DNA may confirm lost British king is found

Sept. 13, 2012 at 4:57 PM

LEICESTER, England, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Archaeologists digging for the grave of Britain's King Richard III say "strong circumstantial evidence" suggests a skeleton is that of the lost king.

The English king died at the battle of Bosworth in 1485 in the country's civil war, but his burial place has always been the subject of debate.

Archaeologists conducting a dig at Grey Friars church in Leicester -- long considered a possible resting place of the "hunchback king" immortalized by Shakespeare -- say a skeleton unearthed there shows spinal abnormalities and a "cleaved-in skull" that suggest it could be Richard III, the BBC reported Wednesday.

Although not as pronounced as the spinal hump of Shakespeare's Richard, the abnormality of the skeleton would have resulted in the appearance of having one shoulder higher than the other.

"Archaeology almost never finds named individuals -- this is absolutely extraordinary," Lin Foxhall, head of the University of Leicester's school of archaeology, said. "Although we are far from certain yet, it is already astonishing."

Researchers said they would test the bones for DNA in hopes of matching it with that of Richard's descendants.

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