The heart of King Richard I, nicknamed “Richard the Lionhheart,” has been preserved in a lead box since it was discovered by an historian during excavations in 1838. Richard’s heart, by now disintegrated into powder, was recently analyzed by a team of scientists hoping to provide insight into the post-mortem processes used during the period of Richard’s reign, 1189 – 1199.
The analysis was done with the help of Agilent’s 6890 gas chromatograph and 5973 mass spectrometer, combined with an array of other bioanalytical techniques.
The scientific forensics team used a range of bioanalytical approaches to show that the heart had been embalmed and mummified. Their results also suggest that the aim was to preserve the tissues, with materials inspired by biblical texts, including frankincense, daisy, mint, mercury and lime.
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