Ashifa Kassam “Remains of Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, 'found in convent'” http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/mar/17/don-quixote-author-cervantes-remains-identified
Born near Madrid in 1547, Cervantes had requested to be buried in the modest redbrick convent after the religious order helped secure his release from pirates. When he died in 1616 – just a year after publishing the second part of Don Quixote: The Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha – records show his wish was granted. But the exact location of his burial place was lost after the convent was rebuilt in the late 17th century.
During their search, researchers identified 33 alcoves where the bones could have been stored. Their quest began to look less quixotic earlier this year when part of a casket bearing the author’s initials was found in the convent’s crypt*4.
They had hoped the search would be guided by clues from the author’s life, such as the loss of the use of his left hand when he was 24 and the fact that he had taken at least one bullet to the chest. On Tuesday, Prado*5 said that no bones had been found bearing these traits.
Instead, based on historical and archeological evidence such as the age of the bones and remnants of clothing, the team said it was confident that some of the bones belonged to Cervantes and his wife, Catalina de Salazar.
Prado, who spent more than four years trying to find funding before Madrid city council said it would foot the cost of the search, said he was thrilled. “It’s an enormous satisfaction. The searching has been tiring – I feel as if I’ve arrived at the end of a long hike.”
DNA testing would now be carried out in an attempt to confirm the findings, said forensic anthropologist Francisco Etxeberria*6. But he had little hope that the tests would yield any concrete results as no descendants of the author have been located. “Right now, we don’t have any DNA possibilities to compare to.”
The team said it would now be up to Madrid’s city council and the convent’s nuns – the youngest of whom was 82 when the search began – to decide on how best to honour the author’s remains. Officials are hoping to open the crypt to the public for the first time in centuries to mark the 400th anniversary of Cervantes’s death.
*1:Mentioned in http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20050601 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20080225/1203905841 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20081218/1229567061 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20101205/1291525921 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20140825/1408943394 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150302/1425270419
*3:See Ashifa Kassam “Search for Cervantes' lost remains: team to begin sweep of Madrid convent” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/25/search-cervantes-lost-remains-sweep-madrid-convent-radar-equipment-don-quixote
*4:See Agence France-Presse “Casket find could lead to remains of Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes “ http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/27/casket-find-could-lead-to-remains-of-don-quixote-author-miguel-de-cervantes
*5:Fernando de Prado. 歴史家。
*7:See also http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20070103/1167843999 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20090619/1245441165 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20090808/1249759989 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20100219/1266510218 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20100514/1273852011 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20100826/1282842784 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20101221/1292912515 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20110518/1305720780 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20130413/1365875653 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20141212/1418411319 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20141212/1418411319 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150220/1424439975