In one of Britain’s most dramatic modern archaeological finds, researchers here announced on Monday that skeletal remains found under a parking lot in this English Midlands city were those of King Richard III, for centuries the most widely reviled of English monarchs, paving the way for a possible reassessment of his brief but violent reign.
Richard Buckley, the lead archaeologist on a project to identify the bones, told reporters that tests and research since the remains were discovered last September proved “beyond reasonable doubt” that the “individual exhumed” from a makeshift grave under the parking lot was “indeed Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England.”
Richard Taylor, the University of Leicester registrar who coordinated the team of archaeologists, historians, genealogists and geneticists who worked to make the identification after the skeleton was found buried six feet below a corner of a municipal parking lot, said that the last piece of the scientific puzzle fell into place with DNA findings that became available on Sunday, five months after the skeletal remains were uncovered.
At that point, he said, members of the team knew that they had achieved something historic.
“We knew then, beyond reasonable doubt, that this was Richard III,” he said. “We’re certain now, as certain as you can be of anything in life.”
The most amazing thing about this find is that everything this find discloses about Richard’s death and burial matches up with contemporary 15th century accounts of his death.
Extensive Guardian coverage here.
I love history. I love it hard.