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Bones of 15th-Century Monarch King Richard III Found Under Car Park

King Richard III
University of Leicester

In September, British researchers believed they had made a pretty startling discovery while digging under a car park in Leicester, which is about 100 miles southeast of London.

They had come upon what they thought were the remains of King Richard III, who died fighting the forces of Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. He is the last English monarch to die during war.

What made them think they had the king’s bones was that the spine was bent, which is consistent with the scoliosis that gave Richard a hunched back.

Furthermore the skeleton’s injuries — including an arrow to the spine — were consistent with accounts of the battle wounds Richard had suffered.

Nevertheless, further analysis was needed. The skull’s features were CT scanned and compared to paintings of the king. The skeleton’s DNA was also compared to Michael Ibsen, a direct descendant of the monarch’s sister.

The verdict: King Richard III.

Richard III was one England’s most controversial monarchs, and he was portrayed as a homicidal madman in the Shakespeare play that bears his name. Other say he wasn’t nearly as bloodthirsty as he is made out to be, and that the Tudor’s smeared his name after they buried the body that was just recovered. Either way, we now know where the body was buried. Maybe the same team could tackle Jimmy Hoffa next.

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