England’s King Richard III Found

England’s King Richard III Found

DNA samples, dates and spinal deformity match bones in parking lot.


The bones of King Richard III, one of England’s least liked and most violent monarchs, have been identified by DNA testing against descendants, carbon dating of the bones, and a spinal deformity he was known to have. The bones were found last fall under a corner of a parking lot in the British Midlands, but their identity remained uncertain until now.

A team of archaeologists, historians, geneticists and genealogists led by the University of Leicester matched the DNA of two descendants of Richard’s family; Richard was the last Plantagenet king of England. In addition, radiocarbon dating placed the date of death as between 1455 and 1540; Richard was killed in battle in 1485. Other analysis showed a diet of meat and fish, not available to the common Briton at that time, and the spine showed signs of advanced scoliosis, which gave the king his “hunchback” appearance parodied by the Tudors (who reigned after defeating Richard), William Shakespeare and Monty Python since.

Sources: New York Times, The Guardian

Video: The Guardian

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