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Top 10 Scientific Discoveries of 2013


10
King Richard III Confirmed
After announcing the discovery of King Richard III's remains in September 2012, archaeologists were able to confirm in 2013 that they had indeed unearthed the old boy. © Darren Staples/Reuters/Corbis
After announcing the discovery of King Richard III's remains in September 2012, archaeologists were able to confirm in 2013 that they had indeed unearthed the old boy. © Darren Staples/Reuters/Corbis

"A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!"

That's our favorite tyrant in Act V, Scene IV of Shakespeare's "The Tragedy of King Richard the Third." He's on the battlefield about to take a tumble. He's in power, but alone.

The end came soon enough for Richard, the reviled (and occasionally revered) English monarch, on Aug. 22, 1485, at the Battle of Bosworth. After the battle, a group of friars buried Richard, naked, and with no marker or any other identifying papers. They jammed his skull into the grave so hard that it sat crooked against the wall of the shallow grave some 20 miles (32 kilometers) or so from the battlefield. Later on, someone built a parking lot over the king [source: Burns].

Thanks to the skeletal evidence, radiocarbon dating and a mitochondrial DNA match, archaeologists concluded in February 2013 that the remains unearthed in the parking lot a year before were those of Richard. Later, the researchers from England's University of Leicester even were able to discern that the king had a bad case of roundworm. The king was 32 when he died at Bosworth, the last battle of the War of the Roses, which ended with Henry the VII taking the throne [source: Ford and Smith Park].


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