The exact whereabouts of King Richard III's body have been a mystery for over half a millenium. Now, a team of archeologists conducting excavations beneath a car park in Leicester, England has found the remains of a man thought to have perished around the time of Richard's reign.
The researchers have yet to make the discovery official, but five telling clues provide "strong circumstantial evidence" that the body belongs to none other than the long lost king.
The clues are as follows:
1. The skeleton is male. Richard, too was male. Done and done.
2. The remains were recovered from the choir of a Franciscan friary known as Greyfriars. Historians knew Richard was rumored to have been interred at Greyfriars, but the location of the church had long been a mystery in and of itself — that was until archaeologists from the University of Leicester announced its discovery last week.
3. The remains showed signs of severe scoliosis. In life, this would have caused one of the man's shoulders to appear higher than the other. A statement from Leicester University indicates that "this is consistent with contemporary accounts of Richard's appearance."
4, 5. The final clues pertain to the circumstances surrounding the king's death: "signs of a peri-mortem (near-death) trauma to the skull and a barbed iron arrow head in the area of the spine," according to the BBC. By some accounts, Richard is said to have been killed by a blow to the head.
Researchers are reportedly optimistic about their chances of recovering DNA from the bones and testing them against Richard's descendants.
"Although we are far from certain yet," said professor Lin Foxhall, head of the University of Leicester's school of archeology in an interview with the BBC, "it is already astonishing."
"Archaeology almost never finds named individuals - this is absolutely extraordinary."
Read more about this incredible discovery over at the BBC.