Richard III Discovered

The ‘Richard III Discovered’ Exhibition arrives from University of Leicester and will be hosted by NUI Galway as part of the 20th Galway Science and Technology Festival in partnership with British Council Ireland. The discovery of King Richard III’s skeleton has been the scientific detective story of the decade. Special guest of the Galway Science and Technology Festival Dr. Turi King, Professor at University of Leicester, a passionate communicator of science will recount the story of a most ambitious Grey Friars project which led to the discovery of the remains of King Richard III in 2012.  The Galway Science and Technology Festival is part of the SFI National Science Week.

richard iii exhibition

The exhibit led by Dr. Turi King shows how science and technology was used to discover a body that had been lost for 500 years during an archaeological dig under a council car park in Leicester which led to the identification through DNA of King Richard III’s skeleton. This event presents a fantastic opportunity to learn how the combination of genetics, genealogy, archaeology, history, forensics and some real-life CSI (crime scene investigation) was used in solving an historical detective story of a missing body.


‘NUI Galway is thrilled to host this wonderful exhibit and team as part of the Galway Science & Technology Festival. The Exhibit shows how a team of historians, archaeologists, geneticists and engineers solved the puzzle of finding remains that could be that of the Richard III, King of England, and then confirming that they were using genetics and genealogy. I look forward to hearing details on what myths about Richard III may be de-bunked from analysis of his skeleton and genome. The Exhibit is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in science, archaeology, history and drama,’ commented Dr. Donal Leech, Professor, Physical Chemistry and Dean of Science, NUI Galway.


The team of scientists from University of Leicester including Dr. Turi King, genetic analyst and Mathew Morris, MA ACIfA
Project Officer, University of Leicester Archaeological Services, will talk through their work to find and identify the king who had been lost for 500 years. The exhibition consists of a display panel, a 3 D replica of the skeleton of Richard III and a full suite of medieval armour.


Not only will members of the public have the opportunity to meet the Richard III team and find out first-hand about the momentous discovery from start to finish, there will be an array of other exhibits exploring everything from cancer cells to plasma rockets.


Children and adults alike can also take part in other interactive elements of the stand, which include:

  • Learn about the inheritance of segments of our own DNA
  • A dice game to show the probability of the skeleton found being King Richard III
  • A full suit of armour and medieval weaponry
  • Children’s fun activity sheets
  • Free wristbands to take away


richard III skeleton

‘It’s a great detective story and a really good way of showing how science can be applied to real-life problems. The kids seem to really enjoy seeing the skeleton – I think because most kids will never have seen one (albeit a fake one) before’ – Dr Turi King.


The ‘Richard III Discovered’ exhibition runs for three days, details as follows:


Friday 24th November 4pm in the O’Donoghue Centre Theatre – Talk by Mathew Morris


“Richard III: The king under the car park”. The discovery of King Richard III’s remains during an archaeological excavation in 2012 was a world-wide sensation; a 500 year old missing persons case bought to life through modern archaeological and forensic investigation. In Richard III: The king under the car park, Mathew Morris, one of the lead archaeologists on the Grey Friars Project, will reveal how this amazing discovery was made; examining the background to the project, showing how archaeologists knew where to look and what was found during the excavation, and taking a close look at how forensic scientists were able to successfully identify 500 year old skeletal remains as Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England (d.1485).
Friday 24th November commencing at 10am – students from secondary schools will be facilitated in groups of 20 for a twenty minute visit to the Exhibition.


Saturday 25th November the exhibition will be transferred to Galway Shopping Centre and will be open for public viewing from 10am to 4pm.


Sunday 26th November the exhibition will return to the O’Donoghue Centre in NUI Galway for the Galway Science & Technology Exhibition day and tickets will be released in advance to attend the exhibit on Saturday 18th November from 11am on


Sunday 26th November at 1pm in the new Human Biology Building in NUIG, as part of the Exhibition Day, Dr. Turi King will present ‘King Richard III, Life Death and DNA’ an insightful lively interactive talk about her involvement in the discovery. Families and members of the public are welcome to attend and tickets are bookable free of charge and will be released online from Saturday 18th November at 11am

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