King Richard III's Remains Found Under Parking Lot in England

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Scientists announced Monday that they have found the 500-year-old remains of King Richard III, who wore the English crown but ended up defeated, under a parking lot in the city of Leicester, England -- a discovery Richard's fans say will rewrite the history books. University of Leicester researchers say tests on a battle-scarred skeleton unearthed last year prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that it is the king, who died at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, and whose remains have been missing for centuries. (See the ABC News video above.)

"Richard III, the last Plantaganet King of England, has been found," said the university's deputy registrar, Richard Taylor. Bone specialist Jo Appleby said study of the bones provided "a highly convincing case for identification of Richard III." And DNA from the skeleton matched a sample taken from a distant living relative of Richard's sister. Geneticist Turi King said Michael Ibsen, a Canadian carpenter living in London, share with the skeleton a rare strain of mitochondrial DNA. She said combined with the archaeological evidence, that left little doubt the skeleton belonged to Richard.

Ibsen said he was "stunned" to discover he was related to the king -- he is a 17th great-grand-nephew of Richard's older sister. "It's difficult to digest" he said.

Richard III ruled England between 1483 and 1485, during the decades-long tussle over the throne known as the Wars of the Roses. His brief reign saw liberal reforms, including introduction of the right to bail and the lifting of restrictions on books and printing presses. His rule was challenged, and he was defeated and killed by the army of Henry Tudor, who took the throne as King Henry VII.


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