Buried Royal Treasure
Now comes word that some of the remains, possibly of England’s greatest King have been found.
You wait centuries for the discovery of a royal body … and then two come along at once.
A year after the remains of Richard III turned up under a car park in Leicester, archaeologists have found a piece of a pelvis that could belong to Alfred the Great.
Experts are sure the fragment, excavated from the grounds of Hyde Abbey in Winchester, came from Alfred or his son Edward the Elder.
It has been kept in a box in a storeroom at Winchester City Museum since 1999, but only now have historians realised its importance.
They initially disregarded the find because it was found near other remains which were hundreds of years younger.
But carbon dating has shown the bone dates from 895-1017, which scientists believe makes it unlikely to have come from anyone apart from the father or the son.
Alfred is known to generations of schoolchildren for burning the cakes, but his rule of Wessex was hugely important.
The king, who died in 899, held back the Viking invaders, established the foundations of our law codes and justice system, and safeguarded the English language and Christian religionHis son Edward the Elder, who ruled until 924, continued his work, driving the Danes north and unifying the kingdoms of Wessex, Mercia and East Anglia.…
Archaeologist Neil Oliver, who will present a BBC2 documentary about the find, said: ‘To find that Alfred the Great or his direct descendant has survived, literally by the seat of his pants, into the 21st century is astonishing.
‘It overshadows the discovery of Richard III’s remains. Alfred is one of the few great kings of England that most people can name. He’s a mythologised figure, almost like Arthur.’