London, January 20 (ANI): A team of scientists has claimed that the oldest surviving remains of the English Royal family have been unearthed for the first time in more than 500 years.
According to a report in the Telegraph, archaeologists believe they have discovered the coffin and skeleton of Queen Eadgyth, the sister of King Athelstan and granddaughter of Alfred the Great, who died in 946.
It was thought that her actual remains were lost when they were last moved in 1510 and that a monument built in Magdeburg Cathedral in southern Germany, was a cenotaph in her honour.
But when the tomb was investigated as part of a wider research project, a lead coffin was found inside bearing her name and inside that the nearly complete skeleton of a woman aged between 30 and 40.
Queen Eadgyth, the old spelling of Edith, died aged 36.
Now, the University of Bristol are going to carry out tests on the bones to see if they can prove beyond doubt they are those of England's oldest regal ancestor.
In particular, they will try to match radioactive isotopes embedded in the bones to those found in her birthplace in England.
According to Professor Mark Horton, of the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, who is coordinating the research, "We know that Saxon royalty moved around quite a lot, and we hope to match the isotope results with known locations around Wessex and Mercia, where she could have spent her childhood."
"If we can prove this truly is Eadgyth, this will be one of the most exciting historical discoveries in recent years. It is quite a surprise to find them so much in tact. It really is an important discovery," he said.
If the researchers can prove that the concentrations of strontium in the skeleton's teeth, formed up to the age of 15, match those found in England, then it proves she was brought up there and so is most likely Queen Eadgyth.
Queen Eadgyth was the sister of King Athelstan, who was generally considered to have been the first King of England after he unified the various Saxon and Celtic kingdoms following the battle of Brunanburgh in 937.
His tomb survives in Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, but is most likely empty.
Eadgyth's sister, Adiva, was married to an unknown European ruler, but her tomb is not located. (ANI)