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Friday, May 09, 2008

You Mean He Wasn't a Hunchbacked Woman?

More news on the search for Friedrich Schiller's earthly remains. Neither of the skulls thought to belong to the poet was his, and the two accompanying skeletons were found to "contain bones from at least six people."

Five members of the Schiller family were exhumed in the process to provide the DNA samples for comparison. They found no matching DNA among either of the poet's supposed bodies.

They determined that the skull found by von Froriep was far off the mark. Instead of Schiller, a large man, it actually belonged to a hunchbacked woman, who through analysis of the bones and historical records they later showed was a lady of the court whom Schiller was known to have disliked while alive. The jawbone belonged to another woman entirely.

The other skull was so similar to Schiller's death mask that it confounded even contemporary anthropologists, leading one to say that it belonged to Schiller's "Doppelgänger." The fact that this close match had seven strange teeth inserted post-mortem has led one of the experts who worked on the documentary to the conclusion that it was fixed to look like Schiller's skull and that the real one was stolen. [Link]

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