Researchers will perform DNA tests on the seven skeletons found in the grave, and the results will then be compared with the DNA from the opening of Birger Jarl’s grave, hopefully making it easier to identify the three bodies found there.

“There’s been a lot of speculations over who is buried in Magnus Ladulås grave,” says Maria Vretermark, who is responsible for the scientific part of the project.


“We know that his wife, a grandchild and a daughter are there. But who the others are we are about to find out now.”

Vretermark works as an archaeologist at Västergötlands Museum but will now spend three weeks with some 20 colleagues examining DNA tests.

The result of the analysis may take up to 6 months. The grave of Magnus Ladulås has been opened once before, in 1915, when it was established that the king had sickly changes in his skeleton.

“With the technique we have today,” says Cretermark, “we will be able to determine what disease he suffered from.”