Researchers from the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University reveal that King Richard III suffered from a roundworm infection.
Archeologists from the University of Leicester had discovered the remains of Richard III, who ruled England from 1483 to 1485, under a car park last year. Analysis of the remains have been carried out since then and researchers led by Dr Piers Mitchell used a powerful microscope to analyze soil samples taken from the skeleton's pelvis and skull and found the presence of multiple roundworm eggs in the sample taken from the pelvis region.
AdvertisementThey were unable to find similar contamination in the samples taken from near the skull which suggested that the eggs in the pelvis area were present due to a roundworm infection instead of any external contamination.
"Our results show that Richard was infected with roundworms in his intestines, although no other species of intestinal parasite were present in the samples we studied. We would expect nobles of this period to have eaten meats such as beef, pork and fish regularly, but there was no evidence for the eggs of the beef, pork or fish tapeworm. This may suggest that his food was cooked thoroughly, which would have prevented the transmission of these parasites", Dr Mitchell said.