Monday, February 4, 2013

A Lost King Is Found - UPDATE!

This is a follow up to a blog entry that I posted on September 12, 2012.  See it at:

Last September I posted an article about the archaeological work preformed by my old alma mater, the University of Leicester.  They were searching for a lost church, where they hoped to find the lost bones of the last Plantagenet king.  Historical records tell us that the Greyfriers buried Richard III under the choir of their church after he was slain at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.  The work at the parking lot did uncover the remains of the Greyfriers' Church and a skeleton right where research suggested it should be. 

Richard III skeleton has it was found under the choir of the Greyfrier's Church in Leicester, England.
Photo: Un of Leicester
But was it King Richard III?  Richard is the only English monarch whose resting place is unknown.  Archaeological evidence suggested that this indeed was the lost king.  Only extensive laboratory work could confirm if these remains were those of Richard.

The University of Leicester announced today, with certainty, that Richard III has been found.  Mitochondria DNA taken from the skeleton match samples taken from distant, living relatives.  Carbon 14 dating places the bones at the right age and ten gristly battle wounds match those suggested from written historical accounts.  The spine of the skeleton also showed clear signs of scoliosis, a debilitating physical condition that Richard was known the have. 

Richard's skull showed several injuries that were inflicted at the Battle of Bosworth Field.  More than one of the wounds would have been fatal.  The most significant is this hole where part of the lower skull was cleaved away with a sword or poleaxe. Photo: Un of Leicester

The University of Leicester has an excellent web site devoted to this project.  Laboratory analysis, photos and videos provide amazing information about Richard's remains.


  1. Thanks for this superb post.We have long been awaiting for the DNA results.What a fantastic discovery. Love this post.

    1. Thanks Rita. Exciting news, indeed. Also I'm thrilled to see the University of Leicester's Archaeology Department doing great things and getting some of the lime light!