Many people love the story of Don Quixote, which was written by Miguel de Cervantes, and has since been turned into numerous movies and musicals. The author was born in 1547, close to Madrid, and is celebrated as the father of modern novel writing.
After his death on April 22, 1616, the search for his body has continued for hundreds of years. A team of more than 20 researchers, however, have been hunting for the famous author’s remains. It’s very possible that both Cervantes and his wife Catalina de Salazar’s graves have been discovered at the Church of the Covent of the Barefoot Trinitarians.
There, infrared cameras were used, along with 3-D scanners and some powerful ground penetrating radars on five different parts of the chapel where the scientists believe Cervantes was laid to rest. Then, finally, they discovered bones inside of a crypt niche that had the initials, M.C., made out of metal nails.
The skeletons found were not in good shape, but researchers are sure the dates match up to the deaths of Cervantes and his wife. The search for the remains corresponds to the 400th anniversary of when the 2nd half of Don Quixote was printed back in 1615. Besides these bones, there were several other skeletons in the same area of the church.
The famous author was said to have been badly injured during a battle at sea in 1571. The fight inflicted a chest wound and also damaged his hand to the point where he couldn’t use it anymore. Researchers now plan to look for any marks on the skeletons in order to determine if one belongs to Cervantes. The next stage in identifying the author’s bones is to use DNA. The genetic information will be compared with his sister’s, whose remains are identified.
If indeed the bones found this month are those of Cervantes and his wife, they will be kept buried in the chapel and a plaque will be installed that tells the world that the famous author is buried there. Cervantes was only 68 years old when he died. Some say he was a hard drinker and that he could have had cirrhosis of the liver. Other evidence suggests that Cervantes could have also suffered from diabetes. Unfortunately, during his time, this disease was not well known.