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Year in Review: Slain king’s bones dug up

Richard III’s skeleton reveals fatal wounds

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3:55pm, December 26, 2013

BROKEN BONES  King Richard III’s bones show that severe scoliosis curved his spine. Of the 10 wounds found on his remains, either of two on his skull could have been fatal.

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It was reported 528 years late, but the top news from 1485 seems to be that King Richard III may have been killed by a blade thrust upward into his skull or an axe-whack to the back of his head.

Researchers at the University of Leicester in England performed the autopsy on the slain king after an excavation in one of the city’s parking lots unearthed parts of Grey Friars Church, where he was buried. A genetic analysis confirmed the skeleton’s identity; a descendant on the king’s mother’s side possesses mitochondrial DNA matching the victim’s (SN: 3/9/13, p. 14).

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