Scientists Open 850-Year Old Coffin Holding Murdered King In 1160

A “very special occasion,” as a cathedral chaplain calls it, happened when Swedish researchers opened an 850-year-old coffin containing the remains of the country’s King Erik IX, who was murdered in 1160 and later made a saint.

According to Fox News, scientists plan to study the bones of the ruler, King Erik IX, who is also known as King Erik the Holy, because very little is known about him. Through DNA testing and X-ray scanning of the remains in the 850-year-old coffin, the scientists hope to learn about his health, ancestry (some researchers think his father is English), his diet, and where he lived. It seems there’s a longstanding disagreement over whether the king was from Uppsala, where he was killed and laid to rest, or the west coast of Sweden.

The scientists may also learn more about the king’s death just by careful observation of his collarbone. Apparently, there seems to be evidence of a sword strike in that area, as the chaplain stated:

“Legend has it the bone damage was a fatal blow from when he was killed on ascension in 1160. Others think he was taken captive and beheaded a week later. Either way, the sword hit his collarbone, and the marking is quite visible.”

The crown, which was found with the remains of the 850-year-old coffin, will be on display to the public for the first time. It will go on exhibit at the Uppsala Cathedral along with relics from other local churches, as stated in a report by Newser.

Skull In Hand

In related news, scholars of ancient Egypt had a new pharaoh to study when archaeologists from the University of Pennsylvania pieced together a skeleton from a location generations of tomb robbers had plundered. The new pharaoh was named Woseribre Senebkay, and he ruled from about 1650BC to 1600BC. They also believe Senebkay lived into his mid to late forties and stood about 5′-10″.

Luckily for the scientists studying the remains in the 850-year-old coffin, they don’t have to worry about missing pieces. Not to mention, this discovery isn’t anywhere as shocking as when a boy allegedly found a mummy in his grandmother’s attic, as reported here on The Inquisitr.

Right now, studying of the remains in the 850-year-old coffin are just underway. Not much has been released to the public, but the exhibit will be taking place this coming June.

[Images via Bing]