HISTORIAN Stuart Morris is hoping the bones will shed more light on when Vikings were first believed to have arrived on the British Isles at Portland in 787.

He said Anglo Saxon chronicles have shown that on their arrival the Shire Reeve, or sheriff of Dorchester, travelled to Portland to meet and trade with the Vikings but was killed.

And Mr Morris is hoping the discovery of the bones on the Ridgeway might reveal what happened when the Shire Reeve met them.

He said: “If those skulls have been proved to be Viking skulls it would raise the possibility that if the reeve from Dorchester came down, perhaps the Vikings followed him back and there was a battle on the Ridgeway.

“It’s very interesting and warrants further investigation.”

Mr Morris is hoping the archaeologists will be able to identify if there is a mixture of locals and Vikings.

He added: “Apparently, the teeth can give a lot of information about where they lived and where they were born and what they used to eat.

“If there are some locals and some Vikings they should be able to distinguish quite clearly between people from the Nordic countries and those which were born locally.

“I’m not an expert and it will be very interesting to find out what they report. It's a fascinating story.”

Mr Morris said Portland Museum had a sword found locally that was believed to be a Viking sword but it was stolen in the 1970s.