marked A is where the spine meets the skull. There are two injuries to the left (B) and right (C) of this that could have led to death if inflicted in life. The right hand injury, possibly from a halberd would have damaged the cerebellum. The left hand injury was probably caused by a sword and could also have been fatal

The skeleton was described of that of a slender male, in his late 20s or early 30s. Richard was 32 when he died.

Newly-released pictures also show a distinctive curvature of the spine synonymous with the hunchback king immortalised by Shakespeare.

There was, however, no evidence of a withered arm, which was also part of the Richard myth.

Speaking to 140 journalists who had travelled from across the world for the announcement, the university’s lead archaeologist Richard Buckley described the identity of the remains as ‘beyond reasonable doubt.'

‘It is the academic conclusion of the University of Leicester that the individual exhumed at Greyfriars in August 2012 is indeed King Richard III, the last Plantagenet King of England.’

The cut mark on the right rib of King Richard III: It is thought this and a number of other injuries found on the skeleton are evidence of 'humiliation injuries' inflicted after his death

Two vertebrae of king Richard III, showing some abnormal features relating to the scoliosis: The find corroborates historical accounts of Richard which described him as a hunchback

The blade wound to Richard's pelvis: This pelvic wound was likely caused by an upward thrust of a weapon through the buttock, researchers said

Another cut mark can be seen on the jaw bone of Richard III: Researchers identified ten wounds on the remains

Deputy registrar Richard Taylor described the discovery as ‘truly astonishing’ and said it could ‘prove to be one of the biggest archaeological discoveries of recent times’.
The long-awaited announcement was greeted by cheers.

The villain king: But there are those who suggests Richard III's bad reputation is more down to Tudor propaganda than his actual actions

Richard, depicted by William Shakespeare as a monstrous tyrant who murdered two princes in the Tower of London, died at the Battle of Bosworth Field, defeated by an army led by Henry Tudor.

According to historical records, his body was taken 15 miles to Leicester where it was displayed as proof of his death before being buried in the Franciscan friary.
The team from Leicester University set out to trace the site of the old church and its precincts, including the site where Richard was finally laid to rest.

They began excavating the city centre location in August last year and soon discovered the skeleton, which was found in good condition with its feet missing in a grave around 68cm (27in) below ground level.

It was lying in a rough cut grave with the hands crossed in a manner which indicated they were bound when he was buried.

To the naked eye, it was clear that the remains had a badly curved spine and trauma injuries to the rear of the head.

But archaeologists were keen to make no official announcement until the skeleton had been subjected to months of tests.

As they were found: The remains of King Richard III were found in a hastily dug grave beneath a council car park in Leicester last September, in what were once the precincts of Grey Friars church

The skull of the king as it was found by archaeologists: Trauma to the skeleton showed the king died after one of two significant wounds to the back of the skull - possibly caused by a sword and a halberd

Hunched in death as he was in life: The skeleton was found in good condition with its feet missing

The Battle of Bosworth: Richard, pictured on the white horse, was killed in battle more than 500 years ago at Bosworth field, in a battle which marked the end of his line and the rise of the Tudors

Speaking at today’s press conference, University of Leicester geneticist Dr Turi King described how researchers had traced Richard’s descendants to confirm the body was indeed that of England’s last medieval king.

These were Canadian born furniture maker Michael Ibsen, a direct descendant of the Richard’s sister Anne of York, and a second person who has asked to remain anonymous.

Dr King said:

‘The DNA sequence obtained from the Grey Friars skeletal remains was compared with the two maternal line relatives of Richard III.
‘We were very excited to find that there is a DNA match between the maternal DNA from the family of Richard III and the skeletal remains we found at the Grey Friars dig.’


The remains of Richard III came within a matter of inches of being lost forever when a 19th century toilet was built above the skeleton, a lead archaeologist revealed today.

Richard Buckley, who led the project to exhume the deposed king, said his final resting place came close to being 'completely destroyed' when the outhouse was built on top of the site.

Luckily, the grave was only slightly disturbed by the building's primitive foundations, which missed the deceased monarch's body by a few inches when they were installed.

