British researchers identified nearly 1,400 year-old skeleton belonged to a saint lived in the middle Christianity 7th century.

The skeleton discovered more than a decade ago in a church in Kent county is most likely the remains of one of Britain’s first saints. She was the granddaughter of Ethelbert, the first English king to convert to Christianity. St. Eanswythe is the patron saint of the coastal town of Folkestone. She founded the earliest religious order in England around 660, passing away a few years later when she was in her early 20s.

Researchers removed the skeleton from the church alcove. Photo: Guardian

In 1885, workers remodeling St. Mary’s and St. Eanswythe’s churches near the port of Folkestone found a lead box containing the remains of a cavity. The box could be hidden to avoid being destroyed under the Reformation. Because the skeleton is only half left, until January this year, after funding from the National Heritage Fund, researchers can set up a temporary laboratory in the church to identify the dead. .

Preliminary analysis indicated that the skeleton belonged to a woman between the ages of 17 and 20, showing no signs of malnutrition, most likely with a high status. The team sends a tooth and leg bone to Queen’s University in Belfast for carbon dating. Tests confirm the death of the deceased in the middle of the 7th century.

“We still need to work more to understand the full meaning of the discovery. But the project represents a wonderful connection between archeology and history. This is the only remains left from the family.” Kentish royal family, “said Andrew Richardson, a researcher with the Canterbury Archaeological Trust.

The discovery was announced at an event at St. Mary’s Church and St. Eanswythe on the evening of March 6. The researchers will conduct DNA analysis, preservation and display of skeletons.


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