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The Bones of Richard III Have Been Discovered in a British Parking Lot

And they confirm that Shakespeare was basically all-knowing. logo

© Kelley L. Smith
Sticklers for Shakespearean accuracy and amateur historians everywhere can let out a collective breath. The skeleton of 15th century English royal Richard III has been found beneath a parking lot in the city of Leicester in England's East Midlands. An analysis of the bones confirms that the medieval king did indeed die violently in battle, just as Shakespeare suggests in his concisely-titled Richard III.

"The base of his skull [was] sliced off by one terrible blow, believed to be from a halberd, a fearsome medieval battle weapon with a razor-sharp iron axe blade weighing about two kilos, mounted on a wooden pole, which was swung at Richard at very close range," explained an article in The Guardian.

What's more, this injury seems to indicate that Richard III had lost his steed by the time of his final blow, confirming one of Shakespeare's most famous lines, written for Richard III during the last frenzied moments of his life: "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!"

In fact, the king's death, which ended the Plantagenet dynasty (who ruled England for several centuries), was even more violent than Shakespeare led us to believe. The Guardian reports, "One terrible injury, a stab through the right buttock and into his pelvis, was certainly after death, and could not have happened when his lower body was protected by armour. It suggests the story that his naked corpse was brought back slung over the pommel of a horse, mocked and abused all the way, was true."

We probably won't call for a rewrite.


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