British scientists have confirmed the human remains unearthed beneath a car park in the city of Leicester are those of mediaeval King Richard III.
King Richard III is a key figure in English histoy and ruled the country for two years, until his death at the Battle of Bosworth during the War of the Roses in 1485. The battle inspired a scene in Shakespeare's play Richard III in which the defeated ruler cries: “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!"
Last September archaeologists unearthed a skeleton at a car park in the central English city of Leicester.
According to scientists, the skull featured strong similarities to descriptions of Richard, including a wound at the back of the skull.
“The skull was in good condition, although fragile, and was able to give us detailed information about this individual," Jo Appleby, who led the exhumation, told AFP.
"In order to determine whether this individual is Richard III we have built up a biological profile of its characteristics. We have also carefully examined the skeleton for traces of a violent death," she added.
In an attempt to confirm the skeleton's identity, scientists have used DNA of Richard's distant relative, a Canadian-born carpenter who lives in London and is said to be the 17th-generation nephew of the king.
Meanwhile, debate over where exactly the Battle of Bosworth took place has been going on for decades.
Historians initially believed that it happened on Ambion Hill, near Sutton Cheney, where a stone memorial supposedly marks the spot where Richard III died.
The king's body was then thought to have been taken to Leicester, where he was buried in the church of the Franciscan Friary.
But the exact whereabouts of the church, known as Greyfriars has also been lost in time. The remains of the late monarch could have been thrown into the river, according to some rumors.