18 Mar 2015

Cervantes’ Remains Located in Madrid Convent

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Archaeologists and anthropologists say they have positively identified fragments from the body of literary giant who died in 1616 in Madrid.

The remains of literary giant Miguel de Cervantes have been found nearly four centuries after his death, a team of Spanish researchers has said.

“He’s there,” historian Fernando de Prado told the Guardian on Tuesday, referencing fragmented bones found in the floor of the crypt. “We know that some of these bones belong to Cervantes.”

The high-profile search for the remains of one of western literature’s most famous figures began last April, with a team of nearly 30 people peering under the soil of Madrid’s Convento de las Monjas Trinitarias Descalzas with infrared cameras, 3D scanners and ground-penetrating radar.

Born near Madrid in 1547, Cervantes had requested to be buried in the modest redbrick convent after the religious order helped secure his release from pirates. When he died in 1616 – just a year after publishing the second part of Don Quixote: The Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha – records show his wish was granted. But the exact location of his burial place was lost after the convent was rebuilt in the late 17th century.

During their search, researchers identified 33 alcoves where the bones could have been stored. Their quest began to look less quixotic earlier this year when part of a casket bearing the author’s initials was found in the convent’s crypt.

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Autopsy confirms he was killed by the blades of a windmill…


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