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Grave Exhumed in Pursuit of 16th-Century French Philosopher

Friday, November 22, 2019

Michel De MontaigneBORDEAUX, FRANCE—Human remains have been discovered in the basement of a Christian convent in southwestern France that now houses the Aquitaine Museum, according to an AFP-JIJI report. The remains are thought to belong to the sixteenth-century statesman and philosopher Michel de Montaigne, who died in 1592 at the age of 59. His body was moved several times after his death, leading to confusion over his final resting place. Museum director Laurent Vedrine said the basement tomb contained a wooden coffin bearing the word “Montaigne.” Bordeaux city archaeologist Helene Reveillas added that researchers then used a camera to look inside a lead coffin within the wooden one, and spotted a femur, a pelvic bone, and a skull. Scientists will now analyze the bones to determine the person’s sex and age at death, and look for traces of kidney stones, which Montaigne is known to have had. To read about the grave of a seventeenth-century French aristocratic woman discovered, go to "For the Love of a Noblewoman."

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