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A team of British archaeologists managed to identify remains preserved in a church in Folkestone, in the south-east of England, as belonging to Santa Eansvida, an Anglo-Saxon princess who lived between approximately 630 and 650 years and played a key role in the Christianization of Great Britain.
The remains of Eansvida
The remains were found in 1885 and since then were associated with the saint to whom the church is dedicated.
More than a century ago, where the bones came from was a matter of faithBut with the development of technology came the appropriate methods to determine it. Team leader Andrew Richardson appreciated the church's attitude in allowing researchers to study the relic.
«We could have simply said, "Friends, it's not her." I believed we had a 50% chance that it was, and many colleagues were skeptical«He explained.
However, a radiocarbon analysis allowed dating the bones to the time Eansvilda died.
The age of the person -between 17 and 21 years old- also corresponds to that of the saint, who according to sources died very young.
In addition, an osteological study showed that he did not suffer from malnutrition and his teeth were little damaged by hard foods, suggesting its noble origin.
Medieval genealogy of England
Tracing the family tree of British monarchs from the 7th century to the present day is very difficult, which does not prevent some sources from suggesting that Eansvida's father, Eadbaldo, could be the 40th great-grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II.
Regardless of the certainties about that theory, Eansvida's genetic material, who are the only ones that remain from their lineage, will shed light on medieval English dynastic history.
«Our identification of the skeletal remains of the holy Eansvida opens the possibility of use your DNA to research the ancestry of the royal dynasties of Kent and the FranksRichardson pointed out.