Monday, 4 February 2013

Richard III is found

It has been announced this morning that the body found in a car park in Leicester last year is indeed that of Richard III. In a fascinating conference, the team from the University of Leicester put together the evidence that pointed towards the body's royal origins. This included careful analysis of the skeleton, which included several severe wounds to the skull suggesting damage in battle and also a curvature of the spine - in other words Richard did indeed have a hunched back. They also demonstrated how they had compared DNA from the body to a known relative of Richard's royal line, and found a very close match.

You can read more about this on the university's website here, which is full of fascinating articles and videos about the process that led to the skeleton's confirmation. There will also be a documentary about it on Channel 4 tonight at 9pm. More info here.

The Richard III Society is so excited that they have revamped their whole webpage - you can see the results for yourself here. Meanwhile the BBC have a great set of detailed photos of the skeleton with comments from the "Osto-archaeologist" on what they reveal, and an article showing the many different opinions about Richard's reputation...

PS: Here are two articles which are slightly more cautious about the news. Catherine Fletcher from the University of Sheffield and Greg Jenner, consulant for "Horrible Histories" both try to put the discovery within its historical context. Recommended for UCAS statements!

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