Archaeologists searching for the grave of Richard III have discovered the human remains of a human male that have “strong circumstantial evidence” indicating that it is of the English king.
Officials from the University of Leicester made the announcement today at a press conference. The archaeologists have uncovered two skeletons so far, one of a male and other a female.
An initial analysis of the male skeleton has discovered:
- That it appears to have suffered significant peri-mortem trauma to the skull which appears consistent with (although not certainly caused by) an injury received in battle. A bladed implement appears to have cleaved part of the rear of the skull.
- A barbed metal arrowhead was found between vertebrae of the skeleton’s upper back.
- The skeleton found in the Choir area has spinal abnormalities. We believe the individual would have had severe scoliosis – which is a form of spinal curvature. This would have made his right shoulder appear visibly higher than the left shoulder. This is consistent with contemporary accounts of Richard’s appearance. The skeleton does not have kyphosis – a different form of spinal curvature. The skeleton was not a hunchback.
- There appears to be no evidence of a “withered arm”.
Both sets of remains have been removed from the site and are now at an undisclosed location where further analysis is being undertaken. If DNA tests will be undertaken, it could take up to 12 weeks to learn the results and be able to confirm the ancestry of the individual.
Professor Lin Foxhall, head of the university’s School of Archaeology, said: “Archaeology almost never finds named individuals – this is absolutely extraordinary. Although we are far from certain yet, it is already astonishing.”
Philippe Langley, from the Richard III Society, added, “It is such a tumult of emotions, I am shell-shocked. I just feel happy and sad and excited all at the same time. It is very odd.”
Source: University of Leicester