RESEARCHERS will reveal next month whether a skeleton found under a city centre car park is that of King Richard III.

The University of Leicester will disclose the results of tests carried out on the remains in the first week of February.

Archaeologists have said there is strong circumstantial evidence to suggest the remains are those of Richard III, who is associated with York, Middleham and Sheriff Hutton, in North Yorkshire.

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However, they did not want to make any academic decision before the skeleton was subjected to a number of tests.

DNA taken from the skeleton is being analysed and compared with that of Michael Ibsen, a descendant of Richard III's family. Radiocarbon tests and genealogical studies are also taking place.

The skeleton has also been given a computed-tomography (CT) scan, which should allow scientists to build up a 3D digital image of the individual.

From here, they hope to reconstruct the individual's face, in a similar way to the images created of King Tutankhamun from the mummy.

A spokesman for the university said: ''The University is expecting results of the series of tests in the next few weeks during which period the results will be analysed.

The skeleton, with a metal arrow in its back and severe trauma to the skull, was exhumed from a car park behind council offices off Grey Friars in Leicester in September during an archaeological dig.

Initial examinations showed it to be the skeleton of an adult male with the remains said to be in a good condition. It also had a curved spine, consistent with accounts of Richard III's appearance.