Archaeology Magazine

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Relics of French Kings Said To Be Authentic

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Antoine-François Callet - Louis XVI roi de France et de Navarre 1754-1793 revêtu du grand costume royal en 1779 - Google Art ProjectPARIS—Scientists say they have authenticated a blood sample said to have been taken from Louis XVI after he was guillotined in Paris on January 21, 1793. The blood was taken from a handkerchief that had been placed in a dried, hollowed squash and kept as a souvenir. DNA from the blood sample has been linked to a mummified head thought to belong to Louis XVI’s relative, the French king Henri IV. “This study shows that (the owners of the remains) share a genetic heritage passed on through the paternal line. They have a direct link to one another through their fathers,” explained forensic pathologist Philippe Charlier.