Archaeologists say might have found England's King Alfred the Great

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 17, 2014 8:35 AM

WINCHESTER, England (Reuters) - A team of archaeologists said on Friday they believed they might have found part of the remains of ninth-century monarch King Alfred the Great, one of the best-known figures from early English history.

A pelvic bone belonging either to Alfred, the only English king to have the moniker "Great", or his son King Edward the Elder was identified in remains dug up at a medieval abbey in Winchester, southwest England, the capital of Alfred's kingdom.

"It's likely to be one of them, I wouldn't like to say which one," archaeologist Kate Tucker from Winchester University told a press conference.

The discovery comes less than a year after British archaeologists discovered the missing body of King Richard III, who was the last English king to die in battle in 1485, under a council parking lot in the central English city of Leicester.

Alfred ruled the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex, an area which covered much of southern England, from 871 until 899 and was famed for military victories against the Vikings who had invaded much of the north of the country.

British school children know Alfred for a legendary story that, preoccupied with his kingdom's problems following a battle, he burnt some cakes he was supposed to be watching while being sheltered by a peasant woman. Unaware of his identity, the woman scolded him for his laziness.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)