British pathologists investigating the skeleton of Richard III say they may have located the wound that killed him 530 years ago.
Scientists at the University of Leicester told Sky News that they discovered a severe injury at the base of the late king's skull, which they say could have come from a sword, bill, or halberd. The latter two weapons consist of a long pole with an axe head or hooked blade on the end.
"Using modern forensic examination, we have discovered that Richard's skeleton sustained 11 wounds at or near the time of his death," Professor Sarah Hainsworth told Sky, "nine of them to the skull, which were clearly inflicted in battle."
Hainsworth said the other two injuries were located on the skeleton's pelvis and a rib, adding "The injuries to the head suggest he had either removed or lost his helmet."
The exact whereabouts of Richard III's body remained a mystery until 2012, when archaeologists discovered his remains under a parking lot in Leicester. The last king of the House of York, Richard was killed in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth Field, not far from the city, and buried in the Greyfriars Church. He was the last English monarch killed in battle, and his death brought about the end of the Wars of the Roses.
The pathologists used whole-body CT scans and micro-CT imaging to examine the bones. Professor Guy Rutty called the discovery of the injuries a "eureka moment [that] we will all remember."