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United Kingdom Science

DNA Confirms Parking Lot Remains Belong To King Richard III 212

Posted by timothy
from the it's-just-like-poltergeist-for-drivers dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It turns out that the remains found in a parking lot in Leicester, England belong to none other than King Richard III, one of the most reviled monarchs of English history. Scientists announced on Monday that they were able to confirm the identity of the skeleton through DNA testing."
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DNA Confirms Parking Lot Remains Belong To King Richard III

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  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2013 @11:32AM (#42785581)

    From TFA

    "but the location of his grave was lost when the building was demolished in the 16th century.
    A team of historians, though, were determined to find the body. Archaeologists used ground-penetrating radar on the site of the former priory, and were able to locate the skeleton beneath a parking lot after only a few days of digging."

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by lochnessie (1291986) on Monday February 04, 2013 @11:34AM (#42785621)
    From TFA: "...his reign lasted just 26 months and ended with his death on the battlefield at Bosworth in 1485. He was given a low-key burial in the church of Greyfriars in the center of Leicester, but the location of his grave was lost when the building was demolished in the 16th century. A team of historians, though, were determined to find the body. Archaeologists used ground-penetrating radar on the site of the former priory, and were able to locate the skeleton beneath a parking lot after only a few days of digging."
  • Car Park (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2013 @11:38AM (#42785659)

    This is England, we don't have parking lots. We have car parks

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by SoTerrified (660807) on Monday February 04, 2013 @11:40AM (#42785675)

    I haven't gotten a straight answer from MSM accounts as to why they even suspected this might be KR3.

    1) They have DNA from a descendant of King Richard III. They were able to get a DNA sample from the skeleton. It's a match.
    2) Skeleton is a man in his early 30s. King Richard III died at 32.
    3) History indicated King Richard III suffered from scoliosis. Skeleton has curved back consistent with scoliosis.
    4) Skeleton was killed by blows to the head, then suffered a sword thrust upward through the buttock. King Richard III died due to a head wound, and as a war leader, it is consistent that his body would've been subject to 'humiliation wounds'.
    5) They knew King Richard had been buried beneath the church of Greyfriars in the centre of Leicester. However that building was destroyed so the exact location was unknown. However the place the body was found was one of the potential sites of that structure.
    6) Bone analysis showed a high protein diet, consistent with nobility of the era.

    Why it might not be King Richard III?
    1) History indicates he had a withered right arm. The skeleton shows the right arm to be completely normal.

    But really, the DNA match is the smoking gun. It proves that the skeleton must've shared a maternal ancestor with King Richard III, and combined with the other evidence, it seems very likely that it's certainly King Richard III

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Narcocide (102829) on Monday February 04, 2013 @11:47AM (#42785737) Homepage

    The article answers this question; he was buried under a church which was destroyed around a century later and the knowledge of the location was lost to time. They knew he had to be buried somewhere in town but no longer knew where.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sique (173459) on Monday February 04, 2013 @12:20PM (#42786001) Homepage
    The difference being that in the case of Richard III, they didn't just dig everywhere and submitted each found corpse for testing, they were digging where ground radar were indicating the foundations of a destroyed abbey in the vincinity of exactly the place where documents and history books were saying Richard III was buried in an abbey. With Jimmy Hoffa, there is no single account of his end and no indication of a place where his remainings are buried.
  • by wjousts (1529427) on Monday February 04, 2013 @12:29PM (#42786077)
    He wasn't. He was buried at a chapel. A chapel that was later knocked down and replaced with a house. A house that was later bought by the council, knocked down and replaced with a car park.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday February 04, 2013 @12:52PM (#42786321) Journal

    Many scholars over the past few centuries have come to the conclusion that all of Shakespeare's historical plays of English kings were largely Tudor propaganda. Remember that Henry VII's claim to the throne was somewhat dubious and that even in his granddaughter Elizabeth's time, there was some sensitivity over how the Tudors had come to the throne. Building up the grandeur of Henry VII's ancestors whilst simultaneously making Richard III into almost the most loathsome creature in the history of the the theater was all part and parcel of the Tudor's solidifying their claim to the throne.

    Of course the ultimate irony is that after Henry VII, the Tudor line just withered away and Henry VIII had no legitimate grandchildren, and thus the crown got passed on to the Stuarts.

  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:13PM (#42787181)

    It doesn't, it just says that the corpse was closely related to someone who is known to be a descendant of Richard III.

    It's all the other evidence that starts cutting down the odds that it might be somebody else... Obvious injury consistent with accepted cause of death. Evidence that indicates medical conditions consistent with known medical conditions of Richard III. Location consistent with the accepted possible burial locations. And most of all, no other known possible bodies that match DNA and what we know about this guy from history.

    Of course, one can always argue the possibility that this is not Richard III, just like they argue other silly stuff...

    I don't doubt that it isn't Richard III, I am taking exception with the media saying the DNA proves it is Richard the III. As you point out, the DNA, since it is maternal DNA, is one more piece of evidence, that when taken as a whole show the probability of this being somebody else is unlikely, but it is not proof. As I stated in a different post, science is about facts, then the reporting of science should be factual, too.

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