Human remains were found during the excavation of Greyfriars Church, in what was once a Franciscan friary in the town of Leicester.
“What we have uncovered is truly remarkable and today we will be announcing to the world that the search for King Richard III has taken a dramatic new turn,” said Leicester University’s Richard Taylor.
“Originally we were not even sure if we were going to find the friary; we could have just dug up Victorian rubble. But it became very clear early on that we had got the cloister walk of the friary, and then we announced that we had found the lost church of the Greyfriars which was a massive step forward. Now we are on the verge of something momentous.” he continued.
England’s King Richard III was killed in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, and was buried in the church. Eventually the church was demolished during the time of Henry VIII and a mansion was built on the site, which in turn was torn down. Today all that remains of the site is a car park owned by Leicester council which has been excavated.
Scientists will now do an extensive check and compare the bones found with the DNA of Richard III’s distant relative, his 17th-generation nephew, who is Canadian. Interestingly, spinal abnormalities have been found – and the former king is said to have had a curved spine. “We believe the individual would have had severe scoliosis.” Richard Taylor has announced.
Taylor told a press conference today “We have all been witness to a powerful and historic story unfolding before our eyes. But it needs proper and rigorous testing. There is strong circumstantial evidence. It is potentially a big find.”
See photos of the car park excavation on the Live Science website via the University of Leicester – live updates from the University can be viewed here, which include the fascinating revelations that “a barbed metal arrowhead was found between vertebrae of the skeleton’a upper back.”
Richard was King of England for just two years from 1483 until 1485 and was the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. His death marked what some regard as the Middle Ages. William Shakespeare’s play, written in 1591 depicted his often dark rise to power and short reign.