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calendar   Friday - August 09, 2013

looking for alfred the great

My outside guess is they won’t find what we all hope they might.  This won’t as easy, if I can use that word, as finding King Richard.
But hey, what’s life without hope. 

If they discover any evidence or even think they found him, that will be an exciting discovery.  The downside of course would mean more tourists crowding the high street.  Yeah, yeah.  I know.  Heck, in my better days I was a tourist crowding places also.  But now I see things thru a different lens.


Search for a Saxon king: Archaeologists hope to find Alfred the Great in an unmarked grave in Winchester

Remains of Alfred the Great are believed to lie in a grave in Winchester

A team of archaeologists have applied for permission to dig in the churchyard of St Bartholomew’s Church

Archaeologists from the University of Winchester believe the task of identifying the Saxon king will be difficult

By SARAH GRIFFITHS

Archaeologists plan to recover the remains of Anglo Saxon king, Alfred the Great, which are believed to lie in an unmarked grave in the city of Winchester.

A team of scientists have applied for permission to dig in the churchyard of St Bartholomew’s Church, where the king is thought to be buried in an unmarked grave.

The plans follow the discovery of Richard III, whose skeleton was found under a Leicester car park.

The rector of St Bartholomew’s, the Reverend Canon Cliff Bannister is working with archaeologists and the team believes they have more evidence to go on than the scientists from Leicester University did when they started trying to identify Richard III.

It is believed Alfred’s skeleton is among a collection of bones in the Winchester churchyard.

It gets a bit tricky however.
One would naturally think that a king of Alfred’s fame and standing would have been buried with much pomp and a large monument would have been built and maintained over the years.  Or a map, something that would say here rests the remains etc. After all, he is the only monarch to have the title of, The Great, before his name.

Katie Tucker, an archaeologist from Winchester University, said: ‘As far as we’re aware there are five skulls plus other bones. The most simple part will be to work out ages, sexes, and put the bones back together.’

‘The problem is, where would we get a comparative sample from? It’s a hell of a lot further to go back to trace a living descendant.’

Archaeologists from the university believe the task of identifying the Saxon king will be more difficult than the analysis of Richard III’s skeleton, as finding a living relative to provide a DNA sample will require research into a much older family trees.

The team will initially use radiocarbon techniques to date the bones and then the search for a living relative will begin if the bones date from the correct period.

I guess the bottom line would be finding a relation if that were possible. But what if the family died out?  In reading stuff, I don’t recall ever reading about a family that claimed any kinship to Alfred.  If you live over here and read about some folks in the news, maybe a duke or some aristocrat or wealthy family, very often they’re happy to inform us of a relationship to past well known figures. But I never heard or read about a family related to this king.
But that’s me.  Maybe someone else has.  Thing is, even now we aren’t hearing from anyone making such a claim.

read more


WHO WAS ALFRED THE GREAT?

Alfred the Great - Ælfrǣd in old English - was born in 848 who ruled as King of Wessex from 871 to 899

Alfred successfully defended his kingdom against the Viking attempt at conquest, and by the time of his death had become the dominant ruler in England.

He is the only English monarch to be accorded the epithet ‘the Great’.

Alfred was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself ‘King of the Anglo-Saxons’

Alfred has the reputation of a learned and merciful man who encouraged education and improved his kingdom’s legal system and military structure


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/09/2013 at 10:00 AM   
Filed Under: • Archeology / AnthropologyUK •  
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