1000 Year-Old English Queen Found in Germany

Thursday 17th, June 2010 / 12:51 Written by
1000 Year-Old English Queen Found in Germany

Remains that have been buried for a millennium of an old English queen have been uncovered in a German cathedral.

Bones discovered in Germany have been identified as the oldest remains ever found belonging to the English Royal Family.

The 1000 year-old remains of Alfred the Great’s granddaughter Eadgyth (pronounced ‘Edith’) were excavated from a tomb in Magdeburg cathedral back in 2008, and her identity is now confirmed.

Eadgyth, coffin, English queen, saxon queen

Forensic analysis of the bones has discovered Eadgyth ate a large quantity of fish and enjoyed horse riding. As a young girl she lived with her father, King Edward the Elder, in the south of England before being married off to the Holy Roman Emperor Otto 1 in 929 AD.

Eadgyth and Otto, English queen, saxon queen

After moving to Saxony, Queen Edith gave birth to two children – a girl (Liutgarde) and a boy (Liudolf) – before dying at the ripe old age of 36.

Scientists used a range of advanced techniques to determine who the bones belonged to. Isotope analysis of the bone material indicated a high-protein diet – a sign of nobility – and teeth were analysed to show the geographical locations she had lived in.

DNA analysis of the remains, found wrapped in a silk sheet in a lead coffin, proved to be unfruitful as they had been poorly preserved in the tomb.

Eadgyth, coffin, English queen

The name ‘Queen Eadgyth’ on the coffin was also a handy initial clue.

Eadgyth, coffin, English queen, archeologists

The bones were studied by a huge team of biologists, archaeologists, forensic scientists, art historians and specialists in medieval textiles. Project director Professor Herald Meller, quoted in The Daily Telegraph, said the findings demanded “some exceptional science.”

He added, “It is incredible that we have been able to do this using the most recent analytical techniques.”

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