Scientists have confirmed the authenticity of a blood sample said to be from the French king.
King Louis XVI of France was sentenced to death by beheading in Paris on January 21, 1793. After the deed was done some of the people dipped their handkerchiefs in to his blood. Now scientists believe they have identified a sample of this blood which had been kept for centuries as a souvenir within a dried squash.
To prove the origins of the blood, scientists extracted DNA from it and found that it revealed a likely match to someone of Louis' description. To further cement this, the team also compared the DNA with that taken from the mummified head of Louis's 16th-century predecessor, Henri IV. "This study shows that (the owners of the remains) share a genetic heritage passed on through the paternal line," said forensic pathologist Philippe Charlier.
"Researchers have been trying for years to verify a claim imprinted on an ornately decorated calabash that it contains a sample of the blood of the French king guillotined in Paris on January 21, 1793."
View: Full article
Discuss: View comments (8)