Magdeburg excavation reveals remains of Barbarossa's adviser

Excavations at Magdeburg Cathedral have revealed the grave which experts believe is that of Archbishop Wichmann von Seeburg, a key adviser to Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbaross, who died in the late 12th century. (photo)

Extraordinary precautions were taken to protect the grave - both for the preservation of the remains and for the archaeologists. “We have to stop the corpse being contaminated by the 21st century,” said Rainer Kuhn, the director of excavations at Magdeburg Cathedral. “But we also need to protect you from whatever may be down there.”

The "astonishingly well-preserved skeleton with whisps of eyebrow hair, a trace of flesh and feet decked in stylish, gold brocaded sandals" will be reburied after tests are completed.