Skeleton found in UK car park dig confirmed as English king Richard III



Leicester: Ending months of speculation, scientists on Monday confirmed that the skeleton found beneath a car park here indeed belongs to 15th-century King Richard III, the most notorious monarch in English history.

Scientists led by University of Leicester have confirmed that results of their scientific investigations have determined "beyond reasonable doubt" that the skeleton found last September belongs to Richard III - the last Plantagenet King of England.

The DNA from the bones matched that of descendants of the monarch's family, scientists said.

"Ladies and gentlemen, it is the academic conclusion of the University of Leicester, that beyond reasonable doubt on the man exhumed is indeed that of Richard II," said lead researcher Richard Buckley at a press conference.

The announcement came 24 hours after an image of the battle-scarred skull of Richard III was released for the first time. Scientists also uncovered the grave site, The Telegraph reported.

The way they found the skeleton suggested the 32-year-old king had been tied when he was buried. There has been extensive damage to the bones, scientists said.

The skeleton had an "unusually slender, almost feminine build for a man" and was aged between the late 20s and early 30s.

Without any "spinal abnormality", the skeleton would have been 5 feet 8 inches high, which was above average height for a medieval male, scientists said.

A total of 10 wounds have been discovered made to the skeleton, eight of which on the skull. The injuries suggest the king may have lost his helmet.

The skeleton was uncovered last autumn amid the historic foundations of a Franciscan Friary in Leicester, beneath a council car park which is overlooked by Leicester Cathedral.

Richard was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, bringing to an end a two-year dynastic struggle known as the Wars of the Roses.

PTI