(PCM) Researchers are nearly 100% sure, 99.999% to be exact, that the remains that were discovered underneath of a parking lot indeed are those of King Richard III. The details surrounding the King’s death have been a mystery for nearly 530 years.
King Richard III died in battle in 1485 and part of the mystery is that church that had originally marked his grave had been demolished, so researchers had to locate the spot where the church had once stood. When they finally tracked down the location of the churches foundation it turned out to be located underneath of a parking lot structure.
King Richard III’s skeletal remains were exhumed after the researchers were able to dig up the parking lot and based upon the age, battle scars and the remnants of scoliosis they were able to conclude that the remains were those of the King. To achieve absolute certainty more extensive DNA testing needed to be conducted.
DNA from the past, especially ancient times is incredibly hard to work with as after death the DNA strands begin to break down into smaller and smaller strands. Researchers had to use the utmost care not to ruin their samples and the analysis was done in completely sterile conditions and checked multiple times for accuracy.
The group of researchers tracked down living relatives of King Richard III and analyzed their DNA compared to that of the remains and the connections were a match. There was only one break in the chain, however that may have been caused by a case of infidelity where a child was fathered by someone other than the man who believes they are the father. That type of situation happened quite frequently back in that time period. It would be very difficult to try to figure out exactly when the infidelity would have taken place.