Bones exhumed from unmarked grave at ‘Alfred the Great’ church

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A set of bones have been exhumed from an unmarked grave at a Winchester church where the remains of King Alfred the Great are thought to be buried. An application to open the grave was submitted by Winchester University last month, and the bones have now been taken to a secure location to prevent them from being vandalised.

A Church of England spokesman said: “Although no application has yet been made to carry out any scientific investigation, we do acknowledge that there is local interest in learning more about the remains found in this grave.”

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Melting glacier reveals 1,700-year-old tunic

A tunic, carbon dated as being from approximately AD 300, has been found at the site of a melting glacier in southern Norway. The woollen tunic is thought to be a piece of outer clothing and is just one of many garments that has been found as a result of receding ice.

Final member of the team that conquered Everest dies

George Lowe, the last surviving member of the team that first conquered Everest in 1953, has died aged 89 following a long illness. The team from Britain and New Zealand were the first to reach the summit and Lowe later also took part in the first successful crossing of the Antarctic via the south pole. A book of photographs and memoirs co-written by Lowe is to be published in May.

New Rembrandt self-portrait verified

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A painting owned by the National Trust has been identified as being by Rembrandt, experts have confirmed. The self-portrait, previously thought to have been the work of a pupil of the Dutch master, was donated to the trust in 2010 and has since been on display at Buckland Abbey, the former home of Sir Francis Drake.

Rocket engines raised from the Atlantic

Two Saturn V rocket engines have been salvaged from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean in an expedition funded by Amazon.com billionaire Jeff Bezos. Although it is currently unclear which mission the engines come from, once they have been cleaned and preserved they are to be put on display by NASA.

Mussolini’s secret bunker to be opened to the public

Photographs of Benito Mussolini’s wartime bunker have been released for the first time, as the structure is prepared to be opened to the public.The 860-square-foot bunker, whose construction the dictator ordered in 1942 due to his fears of being assassinated by the RAF, is situated under the Palazzo Venezia in Rome and was discovered in 2010 during routine maintenance work.

New website to preserve work of First World War cartoonist

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The First World War cartoons of Western Mail journalist JM Staniforth are to be digitised on a website for the centenary of the conflict next year. Professor Chris Williams, from Swansea University, will be training a team of volunteers and students to preserve and digitally scan the works.

Earliest evidence of wine-making found in Greece

The excavation of a Neolithic site in Greece has revealed the earliest indications of wine-making in Europe. The Dikili Tash settlement has been a site of archaeological interest since 1961, and the current work has been carried out as part of a joint Greek-French excavation programme. Carbonised pressed grapes and pots containing grape juice found in a house dating from between approximately 4400 and 4200 BC point to residents of the settlement making and storing wine.

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Image credits: Prunella Hatton (St Bartholomew’s Church); National Trust (self-portrait by Rembrandt)