Breaking (apologies as the live feed on 4 news stations is being interupted by other breaking news here)
Archaeologists at Leicester University, England have identified remains found under a council run car park as probably those of Richard III, the English king killed at Bosworth Field This was discussed last night at length in a diary by Pragmatus.
I will attempt to "live blog" the presentation
More to follow as the presentation goes on but you may note the strange title - think rainbow!
The body of the king was taken to Leicester and buried in a church which was later covered by developments. The skeleton was found articulated but was missing its feet, probably as a result of these later disturbances. Laterly, the site was a local council run car park.
Radiocarbon dating undertaken on rib bones by two separate labs was consistent with a date of death around the right time.
Excavation caused minor damage to the skull and there had been some damage as a result of the time buried. The skeleton is of somebody in their late 20s to late 30s - consistent with Richard's age at death of 32. He was above average height for the time but the curvature of the spine would have considerably reduced this. The scoliosis developed after the age of 10 but there was no evidence of a withered arm (a tradition mentioned by Shakespear) A small penetrating wound on the top of the head suggested that it was a direct blow, it would not have been fatal. There is a large wound was likely halberd damage and there is evidence of a blade penetrating over 10ins into the brain. Both would cause death. Other damage to the skull from bladed weapons would not have caused death immediately but loss of blood as a result may well have been fatal. Another non-fatal wound was a penetration of the cheek. These injuries are consistent with the loss of a helmet and "humiliation injuries" after death. Written sources suggest Richard's body was desecrated after death and rib cuts would have been made after the armour had been taken off - again consistent with the contemporary accounts. Hip injuries are suggestive of a humiliation blow while the body was over a horse - again consistent.
(break in broadcast)
Some historical texts about Richard's life may have to be re-written
DNA was extracted and compared to living relatives (Michael Ibsen and his brothers) Four others who are descended from the Duke of Beaufort were also traced. The lineage of Ibsen was confirmed. A longshot to trace a second maternal DNA line found a distant cousin who wishes to remain anonymous.
Dr Tura (?) King, the geneticist on the team: the male DNA type and the mitochondrial (female line) were investigated Both the two main contributors of DNA have no children so the timing of the find was fortuitous. Burial conditions can affect the DNA but a sample was found. In the very early stages of analysis there is no male match side yet. On the maternal side. The two lines of descent do match so a female DNA type can be established and verifies the family tree. The DNA from the skeletal remains match these two!!
Final summation by the lead archaeologist is that the remains found are those of Richard III "beyond reasonable doubt"
In accordance with the excavation licence and good archaeological practice to use the nearest consecrated ground, the remains will be re-interred in Leicester Cathedral.
The publicly owned, advertising funded, UK television network, Channel 4, has been following the excavation and investigations. For those of you in range of a UK transmission (either terrestrial or the Astra satellite cluster from 28.2E), the Channel 4/ 4HD is showing a 90 minute documentary "The King in the Car Park" on these findings from 21:00 GMT Monday.
Those of you elsewhere who are naughty and use VPNs to access on line geo-blocked services; this can be watched live on the internet and should be available on their catchup service 4oD after its initial transmission on Channel 4 (note: for contractual and rights purchases reasons, -not all programmes are available from the main 4 UK catchup services) Satellites and settings:
SD (Astra 1N)
Channel 4 10714H 22000 5/6
Channel 4+1 (time shifted 1 hour) 10729H 22000 5/6
HD (Astra 2F)
Channel 4HD 11127V 22000 2/3
A DVB-S2 receiver is required along with the correct size dish for the location which varies from 43cm to 1.2metres. The 2F footprint extends from Ireland to the most western parts of Germany and south to Spain. All these are broadcast free to air (unscrambled or encrypted)
(One last word on the diary title, there is a schoolboy aide memoir for the colours of the rainbow "Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain" - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.)