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Richard III dig: DNA confirms bones are king's

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by oomp, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. oomp

    oomp Contributing Member

    Feb 9, 2000
    Likes Received:

    A skeleton found beneath a Leicester car park has been confirmed as that of English king Richard III.

    Experts from the University of Leicester said DNA from the bones matched that of descendants of the monarch's family.

    Lead archaeologist Richard Buckley, from the University of Leicester, told a press conference to applause: "Beyond reasonable doubt it's Richard."

    Richard, killed in battle in 1485, will be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral.

    Mr Buckley said the bones had been subjected to "rigorous academic study" and had been carbon dated to a period from 1455-1540.

    Dr Jo Appleby, an osteo-archaeologist from the university's School of Archaeology and Ancient History, revealed the bones were of a man in his late 20s or early 30s. Richard was 32 when he died.

    Battle wounds

    His skeleton had suffered 10 injuries, including eight to the skull, at around the time of death. Two of the skull wounds were potentially fatal.

    One was a "slice" removing a flap of bone, the other caused by bladed weapon which went through and hit the opposite side of the skull, a depth of more than 10cms (4ins).

    Dr Appleby said: "Both of these injuries would have caused an almost instant loss of consciousness and death would have followed quickly afterwards.

    "In the case of the larger wound, if the blade had penetrated 7cm into the brain, which we cannot determine from the bones, death would have been instantaneous."

    Other wounds included slashes or stabs to the face and the side of the head.

    'Convincing case'

    Richard III was portrayed as deformed by some Tudor historians and indeed the skeleton's spine is badly curved, a condition known as scoliosis. However, there was no trace of a withered arm or other abnormalities seen in the more extreme characterisations of the king.

    Without the scoliosis, which experts believe developed as a teenager, he would have been about 5ft 8ins (1.7m) tall, but the curvature would have made him appear "considerably" shorter.

    Dr Appleby said: "The analysis of the skeleton proved that it was an adult male but was an unusually slender, almost feminine, build for a man.

    "Taken as a whole the skeletal evidence provides a highly convincing case for identification as Richard III."

    Quick burial

    Richard was a royal prince until the death of his brother Edward IV in 1483. Appointed as protector of his nephew, Edward V, Richard instead assumed the reins of power.

    Edward and his brother Richard, known as the Princes in the Tower, disappeared soon after. Rumours circulated they had been murdered on the orders of their uncle.

    Challenged by Henry Tudor, Richard was killed at Bosworth in 1485 after only two years on the throne.

    He was given a low-key burial beneath the church of Greyfriars in the centre of Leicester.

    However, the building was demolished during the Reformation in the 16th Century and over the following centuries its exact location was forgotten.

    DNA trail

    Despite this, a team of enthusiasts and historians traced the likely area - and, crucially, also found a 17th-generation descendant of Richard's sister with whose DNA they could compare any remains recovered.

    Genealogical research eventually led to a Canadian woman called Joy Ibsen. She died several years ago but her son, Michael, who now works in London, provided a sample.

    The researchers were fortunate as, while the DNA they were looking for was in all Joy Ibsen's offspring, it is only handed down through the female line and her only daughter has no children. The line was about to stop.

    But the University of Leicester's experts had other problems.

    Dr Turi King, project geneticist, said there had been concern DNA in the bones would be too degraded: "The question was could we get a sample of DNA to work with, and I am extremely pleased to tell you that we could."

    She added: "There is a DNA match between the maternal DNA of the descendants of the family of Richard III and the skeletal remains we found at the Greyfriars dig.

    "In short, the DNA evidence points to these being the remains of Richard III."

    In August 2012, an excavation began in a city council car park - the only open space remaining in the likely area - which quickly identified buildings connected to the church.

    The bones were found in the first days of the dig and were eventually excavated under forensic conditions.

    Details of the reburial ceremony have yet to be released, but Philippa Langley from the Richard III Society said plans for a tomb were well advanced.

