King Richard III buried in 'untidy' grave
Report says battle-scarred British monarch died in 'violent humiliation'
New information has surfaced in the odd tale of the British king whose grave was found under a car park.
King Richard III's remains — which were discovered in August under a parking lot in Leicester, England — were laid to rest in a grave researchers are now saying was "badly prepared" and "untidy."
A paper released Friday from the University of Leicester gives the public specific details of the rudimentary grave dug for the king and provides insight into the events surrounding his death in 1485.
King 'crammed in' grave
Academics on the Grey Friars Project — named after a church that stood on the site but was demolished in the Reformation — said that Richard III was placed in a short and badly prepared grave in an odd position.
The king’s body was "crammed in" and according to researchers, evidence suggests that his hands may have been tied when he was buried.
The strange lozenge shape of the grave and the sloppy position of the body — head propped against one corner — suggest that gravediggers made no attempt to rearrange the body and were in a hurry or possibly had little respect for the dead, the researchers said.
Monarch's hands tied
Also, the absence of any burial items such as a shroud or a coffin is consistent with accounts from medieval historians who say Richard III was buried without pomp.
According to academics, the king's final resting place is in stark contrast to other graves in the area that were neat, dug at the proper length and with vertical sides
The paper follows a three-week dig last August and the announcement in February that DNA identified that the remains were indeed those of the last king of the House of York.
Researchers made the discovery thanks to a DNA sample from a Canadian who is a 17th great-grand-son of Richard's older sister — Anne of York.
Buried without pomp
"The Grey Friars project has been unusual in the nature of the collaboration between professional and academic archeologists, an amateur group (the Richard III Society) and the City of Leicester. However, this also means that the project has addressed two different but overlapping sets of research questions, not all of which specialists would routinely ask," said the report.
The report also outlines the church's layout and gives details of the initial observations of the state of the king's skeleton, which had been badly beaten in what is hypothesized as violent humiliation prior to his death.
New excavations around the site are expected in July and the researchers hope they will clarify details surrounding the disposal of Richard III's body.