This morning, archaeologists at the University of Leicester, UK, announced that a body uncovered last September in a car park was in fact that of the famous king Richard III. The team revealed its find at a morning press conference, along with new photos of the body, which was found on the site of a long-buried medieval church.
The team supplied a bevy of evidence in support of its claim. The most visible sign was scoliosis of the spine, a deformity immortalized in Shakespeare’s unflattering portrait of the king. But researchers cited other pieces of evidence including the location of the burial, the fact that the body had apparently suffered numerous wounds, carbon dating and mitochondrial DNA.
The announcement is generating a lot of press coverage, but it’s sparked a twitter of discontent among scientists who are wondering why the university publicized the discovery before putting the data out for peer review:
— Victoria Herridge (@ToriHerridge) February 4, 2013
@paleogenomics Yeah! Absolutely no stats mentioned! What percentage of the population share haplotype with remains? Why no paper?
— Ross Barnett (@DeepFriedDNA) February 4, 2013