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Sep 18 2014

Hooray for Science: New Insight on King Richard III’s Death

cidlfmyhchswgsmv3nuwSo King Richard III. You remember him right? You spent like 4 seconds glazing over him in that European history class you took your sophomore year because you thought it would be good to learn about the wars and weapons. Only to find out the class was actually just some tenured professor complaining for 4 months about people spelling Medieval wrong and calling it the dark ages. No, just me? Well lucky you.

Well let me fill you in:

Richard III was the last king of England to die in battle. But as a new forensic analysis of his remains shows, he didn’t just die in battle — he had the living tar beat out of him. Here’s how this king met his maker on that fateful day in 1485.

As you may recall, Richard III’s remains were discovered in 2012 under a parking lot by archaeologists from the University of Leicester.

A forensic imaging team, working with the Forensic Pathology Unit and the Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester, used whole body CT scans and micro-CT imaging of Richard’s preserved bones to analyse trauma to the skeleton, and to figure out which of his wounds were fatal. In addition, the team analysed tool marks on bone to identify the types of medieval weapons used during the attack.

It appears that the King sustained no less than 11 distinct wounds at or near the time of his death. Nine of them were to the skull, likely inflicted during the battle.

Isn’t science great? Now I want to see the episode of Bones that the writers make up to go with this story.

Hit the jump for more shots and a video.

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