Danish and Czech researchers have just completed the first part of a project that should throw more light on the death of the 16th century astronomer Tycho Brahe. Legend has it the Dane died of a burst bladder, though tests of his hair indicated possible mercury poisoning. The scientists this week took fresh samples from Brahe’s remains, before returning them to his tomb at the Týn Church in Prague. Just prior to the reinterment, Radio Prague spoke to the head of the team, Jens Vellev.
Czech scientists have launched an unusual project that might lead them to the descendants of a medieval “vampire”. On Tuesday, they collected DNA samples from around a dozen inhabitants of Hrádek nad Nisou, where a 14th century grave had been found with a body buried in a way typical for outcasts. But the main purpose of the project is to draw attention to science, and to a new town museum that should open next year.
Specialists have suggested that human remains removed from the tomb of Tycho Brahe on Monday at Prague’s Church of Our Lady Before Týn are indeed those of the famous Danish astronomer who died under mysterious circumstances in Emperor Rudolf II’s court in 1601. Czech TV reported that experts examined the small pewter coffin from the astronomer’s tomb at the anthropological depository of the National Museum on Tuesday, finding almost complete skeletal remains as well as hair and facial hair samples. Those were first examined in 1901 – 400 years after Brahe’s death – when the coffin was first opened. The remains will now undergo new testing. Samples of the astronomer’s hair and beard taken during the previous exhumation in 1901 revealed a high level of mercury, suggesting the famous astronomer may have been poisoned. Some have theorised he could have been murdered by his collaborator Johannes Kepler or at the behest of the Danish king.
Czech archaeologists on Monday opened the tomb of the famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe at the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn near Prague’s Old Town Square. Danish scientists have requested the exhumation of the astronomer’s remains in the hope of clarifying the mysterious circumstances of his death at Emperor Rudolf’s court in 1601. They believe Brahe may have been murdered in Prague at the behest of the Danish King Christian IV. Samples of the astronomer’s hair and beard taken during a previous exhumation in 1901 revealed a high level of mercury in his remains, suggesting he may have been poisoned. If the remains are in a condition that would afford DNA samples, the casket will be transported to the anthropological depository of the National Museum for further study. The exhumation has sparked enormous media interest attracting more than 100 journalists to the Czech capital. The scientists are expected to give a news conference on Friday.
Danish and Czech archaeologists have been working to open the tomb of the 16th century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, who spent the last years of his life in Prague and is buried in a church in the city’s Old Town. The experts plan to analyze his remains to see if they can throw more light on his mysterious death.
Danish scientists are preparing to open the tomb of Tycho Brahe at a church in the Czech capital. They hope to settle a long-running dispute over what caused the death in 1601 of the astronomer, who served at the royal court in Prague at the invitation of Holy Roman Emperor and Czech king Rudolph II. Samples of Brahe’s hair and beard taken during a previous exhumation revealed a high level of mercury in his remains, contradicting a legend that he died of an internal infection after his bladder burst. Scientists will open the tomb at the Church of Our Lady Before Týn near Old Town Square on Monday and will give a news conference on Friday, when there will also be a mass conducted by the archbishop of Prague.
The Region of South Moravia is notably rich in archaeological sites, having been home to Celtic, Germanic and other tribes before the coming of the Slavs. One of the places that has been yielding more information about those peoples is the area around Pasohlávky, on the Dyje River. Archaeologists have spent years there studying the remains of a military camp built by Roman invaders in what was then the domain of the Germanic Marcomanni. This week, the scientific team working at the site announced the discovery of a wealth of objects that cast more
Archaeologists say they have found valuable evidence at excavations at a site at Pasohlávky in southern Moravia. The findings include amber, a clasp, tinder-box and many other iron objects from a camp of the Germanic Marcomanni tribe. It is clear from the finds that this was one of the biggest settlements of the tribe in Moravia and was based on trade with the Roman 10th legion during the 2nd century AD. The legion was sited at Pasohlávky to protect amber deliveries to Rome from the Baltic.
Archaeologists have uncovered a prehistoric wooden structure at the hill of Vladař near Karlovy Vary that they believe may be more than 2,000 years old. The structure was apparently part of a water reservoir that served a fortified settlement at the top of the 700m hill. Tests have found that the oak from which the structures’ beams were hewn was cut sometime after the year 463 BCE. The beams are to be preserved at the Museum of Archaeology and History in Lausanne, Switzerland, as the Czech Republic lacks an adequately equipped laboratory, and will be brought home to be exhibited a year later. Archaeologists involved in the work called it a discovery of Europe-wide, if not global, importance.
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