Mon
Feb 4 2013 2:15pm

Skeletal Remains of Richard III Confirmed to be Richard III Because of Science

My kingdom for a parking lot! Last September English archaeologists found a skeleton under a Leicester parking lot which they suspected to be the remains of the infamous monarch Richard III. And now, through use of DNA testing, they have indeed confirmed that this skeleton is Richard III.

How did they do it? You’d probably guess that they tested the DNA of Richard the 500th (or something) to see if it matched with the skeleton. And you’d be (kind of) right!

Lead geneticist Turi King held a news conference in Leicester today and revealed that DNA from the skeleton was cross-referenced with two DNA samples from modern-day descendants of Richard III. “We knew then, beyond reasonable doubt, that this was Richard III,” he said. “We’re certain now, as certain as you can be of anything in life.”

No word yet as to whether this will have any impact on Anti-Stratfordians who think Shakespeare is a hoax and was actually either Marlowe, four different people, or a shapeshifting lizard from space.

[News via The New York Times]


Ryan Britt is a staff writer for Tor.com.

10 comments
Paul Weimer
1. PrinceJvstin
You used a screencap from Looking for Richard. Awesome!
Steven Halter
2. stevenhalter
The DNA samples were taken from Michael Ibsen, a Canadian believed to be a direct descendant of Richard’s sister Anne. Richard had no descendants of his own.
Dory
3. Dory
This archeological discovery should have come with a spoiler warning for s7 of Game of Thrones....
Ryan Britt
4. ryancbritt
@Everyone. An amazing notion has erupted
on my Facebook: Richard III should be cloned. As well as any other despot/tyrant/monarch we can get our hands on. The result? Despotic Park.
Steven Halter
5. stevenhalter
ryancbritt@4:lol--except that could be even worse than letting out dinosaurs. (If they escaped.)
Dory
6. AlyxL
I know George R R Martin is supposed to have been influenced by the history of the Wars of the Roses, but I'm getting seriously confused between real and imagined history now. The BBC newsreader who kept referring to Richard as "the King in the North" didn't help.

I don't know how available it is online, but Channel 4 showed a documentary on the whole thing this evening. Fascinating stuff, despite featuring a chap from Horrible Histories and a very weepy woman fromthe Richard III Society, who apparently sponsored the excavation.
Dory
7. peachy
I'm totally down with Despotic Park, but let's not start with Richard III - he was a perfectly ordinary late medieval monarch who got really bad postmortem press... if he's the first exhibit, no way you'll get funding for the next guy. You gotta start with a bang, and I'm afraid Richard would be a damp squib.
P J Evans
9. PJEvans
You'd have to start with the last Henrys. And then you'd have to keep Richard in a separate enclosure.
Dory
10. Blackhorse
So...I'm a little confused. What was Al Pacino doing buried under a parking lot and did Connie Willis really take that photo of Richard III?

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