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Richard III Death Study Suggests Two Fatal Blows to King's Head

Image: Richard III Death Study Suggests Two Fatal Blows to King's Head
A painting of King Richard III by an unknown artist from the 16th Century is seen at the National Portrait Gallery in London. (Neil Hall/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 12:10 PM

The study of King Richard III's death done by the University of Leicester revealed that the English monarch was wounded repeatedly near and possibly after his death on the battlefield, with his skeleton showing he sustained 11 wounds – two of them fatal head blows.

Richard III died in the Battled of Bosworth on Aug. 22, 1485. His buried remains were found under a car parking lot by archaeologist from the university in 2012, according to NBC News.

The new study said three of the wounds could have been fatal, two to the skull and one to the pelvis, according to information from the university.

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"Richard's injuries represent a sustained attack or an attack by several assailants with weapons from the later medieval period," said Sarah Hainsworth, the study's author and professor of materials engineering at the university.

"The wounds to the skull suggest that he was not wearing a helmet, and the absence of defensive wounds on his arms and hands indicate that he was otherwise still armored at the time of his death," Hainsworth statement continued.

Guy Rutty, study co-author at the university, said in the school's statement that the man who delivered the head blows to Richard III was probably the king's murderer.

"The most likely injuries to have caused the King's death are the two to the inferior aspect of the skull – a large sharp force trauma possibly from a sword or staff weapon, such as a halberd or bill, and a penetrating injury from the tip of an edged weapon," Rutty said.

"Richard's head injuries are consistent with some near-contemporary accounts of the battle, which suggest that Richard abandoned his horse after it became stuck in a mire and was killed while fighting his enemies."

The school's forensic imaging team used whole body CT scans and micro-CT imaging of the injured bones to analyze trauma to the 500-year-old skeleton to make it determination.

A previous analysis of Richard III's bones revealed that he suffered from scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine and was not hunchbacked as some believed.

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The study of King Richard III's death done by the University of Leicester revealed that the English monarch was wounded repeatedly near and possibly after his death on the battlefield, with his skeleton showing he sustained 11 wounds – two of them fatal head blows.
richard iii, death, study, fatal, blows
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2014-10-17
Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 12:10 PM
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