Bones found in King Richard III hunt

2012-09-12 19:33
Archaeologists hunting for the lost grave of king Richard III have found human bones. (Alik Keplicz, AP)

Archaeologists hunting for the lost grave of king Richard III have found human bones. (Alik Keplicz, AP)

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London - British archaeologists hunting for the lost grave of king Richard III under a city centre car park in central England said on Wednesday that they had found human bones.

Researchers from the University of Leicester in central England have sent the remains for DNA testing to determine whether they are those of Richard, who ruled England between 1483 and 1485.

The team, which has been excavating a car park in the city of Leicester for three weeks, was set to reveal more details about the discovery at a press conference on Wednesday.

"What we have uncovered is truly remarkable and today we will be announcing to the world that the search for king Richard III has taken a dramatic new turn," University of Leicester researcher Richard Taylor said.

Richard III, who is today best known as the villain of a William Shakespeare play, is believed to have been buried at the Franciscan friary of Greyfriars in Leicester after his death in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

The dig has already uncovered parts of the friary, which was demolished in the 1530s.

The team used ground-penetrating radar equipment to pinpoint the best areas of the car park to begin the search.

Taylor said the team will use DNA from a man who is a direct descendant of Richard's eldest sister, Anne of York, to try to get a match.

"We have sent the remains off to the laboratory for analysis. DNA testing will take between eight and 12 weeks and the remains are being analysed as we speak," said Taylor.

"It is an exciting discovery."

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