PHOTOS: King’s Skeleton Said To Show Deformity, Gruesome Wounds

It’s official: the human remains found under a parking lot in Leicester, England, belong to Richard III. That’s the word from University of Leicester archaeologists, who on Feb. 4 said that DNA evidence, radiocarbon dating, and archaeological evidence all confirm that the battle-scarred bones belonged to the English king, who was killed in battle in 1485.

“Beyond reasonable doubt it’s Richard,” lead archaeologist Richard Buckley, said at a press conference, the BBC reported.


The skeleton suggests that the king was killed by one of two fatal injuries to the skull, according to a written statement released by the university. One appears to have been from a sword and one possibly from a halberd. That’s a scary-looking two-handed pole weapon that was popular in the 14th and 15th Centuries.

In all, the skeleton showed evidence of 10 wounds, according to the statement, which gave the following details:

•The corpse had been subjected to so-called “humiliation injuries,” including a sword wound through the right buttock.

•The skeleton showed signs of severe scoliosis (curvature of the spine). Though the skeleton measured around 5 feet 8 inches, the individual would have stood significantly shorter and his right shoulder may have been higher than his left.

•There was no evidence of a withered arm, as portrayed by Shakespeare.

•The individual was unusually slender for a man–in keeping with contemporaneous accounts of Richard III.

The bones were found with the help of ground-penetrating radar on the former site of a priory, the New York Times reported. They will be reinterred early next year in Leicester’s Anglican cathedral, about 100 yards from where they were dug up.

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