If the remains are indeed Alfred's, the discovery would mark the second English king to be found in the United Kingdom less than two years. In 2012, archaeologists discovered the remains of King Richard III underneath a parking lot in Leicester. Last year, DNA testing helped confirm that the battle-scarred skeleton indeed belonged to Richard. The king's remains are set to be reburied this year.
Restless bones "Given the age at death of the individual, and the probable male identity, the plausible candidates are King Alfred, [his son] King Edward the Elder, or the brother of King Edward, Æthelweard. All were buried in the Abbey," Katie Tucker, a researcher in human osteology at the University of Winchester, said in a statement.
When the pelvis bone was initially excavated in the late 1990s, it was found near the monastery's High Altar, where only Alfred and Edward had been buried, Tucker said, citing historical records.
"The discovery of the bone in a pit dug into the graves in front of the High Altar makes it far more likely that it comes from either Alfred or Edward," Tucker said.