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Human remains confirmed as those of King Richard III

06/02/2013

HUMAN remains discovered buried in the lost medieval Greyfriars church beneath Leicester city centre have been confirmed as those of King Richard III.

The University of Leicester announced on Monday, February 4, that there was overwhelming scientific evidence that the remains, of a battle-scarred man with a spinal curvature, were indeed those of the last Plantagenet king, whose body was brought to Leicester, stripped and publicly displayed following his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

The remains of the church and the grave were rediscovered last year during a project involving the University of Leicester, Leicester City Council and The Richard III Society.

At a press conference attended by more than 140 journalists, film crew and photographers from around the world, experts from the University of Leicester explained how evidence from the dig was used in conjunction with DNA, genealogy, carbon dating and other scientific methods to confirm the identity of Richard III beyond any reasonable doubt.

Richard Buckley, the University of Leicester archaeologist who led the search for Richard III, said: "It is the academic conclusion of the University of Leicester that the individual exhumed at Grey Friars, Leicester, in August 2012, is indeed Richard III, the last Plantagenet King of England.

"Beyond reasonable doubt it's Richard."

As part of the public announcement, Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby has also announced that the remains will be reinterred at Leicester's St Martin's Cathedral - just a stone's throw away from where the king's skeleton was discovered.

Peter Soulsby said: "This astonishing announcement is far beyond what anyone expected in their wildest dreams when the search at Greyfriars first began.

"The University of Leicester Archaeological Services should rightly be very proud that their painstaking work which has enabled these remains to be positively identified as those of King Richard III.

"There is overwhelming evidence from their research that these are indeed the remains of the last Plantagenet king.

"The city is honoured to be home to such a fantastic university, which has put itself and the city at the centre of well-deserved global recognition for this find.

"The discovery of King Richard III's remains, in the heart of Leicester's old town, will undoubtedly be the start of an exciting new chapter for the city.

“Having lain in the shadow of Leicester Cathedral for over 500 years, it is fitting that he should now finally be laid to rest here.”

The terms of the licence for the archaeological dig, which was granted by the Ministry of Justice, provides for the University of Leicester, as the licence holder, to proceed with reinterment of the remains.

The university has approached Leicester City Council and Leicester Cathedral, who agree that the remains will be reinterred in due course at Leicester Cathedral.

Phillipa Langley, of the Richard III Society, said: "Today marks the culmination of an extraordinary journey of discovery."

An exhibition telling the dramatic story of the search for and discovery of King Richard III is due to open at Leicester Guildhall on Friday, February 8.

Details of the exhibition will be available at: www.visitleicester.info/richardIII

For more information about Leicester Uiversity's Search for Richard III visit www.le.ac.uk/richardiii

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