Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Joan of Arc relics revisited

More on the article published in Nature about the discovery that relics thought to have been belonged to Joan of Arc are in fact parts of an Egyptian mummy:
"Relics advertised as being remains of St. Joan of Arc are no such thing and may in fact be parts of an Egyptian mummy, Nature magazine reported on Wednesday. The magazine quoted French researchers who analysed the relics and found they did not appear to be the burnt remains of anyone from the 15th century, but in fact dated to more than 2,000 years ago. A vanilla smell suggests natural decomposition, not burning, the magazine quotes Philippe Charlier, a forensic scientist at Raymond Poincare Hospital in Garches, as saying. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431 in Rouen. The so-called relics were discovered in 1867 in a jar in the attic of a Paris pharmacy. The Roman Catholic Church formally recognised them and they are kept in a museum in Chinon, France, that belongs to the Archdiocese of Tours. They include a blackened human rib, a cat's leg bone, some black chunks and a fragment of linen. Cats were often embalmed in ancient Egypt, but were also sometimes burned at the stake with accused witches in medieval Europe."
See the above for more details.

The full article is available to subscribers, or for purchase on Nature's website:

1 comment:

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