Skull
© Reuters
Research on a skull fragment thought to be Adolf Hitler's has cast doubt on the circumstances of his death.
Adolf Hitler may not have died in a bunker after fresh research suggests the skull thought to be the tyrant's was from a woman.

US archaeologist Nick Bellantoni found fragments from the skull believed to be Hitler's were too thin to be from a male, and suspected it was the remains of a much younger woman, The Sun reports.

"The bone seemed very thin - male bone tends to be more robust. It corresponds to a woman between the ages of 20 and 40," Dr Bellantoni said.

DNA tests performed in a US laboratory confirmed the remains could not have belonged to the Nazi leader.

The discovery casts doubt on the exact circumstances of Hitler's death and could force history books to be rewritten.

Original accounts of Hitler's death said he shot himself in the head in a bunker after taking a cyanide tablet on April 30, 1945 as the Russian army attacked Berlin.

His remains, along with those of his wife Eva Braun, were taken from the bunker, doused in petrol and set ablaze.

A year later, skull fragments were dug up by Russian forces which seemed to confirm Hitler had shot himself in the bunker.

In 1970, the KGB cremated Hitler's remains except for the skull fragment.

Dr Bellantoni was sceptical about the theory the skull fragments belong to Eva Braun, who was with Hitler in the bunker where he supposedly died.

"There is no report of Eva Braun having shot herself or having been shot afterwards. It could be anyone. Many people were killed around the bunker area," he said.