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What the skull of Richard III revealed about his anxious life

Tuesday, February 05, 2019
What the skull of Richard III revealed about his anxious life

Do you remember when, in 2012, researchers and archaeologists found a skeleton under a car park in the city of Leicester? The remains were believed to be Richard III, the Plantagenet king who was killed at the battle of Bosworth in 1485. 

Researchers say the skull and jaw of the last English monarch to die in battle were badly damaged, lending support to reports that the blows that killed him were so heavy that it drove the king’s crown into his head.

What they also conclude is that Richard III may have been as anxious and fearful as William Shakespeare portrayed him – he ground his teeth with stress.

Dr Rai, a general dental practitioner in London who wrote a paper for the British Dental Journal, said the monarch’s teeth and jaw showed signs of rudimentary signs of medieval dentistry while some of the teeth showed signs of decay from a diet rich in carbohydrates and sugar.

Surface loss on a number of back teeth and upper right teeth suggest he also suffered from stress-related bruxism, or teeth grinding.

Whether this was because he was wracked with guilt over the fate of the Princes in the Tower, who he is accused of murdering to assume the throne, may never be clear.

For more detail on the analysis of Richard III’s skull and jaw, read the full article in The Telegraph.

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