THE skeletons of two Danish inhabitants of Oxford were unearthed near Christ Church cathedral in August 1972.

Found near the western entrance to the building, the bones were thought to be nearly 1,000 years old.

Tom Hassall, director of the Oxford Archaeological Excavation Committee, described the find as 'one of the most dramatic' of its kind for years.

Workmen who were digging a surface water drain chanced upon the discovery and Mr Hassall happened to be walking past and realised their significance.

The bodies had been buried six feet below the ground on a bed of charcoal - a Scandinavian tradition.

It was only the third such discovery in the whole of the UK with other two other skeletons found in Winchester beforehand.

Danish invaders sailed up the Thames to Oxford and there was a Danish colony in the city at the beginning of the 11th century.