Do-gooder or scoundrel – in the wake of the early February announcement that the skeleton found beneath a parking lot in central England is that of King Richard III, how much does it matter? After all, he reigned for only two years and died more than a half-millennium ago at the age of 32.

There’s also the question of how much a long-buried skeleton can tell us about the person’s actions and behaviors back in the 15th century, said Jesse Spohnholz, associate professor of European history. “While the bones confirm that he suffered wounds in battle and also resolve the puzzle of where he was buried, they are silent when it comes to telling us how he reigned.”

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