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Date published: 2/5/2013
LEICESTER, England--He was king of England, but for centuries he lay without shroud or coffin in an unknown grave, and his name became a byword for villainy.
On Monday, scientists announced they had rescued the remains of Richard III from anonymity--and the monarch's fans hope a revival of his reputation will soon follow.
In a dramatically orchestrated news conference, a team of archaeologists, geneticists, genealogists and other scientists from the University of Leicester announced that tests had proven what they scarcely dared to hope--a scarred and broken skeleton unearthed under a drab municipal parking lot was that of the 15th-century king, the last English monarch to die in battle. Lead archaeologist Richard Butler said that a battery of tests proved "beyond reasonable doubt" that the remains were the king's.
Lin Foxhall, head of the university's school of archaeology, said the discovery "could end up rewriting a little bit of history in a big way."
Britain's current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is distantly related to Richard, but is not a descendant.