Great post on Richard the Lionheart’s heart.

A Writer's Retreat

It is the year of Richards. First we learned that it is indeed King Richard III’s skeleton found beneath a car park in Leicester, and now Richard the Lionheart’s embalmed heart has been analyzed, the report now available in the journal Nature (nature dot com). Here’s the abstract:

During the Middle Ages, the partition of the cadaver of the elite members was a current practice, with highly technical treatment given to symbolic organs such as the heart. Considered mostly from a theoretical point of view, this notion of dilaceratio corporis has never been biologically explored. To assess the exact kind of embalming reserved to the heart, we performed a full biomedical analysis of the mummified heart of the English King Richard I (1199 A.D.). Here we show among other aspects, that the organ has been embalmed using substances inspired by Biblical texts and practical necessities of desiccation. We found that…

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