British scientists say human remains found buried under a Leicester, central England parking lot has been identified through DNA tests as those of King Richard III. Richard III was the last ruler of the Plantagenets dynasty. His 2-year reign ended in 1485 when he was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field at the age of 32.
Richard III’s remains were found last Septemberr when archaeologists from Leicester University used old maps to begin digging under the parking lot. They discovered the remains of the priory where historical records indicated Richard III was buried. A few days later, skeletal remains were found. Scientists identified the remains by comparing Mitochondrial DNA extracted from the bones to the DNA of Canadian cabinetmaker Michael Ibsen, a direct descendant of Richard III's sister Anne.
“Rarely have the conclusions of academic research been so eagerly awaited. Beyond reasonable doubt, the individual exhumed ... is indeed Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England,” lead archaeologist Richard Buckley told reporters on Monday. “It was an extraordinary discovery that stunned all of us.”
Historical accounts describe Richard III as being deformed with a crooked back. His remains show signs of severe scoliosis, or curvature of the spine. He died from two severe blows to the head.
Richard III's remains will be reburied next year in Leicester Cathedral.
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