Skeleton from medieval battlefield goes on display at York museum….
I wonder who this gentleman might have been? At over 6′, and apparently buried aside from most of the fallen, he is thought to have been high status. So…how many noblemen died at Towton? Might he be someone of consequence to the Richard III/House of York story?
Two articles about this have come to my attention. The first is http://www.culture24.org.uk/history-and-heritage/military-history/art531095-battered-soldiers-body-tells-bloody-tale-of-the-wars-of-the-roses, which has a lot of detail about the skeleton’s injuries. The second is http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/13371948.Skeleton_from_medieval_battlefield_goes_on_display_at_York_museum/, which was actually the first one I came upon.
Here is the text of the above yorkpress article:-
THE skeleton of a warrior who fought in one of England’s bloodiest battles has gone on display in a York museum.
The Richard III Experience at Monk Bar says the remains will help visitors uncover the grisly history of Towton battlefield near Tadcaster. .A spokesman said the man, aged between 36 and 45 at the time of his death, measured an impressive 6 foot 1 inches, which was unusually tall for the medieval period.
“He is thought to be of a high status, down to his height, age and the fact he was found separate from the mass graves, under the floor of Towton Hall, close to the battlefield,” he said.
“He may have lived a privileged life but that didn’t protect him on the battlefield or spare him a gruesome death, as evidence on the skeleton shows some very deep cuts acrosshis body.
“The skeleton shows some extensive injuries, he has a stab wound to his left foot, which shattered one of the bones and cut two more, does this mean he was on horseback and combatants on the ground were slashing at him from below or was this an injury caused by downward blow of a sword?”
Sarah Maltby, director of attractions for York Archaeological Trust, the owners of the Richard III Experience, said there were two wounds on the skull – an apparent weapon cut on his lower jaw but at the base of the skull a blunt force trauma has taken place, either from a blunt instrument striking the skull or a bladed weapon caused the same injury under the protection of headgear.
“It is thought that this blow to the back of the head is the fatal injury,” she said.
The skeleton display is a new addition to the ‘Commemorating the Re-Interment of Richard III’ exhibition in Monk Bar, which explores the significance of the 1461 battle of Towton on Richard’s life and the story of the re-discovery of the last Plantagenet monarch in Leicester.
The museum is open 10am to 5pm every day. For more information visit http://www.richardiiiexperience.com.
*People can watch a time-lapse video of the installation of the skeleton by going to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QapH0pAXJOE