The search for the remains of Richard III took a dramatic turn today as human remains found under a Leicester car park had battle wounds consistent with the monarch’s death at the Battle of Bosworth.
Should the “momentous discovery” be confirmed, it would also prove that the king was not a hunchback as chronicled by Tudor historians.
The archaeological team from the University of Leicester found two skeletons in the ruins of the Grey Friars site, one of which appears to be bear tell-tale hallmarks of the king.
The team pointed to several reasons for thinking the remains belonged to Richard III, primarily as historical sources point to the choir of the lost Church of the Grey Friars as his burial place. The team believe they have found the church under a car park and the bones were indeed located under the choir.
Richard Taylor, director of corporate affairs at the University, said: “This skeleton certainly has characteristics that warrant further detailed examination.” Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 and buried in Leicester, although the exact location was lost.
The skull appears to have suffered a blow “consistent with an injury received in battle. A bladed implement appears to have cleaved part of the rear of the skull.” An arrowhead was also found between the skeleton’s vertebrae.
The skeleton did have spinal abnormalities, with a form of spinal curvature which “would have made his right shoulder appear visibly higher than the left”.
The team added: “This is consistent with contemporary accounts of Richard’s appearance,” adding: “The skeleton was not a hunchback and did not have a withered arm.”