In August 2012, the University of Leicester along with Leicester City Council, and in association with the Richard III Society, joined forces to begin a search for the mortal remains of King Richard III.
In 1485 King Richard III was defeated at the battle of Bosworth. His body, stripped and despoiled, was brought to Leicester where he was buried in the church of the Franciscan Friary, known as the Greyfriars. Over time the exact whereabouts of the Greyfriars became lost.
After overcoming the first significant hurdle of the project by finding the lost church, the team went on to announce that the dig had entered a ‘new phase’ with a momentous discovery; human remains.
One fully articulated skeleton, found in the Choir, was exhumed in September. A preliminary examination was carried out and found that the remains appeared to be male. The skeleton appeared to have suffered significant peri-mortem trauma to the skull which was consistent with (although not certainly caused by) an injury received in battle. The skeleton also had spinal abnormalities and the team believed the individual would have had severe scoliosis –a form of spinal curvature.
These characteristics obviously warranted extensive further detailed examination and rigorous laboratory analysis is now underway.
We have recently announced that the outcome of these investigations will be revealed in the first week of February.
Profile image: Emma Vieceli, Kate Brown, Paul Duffield.