Reliquary May Hold Remains of Sweden’s Saint Erik
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
UPPSALA, SWEDEN—According to a press release, a team of scientists led by researchers from Uppsala University has analyzed the remains of Saint Erik, thought to be held in a reliquary since 1257. According to legend, Erik Jedvardsson was killed and beheaded in 1160, in the tenth year of his reign as king of Sweden, outside the church in Uppsala by a Danish claimant to the throne. The new study of the 23 bones in the reliquary has found that all but one of them belonged to the same man, who was between 35 and 40 years of age at the time of death, around A.D. 1160. He was well-nourished by a diet rich in freshwater fish, and powerfully built. Dents in the cranium suggest that he had one or two healed wounds, perhaps inflicted by weapons in battle. At least nine wounds from the time of death have been found, seven of them on the legs. The researchers think that the king may have been wearing a hauberk that protected his upper body at the time of his death. The remains from the reliquary also include neck vertebra that had been cut. DNA analysis of samples taken from the remains is underway. To read about archaeological evidence for a massacre in Sweden, go to "Öland, Sweden. Spring, A.D. 480."
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