LONDON — Archaeologists searching for the grave of King Richard III say they have found bones that are consistent with the 15th century monarch's physical abnormality and of a man who died in battle.
A team from the University of Leicester said Wednesday that the bones were beneath the site of the Grey Friars church in Leicester, central England, where contemporary accounts say Richard was buried after he died in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.
Richard Buckley, co-director of the university's Archaeological Services, said the bones are a "prime candidate" to be Richard's. The remains are now being examined, and the team hopes that DNA can be recovered to aid identification.
"We are not saying today that we have found King Richard III," Richard Taylor, the university's director of corporate affairs, said at a news conference. "(But) this skeleton certainly has characteristics that warrant extensive, further detailed examination."
Taylor said the skeleton displays spinal abnormalities consistent with contemporary accounts of Richard's appearance. He said "the individual would have had severe scoliosis."
He said the skeleton, in good condition, is apparently that of an adult male. There are signs of trauma to the skull shortly before death, perhaps from a bladed instrument, and a barbed metal arrowhead was between vertebrae of the upper back.