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Swords, Cutting and Military History

Richard III Killed by Sword Thrust Upwards Into Neck

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via Discovery News

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King Richard III was killed by a sword thrust from the base of the neck all the way up into his head, according to researchers at the University of Leicester who have located a major injury in the interior surface of the skull.

Guy Rutty of East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit, based at the University of Leicester, spotted the fatal wound while examining the skull of the last Plantagenet king. At that moment, video producer Carl Vivian was chronicling the investigation for a University of Leicester series of films.

“During filming, professor Rutty noted a small traumatic lesion on the interior surface of the cranium,” osteologist Jo Appleby said.

Rutty linked that lesion to marks on the vertebra and an injury to the base of the skull.

“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,” Rutty said.

Lining up with one another, the three injuries provided evidence for the direction of the blow and the depth to which the weapon had penetrated the skull.

The sharp force trauma was probably inflicted by a sword or the top spike of a bill or halberd.

The blow would have caused hemorrhage, injury to the brain or air embolus, leading to death within a short time.

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