DNA testing has proven that bones found under a car park belong to Richard III, the last English Monarch to die in battle. This story can be read in full at The Telegraph:
Richard III: tests on skeleton could ‘rewrite history books’, says lead scientist
Richard III: The King in the Car Park on Channel 4 tells the story of the discovery of a remarkable skeleton beneath a Leicester car park. Florence Waters talks to the scientist who must prove whether it is the 15th-century king.
Tomorrow could be a landmark moment in British history. If the skeleton of a man found with an arrowhead embedded in his curving spine – dug from beneath a Leicester council car park in September last year and now lying in the city’s university lab – is identified as that of King Richard III, the implications will be enormous.
“If it is Richard III we would know an awful lot about his death and burial,” says Professor Lin Foxhall, head of Leicester University’s archaeology department, which has led the dig. “We would have hard, hard evidence to compare against the various historical accounts.”
The scientific team has been on lock-down in case the results of the investigation are leaked before the official announcement, but Foxhall hinted that the department was “very excited”. She’s optimistic that there are sufficient pieces of the puzzle in order for them to reach a “meaningful conclusion”.
All of this will be detailed in a film-length Channel 4 television documentary in which a host of scholars and scientists have been invited to present their case. As one of the most notorious historic villains, both in British chronicles and Shakespeare’s plays, conflicting ideas about Richard III have kept debate surrounding his life – and his death – alive.
He was the king, according to one chronicler, who emerged from the womb two years late “with teeth and hair to his shoulders”. But not all that was written about him is so easy to dismiss. If enough clues conspire, the results could “rewrite the history books”, says Foxhall.