Cause Of The Warrior King's Death Still A Mystery

2 March, 2013

Share this story:
Follow us: - Recently, a team of forensic experts meticulously analyzed the embalmed heart of Richard I of England, known as the Lionheart (Coeur de Lion in French) who ruled England and continental lands from 1189 to 99.

"We found things that we didn't expect," said Philippe Charlier, a physician and anthropologist, known for his forensic research into some of France's most famous dead.

Charlier led the team that carried out the research, after removing the king's remains from a church in France where part of his body was laid to rest.

Effigy of Richard I of England in the church of Fontevraud Abbey. Image: Adam Bishop, Wikimedia

The latest biomedical techniques were used to decipher the composition of the king's heart, and according to the researchers it's the oldest embalmed heart ever studied and, belonging to a king, certainly the most prestigious.

They found that medieval embalmers, prepared the king's body for burial by using mercury and tar-like creosote chemicals (known for their anti-septic and preservative properties) to protect the heart.

Fontevraud Abbey, France

Before the organ was wrapped in linen and placed inside a lead box, the embalmers applied frankincense, myrtle, daisy and mint having spicy-sweet aroma, so the organ was treated with the veneration reserved for a Christian relic. In 1838, the heart, already turned to powder, was rediscovered, transferred to a glass box and placed in Rouen’s Departmental Museum of Antiquities.

"The frankincense is something we have never seen until now. It is a substance whose use comes directly from divine inspiration," Charlier explained.

"It was one of the three gifts brought by the Wise Men at Jesus' birth, and it was used by Joseph of Arimathea to help preserve Jesus's body at his death. So using it is a direct reference to Christ."

The organ had been buried in one of the crypts in Rouen Cathedral after King Richard I was killed at the rebellious French town of Chalus while laying siege to the castle there in 1199.

After analyzing the compounds surrounding the heart of the warrior, it has been established that the king's organs were often separated from the rest of his body before being placed in the ground.

Richard the Lionheart succumbed to a mysterious infection while being treated for a crossbow wound.

He died 12 days later, probably from septicaemia or gangrene, but nobody has ever been able to figure out what germ infected Richard's bloodstream, causing his mysterious death at the age of 42.

His body is buried in Fontevraud Abbey in the western Loire Valley, France and according to the ancient records, Richard the Lionheart asked to be buried there, when his time came.

He was interred there, in April 1199 and today, a stone effigy of the King lies in the nave of the Abbey church at Fontevraud.

In the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud, are interred the bodies or the hearts of other great personalities like Henry II, King of England, Jeanne (Joan) of England, daughter of Henry II and Eleanor, wife of Raymond VI of Toulouse, Henry III, King of England and many others.

The cause of death of Richard I remains unclear. Several bacteria and fungi species were analyzed, but none confirming how he died.

The heart of the famous king and warrior will remain hidden from public view.


See also:
Does The Pope Resign To Fulfill St. Malachy's Enigmatic Prophecy?

Follow for the latest news on Facebook and Twitter !

Don't Miss Our Stories! Get Our Daily Email Newsletter

Enter your email address:

Once you have confirmed your email address, you will be subscribed to the newsletter.

Recommend this article:

Prehistoric Tianyuan Cave And Humans Living 40,000 Years Ago

Neolithic Houses And Hundreds Of Clay Figurines Unearthed In Greece

Archaeologists Reveal Secrets Of "Fairy City Of Pink Sandstone"

Artifacts From The Biblical Times Unearthed At Tel Motza

Odd Elongated Skull Discovered In Mexico

Subscribe To Our Space, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Earth and Xenology News!

Grab the latest RSS feeds right to your reader, desktop or mobile phone.

Subscribe to RSS headline updates from:
Powered by FeedBurner


Copyright © All rights reserved.

Advertise With Us!


 Subscribe in a reader

Join Us On Facebook!

Other Popular Articles

Secret Ancient World Buried Under The Vast Takla Makan Desert
Ancient people believed that once you entered this place there was no way out. A very long time ago, there were houses and temples here. Today, everything is buried under the sand. Precious ancient relics are hidden deep under the "Sea of Death", or the Takla Makan desert.

They Produce Water From The Air! An Amazing Invention For Those Who Really Need It!

"How can we help someone so powerful they can create water out of thin air?" an astonished Jabin yells in Star Trek's Caretaker. If you are a Star Trek fan you will remember how the Kazons try to aquire technology that can create water our of thin air. This technology is no longer in the realms of science fiction. Today we can really create water out of thin air!

Puzzling Ancient Artifacts Of Unknown Origin And Purpose

Among strange artifacts that cannot be easily explained, there is a stele located in the the German national forest, (Kottenforst Naturpark), Roisdorf, a few miles west of Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. It is a roughly square metal bar partially buried in the ground, with about 4 feet 10 inches (1.47 m) above the ground and approximately 9 feet (2.7 m) below ground.

Astounding Discovery: Gigantic Ancient Stone Structure Hidden In The Ural Mountains - It Can Only Be Seen From Space!

When you hear about the Nazca Lines, you tend to think about Peru. Perhaps you also recall the thousands of unknown structures seen from space in the Middle East that we discussed in another of our articles. As we have said so many times before: Planet Earth is still full of surprises! New, puzzling, thousands of years old giant lines that are only visible from space have been discovered in the Ural Mountains in Russia.

Do We Live In A Computer Simulation Created By An Advanced Alien Civilization?

The captivating idea that we might be living in 3 dimensional holographic simulation has been put forward by various scientists. We will explore this mind-boggling idea further and examine some intriguing questions. If we suspect that we are programmed beings living inside a simulation is there any way for us to find out if this is true? Is it possible to change the outcome of this virtual game? Who could have created this matrix and for what reason?

Spying On People Inside Building Through The Walls

Biometrics: Eye-Scanners Can Be Fooled