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World's first image of Grey Friars skull unveiled

The skull of the skeleton found at the Grey Friars excavation in Leicester, potentially that of King Richard III © University of Leicester

Today the University of Leicester, with Channel 4, has unveiled the world's first photograph of the human remains found at the Grey Friars church - which could be that of King Richard III.

The University has investigated the skull for signs of damage to the back of the head - potentially caused by battle injuries. The University released the image after months of skeletal analysis by Dr Jo Appleby, Lecturer in Human Bioarchaeology in the University's School of Archaeology and Ancient History, who led the exhumation of the remains in September 2012.

Dr Appleby said: "The skull was in good condition, although fragile, and was able to give us detailed information about this individual. It has been CT scanned at high resolution in order to allow us to investigate interesting features in as much detail as possible...In order to determine whether this individual is Richard III we have built up a biological profile of its characteristics. We have also carefully examined the skeleton for traces of a violent death."

CBA Director, Dr Mike Heyworth, said "the huge worldwide public interest in the discovery under a Leicester car park shows the crucial importance of archaeological investigations undertaken in advance of development. The physical remains of the past are fragile and irreplaceable yet potentially contain evidence of huge historical importance. We need to ensure that appropriate archaeological work is part of any development work to reveal available evidence in the public interest before it is lost forever."

The public can find more information about the Search for Richard III at the University of Leicester website.

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