Scientists believe they may have discovered the remains of an 11th century queen of England in the 'first royal mausoleum' discovered at Winchester Cathedral.
Scientists from the University of Bristol have been assessing 1300 human bones from the Hampshire cathedral with the aim of matching the remains with the names of eight kings, two bishops and one queen whose names are on six mortuary chests.
The researchers believe that some of the remains may belong to Queen Emma of Normandy who died in 1052 in Winchester.
The conservation project was launched in 2012 and three years later, radiocarbon dating carried out by experts from the University of Oxford confirmed the bones were from the late Anglo-Saxon and early Norman periods.
The team of biological anthropologists from Bristol have since been attempting to assess whether the bones related to the historical burial records.
Twenty-three partial skeletons have been reconstructed which is more than the remains of 15 people thought to have been contained in the chests.
Professor Kate Robson Brown, who led the investigation, said: 'We cannot be certain of the identity of each individual yet, but we are certain that this is a very special assemblage of bones.'
A cathedral spokesman added: 'These discoveries could place Winchester Cathedral at the birth of our nation and establish it as the first formal royal mausoleum.'
© AAP 2019