The Skull of Richard III


Photo: University of Leicester

Since the discovery of a grave under a parking lot in Leicester, England, presumed to be that of King Richard III, we've been waiting for further news. Well, the University of Leicester has just released the image of a skull, the first photo of human remains that may be that of the monarch:

"In order to determine whether this individual is Richard III we have built up a biological profile of its characteristics. We have also carefully examined the skeleton for traces of a violent death," Appleby said.

Appleby and colleagues had good reasons to think the remains came from the famous king, best known through William Shakespeare's fictional account of him in "Richard III." For instance, not only was the skeleton male, it was found in the church choir area where historical records would suggest Richard III was buried. The skull also showed signs of being wounded, as if it were cut clean off his body with an axe or sword, something consistent with a battle death.

Scientists also found a barbed arrowhead in the skeleton's spine, which showed signs of scoliosis. Such an abnormally curved spine would've made its owner's right shoulder sit higher than the left, matching contemporary portrayals of Richard III.

LiveScience has more: Link


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