Magdeburg Cathedral bones confirmed as oldest English royal remains


King Harold Day

Confirmation that bones found in a tomb in Magdeburg Cathedral, Germany, are of  a Saxon princess, the oldest English royal remains to be found.   The bones are part of the body of the Saxon princess Eadgyth, the granddaughter of King Alfred the Great, who died more than 1,000 years ago.

The tomb where they were found was first investigated in 2009, but it was then believed the bones had been moved.   Two years ago German archaeologists opened the tomb, expecting it to be empty, but found it contained a lead box with the inscription, “The remains of Queen Eadgyth are in this sarcophagus”.   The bones were inside, wrapped in silk.

The latest techniques have been used by experts from the University of Mainz and the University of Bristol to analyze the bones and some teeth found in the upper jaw.   It was discovered they belonged to a female who died aged between…

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