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A Grave Story

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

Len of the Chilterns

Len of the Chilterns Report 26 Jan 2010 22:00

In the BBC this week, a research team from Bristol University may have found the remains of the oldest member of the English royal family- in Germany.

Despite dying in 946 Queen Eadgyth’s bones made it to their final location in Magdeburg Cathedral, Germany in 1510. The skeleton they believe to be hers was of a female aged 30-40 and was wrapped in silk and in a lead coffin with her name on it.

Queen Eadgyth was the granddaughter of Alfred the Great and the brother of King Athelstan, who is widely considered to be the first king of England after unifying several Saxon and Celtic kingdoms following the battle of Brunanburh in 937.

Eadgyth married the Holy Roman Emporor Otto I in 929 and they went onto live in Saxony and have two children. The direct descendants of this couple ruled Germany until 1254 and formed many of the royal families that followed throughout Europe.

To give more certainty to the find, the team from Bristol hope to prove her identity by tracing the isotopes in her bones back to Wessex and Mercia, where archaeologists believe she could have spent her childhood.

Professor Mark Horton, of Bristol's department of archaeology and anthropology, said: "If we can prove this truly is Eadgyth, this will be one of the most exciting historical discoveries in recent years."