New insights into the lifestyle of Richard III

Posted by pt91 at Aug 17, 2014 12:10 AM |
Chemistry analysis of the King's remains reveals changes in his diet and where he lived
New insights into the lifestyle of Richard III

Professor Jane Evans from the British Geological Survey undertakes a laboratory analysis of a tooth.

A new study by the British Geological Survey in association with researchers at the University of Leicester has uncovered fascinating new details about the life and diet of Richard III by analysing the chemistry of his bones and teeth.

The research examines the changes in chemistry found in the teeth, the femur and the rib, all of which develop and rebuild at different stages of life.

The teeth, which form in childhood, confirmed that Richard had moved from Fotheringay castle in eastern England by the time he was seven. Examination of the femur, which represents an average of the 15 years before death, showed that he had moved back to eastern England as an adolescent or young adult, and had a diet that matched the highest aristocracy.

The rib, which only represents between 2 and 5 years of life before death, indicated a significant change in diet that reflects Richard’s short reign as King. In addition, the bone chemistry suggests he was drinking more wine during this time reinforces the idea that food and drink were strongly linked to social status in Medieval England.

More insights into the diet of Richard III will be featured in a new Channel 4 documentary entitled 'Richard III: The New Evidence' which will air tonight (17 August) at 9:00pm. The film also features archaeologist Richard Buckley, who led the archaeological dig at the Grey Friars site; Professor Bruno Morgan from Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, discussing recently published work on the exact nature of the King’s curvature of the spine; and Dr Richard Thomas talks about Richard III’s diet and how that may have affected him especially in his later life.

  • 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.