New evidence has revealed for the first time the potential “killer blow” that claimed the life of king Richard III of England.
A researcher from the University of Leicester in Britain has released the key sequence, showing the dramatic injury to the base of the skull as well as the inside of the top of the skull.
It is among 26 sequences taken by the university video producer Carl Vivian, who is chronicling the key events in the series titled “Discovery, Science and Reburial of the last Plantagenet king”.
Among the sequences is the one that has never been released before and shows the moment when professor Guy Rutty from the University of Leicester found the potential “killer blow”.
“I approached this examination as that of any patient – just because he was a King did not make a difference,” Rutty said.
He examined the skull and linked marks on the vertebra, the smaller of the two wounds to the base of the skull and a mark on the inside of the skull, suggesting that weapon had been thrust up from the base of Richard’s neck and into his head.
“Using the specialist lighting equipment, I was able to put the three injuries together on pathological grounds and we all realised I had identified the potential lethal injury to King Richard III,” he informed.
During filming, professor Rutty noted a small traumatic lesion on the interior surface of the cranium, directly opposite the sharp force trauma.
Careful examination showed that the two injuries lined up with one another and also with an injury to Richard’s first cervical vertebra.
“The combination of all three injuries provided evidence for the direction of the injury and also the depth to which the weapon had penetrated the skull,” he explained.
The trauma was inflicted on King Richard III’s body at the Battle of Bosworth Field on August 22, 1485.The injuries to the head suggest he had either removed or lost his helmet.
The team has published their research in the prestigious journal The Lancet.