Fatal wounds on the back and base of skull (injuries 4-6)

Discovering the fatal blow

4. Small penetrating wound on the top of the skull

A sharp blow from a pointed weapon such as a rondel dagger on the crown of the head had enough force to split the inside of the skull, leaving two small flaps of bone pushed inwards.

Small penetrating wound on the top of the skull

Small penetrating wound on the top of Richard III's skull

Small penetrating wound on the top of Richard III's skull

5. Large hole underneath back of skull

The largest injury is this hole where part of the base of the skull has been completely sliced away. This could only have been caused by a large, very sharp blade wielded with some force. Whilst it is not possible to prove which kind of weapon caused this injury, it is consistent with a halberd or something similar. An injury like this would have been fatal.

Large hole underneath back of and on left base of Richard III's skull 

Large hole underneath back of Richard III's skull

6. Wound on left base of skull

A second potentially fatal injury, is a jagged hole in the lower left side of the skull (i.e. the right side of the skull). A sword or similar bladed weapon has been thrust through the bone. Close examination of the interior of the skull revealed a mark opposite this wound, showing that the blade penetrated to a depth of 10.5cm. There is also a corresponding cut mark on the atlas vertebrae.

Wound on left base of Richard III's skull

See the other injuries to Richard III's skeleton