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Bones found at English car park may belong to medieval king

Published on Sep 12, 2012 8:16 PM
Archaeologist Mathew Morris points to where he found skeleton remains during an archaelogical dig to find the remains of King Richard III in Leicester, central England on Sept 12, 2012. A 500-year-old mystery of where England's King Richard III was buried after his death in battle may finally be about to be solved after archaeologists found bones beneath a city centre parking lot. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - British archaeologists announced on Wednesday that a skeleton found under a city centre car park in central England could be that of the medieval king Richard III.

Researchers from the University of Leicester said they had found a male skeleton with similarities to historical descriptions of Richard, who ruled England between 1483 and his death in battle in 1485. The remains, which are well preserved, are undergoing DNA analysis.

"What we have uncovered is truly remarkable," said Mr Richard Taylor, the university's director of corporate affairs. "This skeleton certainly has characteristics that warrant extensive further detailed examination," he told a press conference.

The team, which has been excavating a car park in the city of Leicester for three weeks, said the skeleton had an arrow-head embedded in its back and had received blows to the skull consistent with injuries received in battle. Today, Richard III is best known as the hunchbacked villain of a play by William Shakespeare - and while the skeleton is not that of a hunchback, it does have a curved spine.

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