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Richard III Lived, Ate and Drank (a Lot) Like a King

Image: Richard III Lived, Ate and Drank (a Lot) Like a King
In this February 5, 2013 photo, a facial reconstruction of King Richard III in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 18 Aug 2014 07:23 AM

Richard III, who served as England's king for only 26 months in the 1400s, lived, ate and drank like a king during his short reign, according to research by the British Geological Survey and University of Leicester.

Interest in Richard III was renewed in 2013 when his remains were found underneath a central England parking lot in Leicester, according to CNN. Scientists believed that the area was where the Battle of Bosworth was fought in 1485 and where the king died.

A Channel 4 documentary over the weekend revealed that Richard III drank roughly a bottle of wine a day and ate assorted "rich" foods, exotic meats and fish, according to sophisticated bone and teeth isotope analysis of his recovered bones. The documentary went on to say that the scoliosis that twisted the king's spine would not have kept him from fighting in a war.

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"The chemistry of Richard III's teeth and bones reveals fascinating changes in his geographical movements, diet and social status throughout his life," Dr. Angela Lamb, the isotope geochemist and lead author on the king, said on the Channel 4 documentary.

"Richard's diet when he was king was far richer than that of other equivalent high status individuals in the late medieval period. We know he was banqueting a lot more, there was a lot of wine indicated at those banquets and tying all that together with the bone chemistry it looks like this feasting had quite an impact on his body in the last few years of his life," Lamb continued.

University of Leicester archaeologist Richard Buckley, who was also part of the Richard III study, said bones study provided an fascinating insight on the lifestyle of the king and the time period, according to Channel 4.

"This cutting edge research has provided a unique opportunity to shed new light on the diet and environment of a major historical figure – Richard III," Buckley said. "It is very rare indeed in archaeology to be able to identify a named individual with precise dates and a documented life. This has enabled the stable-isotope analysis to show how his environment changed at different times in his life and, perhaps most significantly, identified marked changes in his diet when he became king in 1483."

BBC News reported that Richard III's grave had been lost when churches near his burial place were demolished until 2013.

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Richard III, who served as England's king for only 26 months in the 1400s, lived, ate and drank like a king during his short reign, according to research by the British Geological Survey and University of Leicester.
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2014-23-18
Monday, 18 Aug 2014 07:23 AM
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