Copernicus’ Grave Found

Copernicus

DNA matches hair found in his books…

Researchers have identified the remains of Nicolaus Copernicus by comparing DNA from a skeleton and hair retrieved from one of the 16th-century astronomer’s books.

This finally answers the question of where he was laid to rest. Copernicus was a 16th century priest and astronomer whose theories identified the Sun, not the Earth, as the center of the universe…a heretical view at the time.

According to Polish archaeologist Jerzy Gassowski, the remains were first discovered in 2005 in a Roman Catholic Cathedral in Frombork, Poland. A subsequent forensic facial reconstruction of the skull bears striking resemblance to existing portraits of Copernicus….which show a broken nose and other features that resemble a self-portrait of Copernicus, and the skull bears a cut mark above the left eye that corresponds with a scar shown in the painting (above).

Moreover, the skull belonged to a man aged around 70 — Copernicus’s age when he died in 1543.

In addition, Swedish genetics expert Marie Allen found that DNA from a tooth and femur bone matched that taken from two hairs retrieved from a book that the 16th-century Polish astronomer owned, which is kept at a library of Sweden’s Uppsala University where Allen works.

Gassowski is head of the Archaeology and Anthropology Institute in Pultusk, in central Poland, and Allen works at the Rudbeck Laboratory of the Genetics and Pathology Department of Uppsala University.

Copernicus was known to have been buried in the 14th-century Frombork Cathedral where he served as a canon, but his grave was not marked. The bones found by Gassowski were located under floor tiles near one of the altars.

from MSNBC