The exhumation of Richard III of England in September 2012 was the result of an archaeological excavation in the English city of Leicester by a team led by the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS). The last king of the Plantagenet dynasty, Richard III was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485. His body was brought to the house of the Greyfriars in Leicester where it was buried in a crude grave. In August 2012, a dig was initiated on the Greyfriars site by the Richard III Society and funded by them in partnership with the University of Leicester, Leicester City Council, Leicestershire Promotions, Leicester Adult Schools and individual donors. The dig was carried out by University of Leicester archaeologists, who uncovered a human skeleton on the first day of work. It soon became apparent that the body was that of a man in his thirties who had suffered multiple wounds from a variety of weapons and had been hurriedly buried in a grave that was too small. The skeleton had a number of unusual physical features, most notably a severe curvature of the back that caused the right shoulder to be higher than the left.
Scientific analysis showed that the man had probably been killed either by a blow from a large bladed weapon that cut off the back of his skull, or by a halberd thrust that penetrated his brain. There were signs of other wounds on the body, which had probably been inflicted as "humiliation injuries" on a corpse that had been stripped of its armour. The bones' age at death matched the age at which Richard died; they were dated to approximately the period of his death and were mostly consistent with physical descriptions of him. DNA analysis also showed that mitochondrial DNA extracted from the bones matched that of two 17th-generation matrilineal descendants of Richard's niece Anne St Leger. On the basis of these points and other historical, scientific and archaeological evidence, the University of Leicester announced on 4 February 2013 that the skeleton had been positively identified as that of Richard III. The Mayor of Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby, has announced that Richard III will be reinterred at Leicester Cathedral in early 2014.
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