    University of Leicester findings

    Wealth of evidence, including radiocarbon dating, radiological evidence, DNA and bone analysis and archaeological results, confirms identity of last Plantagenet king who died over 500 years ago

    DNA from skeleton matches two of Richard III's maternal line relatives. Leicester genealogist verifies living relatives of Richard III's family

    Individual likely to have been killed by one of two fatal injuries to the skull - one possibly from a sword and one possibly from a halberd

    Ten wounds discovered on skeleton - Richard III killed by trauma to the back of the head. Part of the skull sliced off

    Radiocarbon dating reveals individual had a high protein diet - including significant amounts of seafood - meaning he was likely to be of high status

    Radiocarbon dating reveals individual died in the second half of the 15th or in the early 16th Century - consistent with Richard's death in 1485

    Skeleton reveals severe scoliosis - onset believed to have occurred at the time of puberty

    Although around 5ft 8in tall (1.72m), the condition meant King Richard III would have stood significantly shorter and his right shoulder may have been higher than the left

    Feet were truncated at an unknown point in the past, but a significant time after the burial

    Corpse was subjected to 'humiliation injuries' - including a sword through the right buttock

    Individual had unusually slender, almost feminine, build for a man - in keeping with contemporaneous accounts

    No evidence for "withered arm" - as portrayed by Shakespeare - found

    Possibility that the individual's hands were tied

    Grave was hastily dug, was not big enough and there was no shroud or coffin

    Guardian Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/feb/04/richard-iii-dna-bones-king
  2. thadeus

    thadeus Contributing Member

    Sep 14, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Wow. That is amazing.

    They found a King under a parking lot.
  3. Rodman23

    Rodman23 .GIF

    Jun 26, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Of a McDonalds?
  4. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

    Oct 5, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Seems appropriate

    Rocket River
  5. aeroman10

    aeroman10 Contributing Member

    Nov 2, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Did they find the skeleton by accident and then determined this or did they specifically know to search that area? I read several articles and no mention of how they actually found the remains...by accident or planned?
  6. tim562

    tim562 Contributing Member

    Feb 16, 2004
    Likes Received:
    It was a planned accident....:cool::p

    Sorry, carry on.
  7. Supermac34

    Supermac34 President, Von Wafer Fan Club

    Mar 31, 2000
    Likes Received:
    There was an article about this a few months ago when they actually made the find and the body was still unconfirmed. I believe that they were searching the area on purpose as it has previously been a site of an abbey that had been torn down...and historians agreed that he had most likely been buried there.

    From Wiki:

    On 24 August 2012, the University of Leicester and Leicester City Council, in association with the Richard III Society, announced that they had joined forces to begin a search for the remains of King Richard. Led by University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS), experts set out to locate the lost site of the former Greyfriars Church (demolished during Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries), and to discover whether his remains were still interred there.[69][70] The search located the Church of the Grey Friars, where Richard's body had been buried in 1485, beneath a modern-day city centre car park.
  8. Classic

    Classic Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Likes Received:
    That guy did not go out like a boss.
  9. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

    Jul 24, 2007
    Likes Received:
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/R6JczvS1PL4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  10. Supermac34

    Supermac34 President, Von Wafer Fan Club

    Mar 31, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Richard III is an interesting figure in history. He did some shady stuff, but did some good stuff too, most likely no more or less than most Kings of that time period. His biggest problem (for his legacy) was losing to the Tudors and then having them basically drag his name through the mud for historical purposes, heaping every atrocity they could think of on his head.
  11. GIGO

    GIGO Member

    Aug 6, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Lol, they really dressed up for the occasion!

    Grey Friars car park, Leicester, where the remains of King Richard III were found.

    <iframe width="520" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/pbS2WJdav6c" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  12. Xerobull

    Xerobull Salve Dicit Mater Tua
    Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Anyone else think that this thread was about MLK?
  13. Jontro

    Jontro Member

    Feb 3, 2010
    Likes Received:
    They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

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