Scientists in England have confirmed that bones discovered beneath a parking lot in Leicester are those of King Richard III.
A team from the University of Leicester matched the DNA in the bones with that of a 17th-generation descendant of the king’s, confirming that they are in fact the remains of Richard III, the BBC reports. Richard III died in 1485 and was later immortalized in Shakespeare’s play. Laurence Olivier and Ian McKellen have played him in film adaptations of the play.
Following his death at the Battle of Bosworth, Richard III was buried under the Greyfriars church in Leicester, in central England. The church was torn down in the 16th century, during the Protestant Reformation, but the BBC says a group of historians and Richard III “enthusiasts” zeroed in on the approximate location of the church. An archaelogical dig started in a parking lot last summer and soon uncovered remnants of buildings connected to the church.
The bones were uncovered soon after that. “The analysis of the skeleton proved that it was an adult male but was an unusually slender, almost feminine, build for a man,” Dr. Jo Appleby (pictured above) of the University of Leicester tells the BBC. “Taken as a whole, the skeletal evidence provides a highly convincing case for identification as Richard III.”
After getting a usable DNA sample from the skeleton and finding a descendant of the king, the match confirmed the bones as Richard III’s.
The remains are set to be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral.