Is it King Richard III? DNA Tests to Reveal the Mystery Monday

First Posted: Feb 04, 2013 03:17 AM EST

The skeleton of an adult male excavated last September by a team of archaeologists from the University of Leicester is thought to belong to England's lost King Richard who ruled the country from 1483-1485.

Richard III was painted after his death as evil and brutal and also was accused of murdering his two nephews. He ruled during a period known as the War of Roses and was killed by Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king to die in battle.

For over 528 years, nobody knew where the monarch was buried. Rumors following his death claimed that his remains were left into the river, some stated that his body was taken by the Franciscans and some say his body was buried near the high altar of the Grey Friars Church, exactly where the skeleton was found, reports the Guardian.

The skeleton had a bent spine with an arrowhead lodged in the spine, indicating scoliosis. Researchers have even traced a wound at the back of the skull. The world's first photograph of the human remains which could be King Richard's was unveiled by the University of Leicester along with Channel 4.

The skeletal analysis is being carried out by Dr. Jo Appleby, who led the exhumation of the remains in September 2012 . He is also the lecturer in Human Bioarchaeology at the University's School of Archaeology and Ancient History. On Monday, the University will announce in a news conference the results of the genetic testing carried on the skeletal remains.

Dr. Appleby said in a press statement: "The skull was in good condition, although fragile, and was able to give us detailed information about this individual. It has been CT scanned at high resolution in order to allow us to investigate interesting features in as much detail as possible. In order to determine whether this individual is Richard III we have built up a biological profile of its characteristics. We have also carefully examined the skeleton for traces of a violent death."

The team has carried out a battery of tests, including DNA test, carbon-dating and environmental analysis on the skeleton in order to confirm its identification.

The mortal remains have provoked intense curiosity among archaeologists and the public, who have a mixed opinion. Channel 4 will also screen the documentary on the big dig.

Will these findings reveal the truth about the famous king?

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