Richard III Had Unpleasant Burial

King was given no death shroud, may have been bound
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2013 7:14 AM CDT
Updated May 26, 2013 6:34 AM CDT
Richard III Had Unpleasant Burial
The remains of King Richard III, found underneath a car park last September at the Grey Friars excavation in Leicester.   (AP Photo/ University of Leicester)

If you thought being found buried under a parking lot was about as unroyal as it could get for King Richard III, think again. In a paper published this week in Antiquity, researchers describe his body as being buried in haste, crammed into a too-small grave that was roughly dug (at the time, a proper grave would have had straight walls, not sloping ones). Further indications that the dead king was treated with little respect: He was found in a somewhat folded position with no death shroud, and his hands may have been bound, reports Smithsonian. (The BBC tempers the finding by noting the University of Leicester researchers did acknowledge the treatment could have been the result of harried gravediggers.)

The condition isn't surprising given that he was killed in battle during the War of the Roses, but it does add to his legend; the story goes that his naked body was carried by horse, and laughed at by spectators en route to his grave. The paper also reveals that it's likely his body was battered after his death: There were 10 wounds—including stabs to his back and buttocks—in addition to blows to his head. The bottom line, per Smithsonian? The new findings further indicate Richard III died in "violent humiliation." (Meanwhile, the feud continues over where the body should be reburied.)

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