Because his remains were buried just 27in under the flag stones of Greyfriars monastery in Leicester, they were disturbed on a number of occasions as by builders developing the area.

The 527-year-old skeleton - buried with its hands crossed in a shallow grave - was missing its feet, which experts believe were smashed off when the foundations were built in the ground.

The site was later turned into a council car park for social workers until a team searching for the king's body excavated the area last September.

A three-week dig by experts from the University of Leicester unearthed the skeleton which was confirmed 'beyond reasonable doubt' today to be that of the last Plantagenet king.

But project archaeologist Mr Buckley said that the king's remains were almost flushed down the pan when the outhouse was constructed in the 1800s.

He said: 'The remains were very vulnerable because they were only under relatively modern debris.
'A less experienced team could easily have damaged the skeleton whilst using a mechanical digger to open the trench.'

The analysis showed the individual had a slender physique and severe scoliosis - a curvature of the spine - possibly with one shoulder visibly higher than the other.

This is consistent with descriptions of Richard III's appearance from the time, the researchers said today.

Trauma to the skeleton showed the king died after one of two significant wounds to the back of the skull - possibly caused by a sword and a halberd.
Dr Appleby said this was consistent with contemporary accounts of the monarch being killed after receiving a blow to the head.

The skeleton also showed a number of non-fatal injuries to the head and rib and to the pelvis, which is believed to have been caused by a wound through the right buttock.

Dr Appleby said these may have been so-called ‘humiliation injuries’ inflicted after his death.
‘The skeleton has a number of unusual features: its slender build, the scoliosis and the battle-related trauma,’ she said.

‘All of these are highly consistent with the information that we have about Richard III in life and about the circumstances of his death.
‘Taken as a whole, the skeletal evidence provides a highly convincing case for identification as Richard III.’

Skeletal analysis: Dr Jo Appleby presented the results of the analysis of the skeleton, which she said presented a 'highly convincing case' that it was Richard III

Confirmed 'beyond reasonable doubt': Lead researcher Richard Buckley for the first time shows the remains of King Richard III as they appeared in the grave found in the Grey Friars car park

Positive ID: Dr Turi King presents the findings of the DNA analysis which showed the skeleton did belong to King Richard III by matching them with Michael Ibsen, a descendant of Richard's maternal line

Maternal line descendant: Michael Ibsen provides the DNA sample which was used to prove the identity of the skeletal remains as those of Richard III

The bones had also undergone radiocarbon dating which indicated the man found had died sometime between 1485 and 1550 - consistent with historical records of the king’s death.

Archaeologists, historians and local tourism officials were all hoping for confirmation that the monarch's long-lost remains have been located.

So were the king's fans in the Richard III Society, set up to re-evaluate the reputation of a reviled monarch.

The search for the lost king: The announcement follows months of analysis of the remains since they were unearthed last September in a car park behind a council social services building in Leicester

We've been looking for you: Actors dressed as knights look where archaeologists found skeletal remains during an archaelogical dig to find the remains of King Richard III in Leicester

The spot in a Leicester car park where a set of remains were found which may be Richard III
Richard was immortalised in a play by William 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.

Richard III remains an enigma - villain to many, hero to some. He 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.

Richard III’s remains are expected to be re-interred in Leicester Cathedral:

New resting place: It is expected that Richard III's remains will now be re-interred at Leicester cathedral


A depiction of the carnage during the Battle of Bosworth Field by 18th century painter Philip James de Loutherbourg (1740-1812)

The Battle of Bosworth Field was fought on the morning of August 22, 1485, and marked the end of the War Of The Roses, the 30-year civil war between the houses of York and Lancaster.

One of the most important clashes in English history, it saw the death of Richard III, ushered in the Tudor dynasty and gave Shakespeare one of his best known quotations.
The leading role has been played by Laurence Olivier and Sir Ian McKellen, and the battle has also been immortalised in many artworks.

The battle marked the final confrontation between the Yorkist king Richard III and his challenger Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond and leader of the House of Lancaster.
The seeds of Richard's downfall were sown when he seized the throne from his 12-year-old nephew Edward V in 1483.

