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The quest had taken years of preparation followed by intensive archaeological study — almost no one had expected a result.

King Richard III archaeological unit makes new discovery under Leicester car park

As the astonishing story of the discovery emerged, millions watched around the world. This was a Tutankhamun for our times. First came the news that archaeologists were searching for a king in a car park. Next it was said they had located the church where Richard had been buried.

Richard III – Mike Pitts – Digging Deeper

Finally it was announced that a skeleton had been found — with curved spine and battle wounds. Archaeologists urged caution, as media frenzy led to questions in Parliament. The scientific conclusion came early in All the studies, including analysis of anatomy, DNA, high-resolution scanning and a digital facial reconstruction, led to one thing. Digging for Richard III is the page-turning story of how his grave was found, the people behind the discovery and what it tells us.

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Richard III

In , experts began digging away at the area and established that it was part of the friary and that a skeleton, hastily buried in an uneven grave, was that of King Richard III, who was killed in during the Battle of Bosworth Field. Hide Caption.

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Scientists at the University of Leicester say their examination of the skeleton shows Richard met a violent death: They found evidence of 11 wounds -- nine to the head and two to the body -- that they believe were inflicted at or around the time of death. Here, the base of the skull shows one of the potentially fatal injuries. This shows clearly how a section of the skull had been sliced off. The lower jaw shows a cut mark caused by a knife or dagger.

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The archaeologists say the wounds to Richard's head could have been what killed him. A wound to the cheek, possibly caused by a square-bladed dagger, can be seen here. This hole in the top of the skull represents a penetrating injury to the top of the head. Two flaps of bone, related to the penetrating injury to the top of the head, can clearly be seen on the interior of the skull.

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The image shows a blade wound to the pelvis, which has penetrated all the way through the bone. Here, a cut mark on the right rib can be seen.

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  • As the skeleton was being excavated, a notable curve in the spine could be seen. The width of the curve is correct, but the gaps between vertebrae have been increased to prevent damage from them touching one another. The body was found in a roughly hewn grave that experts say was too small for the body, forcing it to be squeezed into an unusual position. The positioning also shows that his hands may have been tied.