Archaeologists involved in the hunt for the remains of Richard III have released the first image of a battle-scarred skull which could be that of the 15th century ruler.
A photograph of the skull was released by the University of Leicester ahead of today’s announcement about the identity of the skeleton found underneath Leicester's Greyfriars car park last September.
The skeleton was unearthed in what is believed to have been the choir of the Greyfriars church, the site of which was also uncovered during a three-week archaeological dig.
According to historical records, the church was the burial site of the monarch following his death at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.
The University of Leicester released the image after months of skeletal analysis by Dr Jo Appleby, a lecturer in Human Bioarchaeology at its School of Archaeology and Ancient History, who led the exhumation of the remains.
Dr Appleby said: "The skull was in good condition, although fragile, and was able to give us detailed information about this individual.
“It has been CT scanned at high resolution in order to allow us to investigate interesting features in as much detail as possible.” Dr Appleby said: “In order to determine whether this individual is Richard III we have built up a biological profile of its characteristics.
“We have also carefully examined the skeleton for traces of a violent death.”
The university was due to announce the results of its scientific investigations in front of more than 140 journalists from across the world at 10am today.
A documentary chronicling the dig, which was also supported by the Richard III Society and Leicester City Council, will be aired on Channel 4 at 9pm tonight.
The documentary-makers were given exclusive access to the search team during the dig, and to scientific tests to determine the skeleton's identity.
• Richard III had said he wanted to be buried in York and there have been calls recently for the remains to be buried in York Minster if they are proven to be his.
• Updated: Remains confirmed as Richard III>>