French Scientist Analyzes Mummified Heart Of Richard The Lionheart

Category: Media & Culture / Feb 28, 2013 3:39PM EDT
A study by French scientists showed on Thursday (February 28) that the heart of English king Richard the Lionheart had been embalmed with special herbs and spices to make him go to heaven faster. The scientist who found the lost head of French king Henry IV's in 2010, presented the results of the first study on Richard the Lionheart's mummified heart to the media. The study, he said, showed that religious rituals had been applied to the King's heart. "He had been a bit criticized during the Crusade when he had been particularly cruel, people started to talk when he died, so very special care had to be brought to his body and especially for his heart, with herbs and spices which were not chosen by accident. We know by historic sources that those herbs and spices were used to make the time Richard the Lionheart would spend in purgatory shorter and give him a kind of odor of sanctity. So this study is almost a scientific study of an artificial odor of sanctity, a man-made one," Philippe Charlier told Reuters Television. The remains of the heart were kept locked in a sealed box, and the pollen found on the heart proved with no doubt the heart was the English monarch's. Richard the First died in 1199 in France and while his body was buried in the Fontevraud abbey, his heart was buried separately in the Rouen cathedral, some 300 kilometers away. The study was the first ever conducted on the heart remains, it is also a forensic study on the oldest heart ever. Video Source: Reuters