“There is huge historical interest in how he was killed,” said Stefan Jonsson, a material science professor at Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology and one of several researchers who want to exhume the monarch’s remains.
Karl XII, who ruled Sweden from 1697 until his death on November 30th, 1718, was shot and killed during his invasion of Norway that year.
There are several theories about who fired the deadly shot. Some historians say he was killed by a Norwegian bullet while others claim he was shot by his own side with a Swedish military uniform button that had been re-made into a bullet.
His remains have been unearthed several times in the past but his current tomb in a Stockholm church has not been touched since 1917.
“Today we have much more advanced and precise analysis methods so we should be able to examine traces on the bone fragments from around the bullet hole in the skull,” Jonsson told AFP.
“Even if there are only tiny traces we can tell their chemical composition and compare them (with suspected bullet types). It’s a kind of criminal technical investigation,” he said.
The scientists have yet to receive authorization for the exhumation.