New 3D representation of Richard III’s spine

Posted by pt91 at May 30, 2014 09:05 AM |
Academic paper in The Lancet reveals exact nature of King’s curvature of the spine
New 3D representation of Richard III’s spine

Professor Bruno Morgan watches as Dr Piers Mitchell makes final adjustments to the 3D Model of Richard III's spine.

University of Leicester scientists and multimedia experts have created a 3-D model of Richard III’s spine, based on findings in a new academic paper. The paper, published on Friday 30 May, gives the complete picture of the king’s scoliosis for the first time.

This means that web users around the world can use their mouse to rotate 360 degrees around the representation of the late king’s spine – showing that the king suffered from scoliosis, or a sideways curvature of the spine.

Hold down your left mouse button and drag the pointer left or right to rotate the model:


Crucially, the visualisation reveals how the king’s spine had a curve to the right, but also a degree of twisting, resulting in a “spiral” shape.

The visualisation is based on research carried out by a team of researchers led by University of Leicester osteoarchaelogist Dr Jo Appleby, of the University’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History.

The findings are set out in The scoliosis of Richard III, last Plantagenet King of England: diagnosis and clinical significance in the Lancet.

The work was carried out by Jo Appleby, Osteoarchaeologist in the University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History; Professor Bruno Morgan, forensic radiologist in the University of Leicester's Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine; Professor Guy Rutty and Alison Brough, of the East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit, based at the University of Leicester; Dr Piers Mitchell, University of Cambridge; Claire Robinson, University Hospitals of Leicester; and Professor Russell Harris and David Thompson, Loughborough University.

  • The Dig for Richard III was led by the University of Leicester, working with Leicester City Council and in association with the Richard III Society.  The originator of the Search project was Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society.