Richard III confirmation rewrites history book
THE news that a human skeleton found buried beneath a social services car park in Leicester is that of Richard III has excited Bristol archaeologists and historians.
Experts from the University of Leicester yesterday said DNA from the bones matched that of descendants of the monarch's family.
Lead archaeologist Richard Buckley, from the University of Leicester, told a press conference: "Beyond reasonable doubt, it's Richard."
Bristol University archaeologist and television presenter Professor Mark Horton told The Post that the find had generated much " media hysteria".
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
But he said any archeological find that captured the imagination of the public was positive.
"The story has been on all the major news outlets, and is really causing a lot of hysteria," he said.
"Some people have been claiming it's the most significant find of the century – I would point them to the Staffordshire horse or finds at Stonehenge, but it is jolly good fun, and any archeological find that captures the public's imagination in this way has got to be a good thing."
Mr Horton said he believed the ease at which the skeleton had been uncovered had led some people to be sceptical about the find.
"Some trenches were dug and they came upon the body very quickly," he said.
"That's why people are sceptical – in archeological terms it was so quick.
"I wouldn't say I'm sceptical myself, but I found it odd that everything rested so much on the DNA evidence. It came from the king's maternal line – we're still waiting for the paternal results.
"For myself the more compelling evidence were the battle wounds found in the skeleton, especially the sword wound in the buttock."
Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore commented on the find when the DNA results were confirmed yesterday morning. In his spare time he has been writing a book called Bosworth: The Birth of the Tudors, which is due to be published on May 23.
As the news broke Mr Skidmore tweeted to his 1,569 followers: "Looks like my book on Bosworth and #RichardIII may be in for a last minute rewrite..."
He told The Post: "I've been working on a book on Bosworth and Richard III's downfall for nearly three years.
"It is almost about to go to press, so I'm hoping I can make last minute revisions to include details of this remarkable find – and get pictures of Richard's bones into the book.
"It just goes to show that history is never dead, indeed it seems to be moving all too fast at the moment!"
Mr Skidmore said the discovery of the king's body was an opportunity to learn more about him.
"Tests will be done on the bones and the skeleton which could reveal things like his diet," he said.
"It's also a great way to re-open the debate surrounding his life and reign."