Support for the monarch was further diminished when Edward and his younger brother disappeared and Richard was involved in the death of his wife. Henry laid claim to the throne from across the Channel.

Following an unsuccessful attempt to invade England from his base in France, Henry arrived on the coast of Wales on August 1, 1485.
Gathering support as he marched inland, Richard hurriedly mustered troops and intercepted Henry's army south of Market Bosworth in Leicestershire.

After Richard's death on the battlefield his rival was crowned King Henry VII and became the first English monarch of the Tudor dynasty, which lasted until 1603.


'I absolutely knew I was walking on his grave':

One woman's hunch led to the discovery of the skeleton which has now been proven to be that of Richard III.

Screenwriter Philippa Langley, pictured right, said she felt a chill on a hot summer's day as she walked through the area where it was thought he was buried.

The remarkable discovery of the remains, which, consistent with historical accounts of Richard, have both a curved spine back and wounded skull, was made last September.

Miss Langley was strolling across the car park used by Leicester social services while researching a play about the king when she felt a chill in August 2009.

'It was a hot summer and I had goosebumps so badly and I was freezing cold. I walked past a particular spot and absolutely knew I was walking on his grave,' she told the Sunday Times.

'I am a rational human being but the feeling I got was the same feeling I have had before when a truth is given to me.'

Miss Langley initially funded the excavation of what is now a Leicester City Council car park because she was '99 per cent certain' that the remains were those of Richard.

Miss Langley, who is a member of the Richard III Society, is working on a documentary charting the excavation for Channel 4 titled Richard III: The King in the Car Park, which has been made alongside the university academics and will be screened tonight. She said the her play has been turned into a script for television and film, which is now 'getting serious interest from Los Angeles and in the UK'.

Time for a rethink on Richard?

Few monarchs in history have been so vilified and scrutinised as King Richard III.

For centuries historians have put forward varying cases as to whether he should be remembered as a visionary reformer and brilliant administrator, or as an ambitious usurper and ruthless murderer.

The monarch is famous today for his death at the Battle of Bosworth, which effectively ended the Wars of the Roses - as well as the disappearance of his young nephews, and his derisory portrayal in William Shakespeare's play The Tragedy Of King Richard III.

But his reputation is surrounded by apparent myths and half-truths.

Ian McKellen in a scene from the film Richard III: William Shakespeare's derisory portrayal describes the monarch as as a 'deformed' and 'unfinish'd', jealous, and ambitious hunchback

Described as a 'deformed' and 'unfinish'd', jealous, and ambitious hunchback in Shakespeare's play, which was first performed in the 1590s, it is difficult to know if the man the playwright said battled on foot and cried out 'A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!', is a true reflection of the king, or merely an act of creative dramatics.

Hollywood star Kevin Spacey performs during the rehearsal of Richard III: These days loyal Ricardians battle to repair Richard's reputation

These days loyal Ricardians battle to repair Richard's reputation but the traditional view is that Richard, while not as evil as Tudor historians said, was probably responsible for removing his nephews from the royal line.

Under a page headed 'Loyal to the truth' on The Richard III Foundation's website is an extract that reads: 'King Richard III is one of England's most controversial historical figures often associated with his quest to seize the throne of England.

'The prime sources of defamation of Richard are superstitious fiction, although this was not understood by some for centuries.

'The vilification may be absurd, such as two years in the womb, magically withered arms, and the murder of innocent babies, but it is repeated ad nauseum.

'It may take the form of ghosts passionately listing the wrongs of an evil king, regardless of their own dwelling in hell.

'Or it can take on a more sinister nature, such as what happened to Edward V, a query that moderns cannot positively answer.

'By blaming Richard for everything, (Henry) Tudor escaped blame for anything for two hundred years, until people were at last free to pose questions.

'Although it is obvious that Tudor had overwhelming motivation to spread malicious gossip and to smear a dead man, some cannot let go of even the most outrageous slurs.

Fascinating stuff. I will sticky this thread and post any further updates, if anything else is discovered on that site in the future.

If you are interested in reading more on The Richard III Foundation's website, please Click Here:

King Richard III

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