University of Leicester archaeologists who discovered the remains of King Richard III have created a fully rotatable computer model which shows the skeleton of the controversial monarch exactly as it was found almost four years ago in a car park.
Revealing in an immersive way the hastily dug burial of the last Plantagenet king, the interactive model was lunched on Tuesday, on the first anniversary of the procession of Richard's remains across Leicestershire and reinterment at Leicester Cathedral in 2015.
Richard III was killed in 1485 in the Battle of Bosworth, which was the last act of the decades-long fight over the throne known as War of the Roses. The king was defeated by Henry Tudor, who became King Henry VII.
Bidding Farewell to Richard III: Photos
Vilified, stripped naked, slung across a horse and paraded through Leicester, Richard's corpse was buried in a poor grave. There it remained, trashed by history until his remains were discovered in 2012.
Richard, the last English king to die in battle, was solemnly reinterred on March 26, 2015 in Leicester Cathedral following one of the most unusual royal funerals in Britain's history.
The ceremonies began on March 22 when the king's lead-lined oak coffin was carried into the cathedral after a 22-mile procession. There it stayed for three days of public viewing.
King Richard III Buried (Again): Photos
To allow everyone a detailed view of Richard III's first grave, the University of Leicester teamed up with 3D platform Sketchfab to create an accurate representation of the grave and the skeleton.
The researchers used photographs taken from multiple angles during the excavation and a sophisticated photogrammetry software.
"Photogrammetry provides a fantastic analytical tool that allows us to examine the grave from angles that would have been physically difficult or impossible to achieve during the excavation, and gives us the ability to continue to examine the king's grave long after the excavation has finished," Mathew Morris, the University of Leicester Archaeological Services site supervisor who first discovered Richard's remains, said in a statement.
Richard III Reburial: Is England Honoring a Murderer?
The interactive lets users zoom in, move around the grave and have a close-up view of Richard's remains, such as the distorted spine and the head in awkward position.
While exploring the burial, it becomes clear the grave was too short for the king and messily dug with sloping sides and an uneven base.
"This made it awkward for the burial party to lay the body out neatly in the grave. Instead, it was left slightly slumped on one side with the head propped up because it would not fit properly," the University of Leister said.
You can explore the grave site and exhume King Richard III on the Sketchfab website.