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King Richard III: Skeleton test results to come Monday

Posted By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   Feb. 3, 2013 at 5:35 PM  |  Updated Feb. 3, 2013 at 5:43 PM   |   Comments

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Feb. 3 (UPI) -- A skeleton excavated in September may be revealed as that of King Richard III. University of Leicester will share their findings with media and the public after scientists finish working "up to the wire" to carbon date the remains and DNA test against a distant descendant.

Richard III was cut down in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth Field after reigning only two years. Many believe the body was buried by Franciscans near the altar of the church where the remains were found. Richard was the "hunchback king" of Shakespeare fame and the skeleton's scoliosis contributed to the circumstantial evidence ahead of Monday's genetic results announcement.

Professor Mark Horton, of Bristol University, is skeptical. "Even it the DNA survives, it is not the panacea most people assume. There is a high rate of illegitimacy over the generations – there were a lot of milkmen in the past." But he's still curious. "If they do get all their ducks to line up, if they really have found enough scientific evidence to prove that it's Richard, it would certainly be of great interest – a window opening on the truth of what some might argue was the last legitimate king of England."

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