Archaeologists on hunt for remains of Alfred the Great
The next great mystery of where a king is buried could be solved as archaeologists try to find the grave of Alfred the Great.
An application has been made to exhume and study bones believed to lie in an unmarked grave at St Bartholomew Church in Winchester, Hampshire, to find out if they are the legendary Saxon king, who is said to have burnt the cakes on the Somerset Levels at Athelney before going on to defeat the Danes.
It is thought the grave may hold the bones of Alfred after a possible earlier burial of the king under the nearby ruined Hyde Abbey was dug up in the 19th century.
The University of Winchester is seeking permission from a diocesan advisory panel of the Church of England which will consult English Heritage. A judge will make a final decision.
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Scientists analysed the skeleton of Alfred’s granddaughter in Magdeburg, Germany to get DNA but that proved unsuccessful, Dr Tucker said, so experts will rely on radio carbon dating to get proof.