Skeleton found beneath car park could be the remains of medieval monarch

Archaeologists searching for the lost grave of King Richard III have unearthed a skeleton with a metal arrow in its back beneath a car park which they believe could be the remains of the medieval monarch.

The news of the discovery in Leicester, comes as the Yorkshire Museum, in York, yesterday unveiled a 15th Century silver badge worn by those loyal to King Richard III which it has bought thanks to donations from the public and the Richard III Society.

The silver gilt livery badge in the form of a boar, a symbol of Richard III, was found by somebody using a metal detector in 2010 in North Yorkshire. It is one of only a relatively small number ever found and because it is silver-gilt it would have once belonged to someone of high status. It will be on display at the museum for a short period from Friday.

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Last Tuesday, the skeleton was exhumed from a car park behind council offices in Leicester during an archaeological dig by a team from the University of Leicester and is now being analysed in a laboratory.

It was found in what is believed to be the choir of the Grey Friars church, the site of which was also uncovered during the three-week archaeological dig and which is believed to be the burial site of the monarch according to historical records.

Initial examinations have revealed it to be the skeleton of an adult male with the remains said to be in a good condition. It also has a curved spine.

Richard Taylor, from the University of Leicester, told media at a press conference that the skeleton appears to have suffered significant trauma to the skull at or near the time of death.

“This appears consistent with, although not certainly caused by, an injury received in battle.

“A bladed implement appears to have cleaved part of the rear of the skull,” he said.

The skeleton was found with a barbed metal arrowhead between the vertebrae of the upper back.

He added: “We are not saying today that we have found Richard III. What we are saying is that the search for Richard III has entered a new phase.

The project has been filmed for a Channel 4 documentary which will be aired later this year.

Richard III died in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. He has a strong connection to Yorkshire, having spent much of his youth living at Middleham Castle, in North Yorkshire. He also did his knightly training there.