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500 years on, archaeologists unearth King Richard III in a car park

Posted by: Ellen Feely | 5 February, 2013 - 11:05 AM
A portrait of King Richard III by an unknown artist in the National Portrait Gallery in central London. (Photo: Leon Neal/AFP)

The 500-year-long mystery surrounding the whereabouts of King Richard III who died in battle in 1485 has been solved after an archaeological find unearthed the skeleton in a Leicester church car park.

Speaking with 3AW Breakfast, Wendy Moorhen the deputy head of the Richard III Society said the former monarch’s body was found ‘squashed’ into a grave site.

"The evidence is actually very shocking because the grave wasn't very big, and he wasn't laid out flat," she told Ross and John.

"His head was actually sitting up; They literally just squashed him into a grave."

Lead archaeologist in the dig for King Richard III’s body told a press conference at the University of Leicester his team was convinced ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ the unearthed corpse was that of the King of England whose reign lasted just two years.

Ms Moorhen told Ross and John the find could finally dispel the myth King Richard III was a hunchback, due largely to the king’s depiction in Shakespeare’s ‘Richard III’ play.

"What he has is what is called scoliosis, which is a curvature of the spine," she said.

Image

The skeleton of Richard III, with its twisted spine, which was discovered at the Grey Friars excavation site in Leicester. (Photo: University of Leicester/Reuters)

"If he had a hunchback, he would (have) suffered from something very different and that's called kyphosis."

Ms Moorhen said despite the body being discovered, the society’s work was not done yet: "Our job now is to make sure that when he's buried, probably next year, that we don't bury this monster, we bury good King Richard."

"We believe there's evidence to show that he had the potential for being a great king, and certainly in his very short reign, he did achieve things."

LISTEN: Wendy Moorhen speaks with Ross and John:

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