Anthropologists find almost complete skeletal remains in Brahe coffin

17-11-2010

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.