Heart of Richard I scientific study

1 Mar 2013, 11:39
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Heart of Richard I scientific study

Scientists analysed the remains of the mummified heart of King Richard I, known as Richard the Lionheart. The King died in 1199 and was presumably injured by a poisoned arrow, which led to sepsis and gangrene.


Richard's heart was buried separately in Rouen, his entrails - in Chalus, the rest of the body - in Fontevraud Abbey, BBC reports.


Now when only powder has left (the heart had been in a lead box until 1838 when it was excavated) Dr. Philippe Charlier and his colleagues conducted a toxicological analysis of dust and microscopic tests of the remains.


Regarding the theory of the death by poisoned arrow, scientists have not found any signs of particular toxic substances that could be used as poison.


The sample contained dust of poplar and bell flowers suggesting that king died at the end of April, May or in the early June.


Embalming technique that involves usage of spices, incense, and plants helped to preserve the remains. Perhaps, that's why the analysis also revealed some traces of myrtle, chamomile, mint, and lime in the dust.

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