The mystery over what happened to the remains of Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England, has been solved after five centuries. The University of Leicester’s scientists have identified a skeleton buried under a parking lot of Leicester city as of the evil king maligned by Shakespeare.
Richard III was killed on the battlefield 528 years ago. The question regarding what followed his death came to an end after the announcement on Monday. Historians also said that the skeleton suggested the inaccuracy of the accounts of his shrunken arm, which might also aid in restoring his reputation.
A member of the Richard III Society and the originator of the search, Philippa Langley, described it to be a historic moment and said that the discovery would make the history books to be written again. She said that it was the time to honor the misunderstood king.
The remains of the king will be buried again in Leicester Cathedral.
The skeleton was found in September on the site of Grey Friars, a medieval church, which has been turned into a parking lot now. It was found with head injuries and a metal arrow in the back. Both the signs are in line with records of the king’s death in 1485 during the Battle of Bosworth. The curved spine of the skeleton is also consistent with the records that the shoulders of the king were of different lengths.
The scientists have been testing the remains over the past four months through radio carbon dating, DNA tests, and computed-tomography (CT) scan. Medieval battles and weaponry specialists are also helping the scientists to determine what kind of instruments had been used to kill the king.
Through the DNA tests, the scientists have been working to identify the male line descendants of Richard III. The analysis is still in its primary stages but a geneticist at the University of Leicester called Turi King was hopeful about having a complete list on both lines of descent.
An osteoarcheologist of the University, Jo Appleby, carried out the skeletal analysis. He said that the damages on the skull suggested that the death had happened due to one or two assaults on the back of the skull. It also supported the facts that the king was killed because of a wound to the back of his head. It also showed signs of non-fatal wounds to the rib, pelvis, and head, which Appleby thought could be caused because of humiliation after death.
Richard III was on the power of England for two years before being killed at the battlefield of Bosworth. With his death, the rule of Plantagenet dynasty came to an end and the Tudors dynasty came to the power.
The historians depicted Richard III mainly from the depiction of Shakespeare in his historical play ‘Richard III”. Shakespeare portrayed the king in an unfavorable light but now, the historians thought that the new revelations would be something different.