Often hailed by many as the father of the ‘modern novel’, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was not only a novelist, but also an eminent poet and playwright. And, now after almost 400 years of his death, researchers headed by forensic anthropologist Francisco Etxeberria, are claiming to have found his remains inside the Madrid-based church named ‘Convent of Barefoot Trinitarians’. Funded by a substantial sum of $65,000, the research team utilized specialized equipment including 3D scanners and ground-penetrating radar to analyse the church. As a fortuitous result, they stumbled across a crypt which was located 50-inches (or more than 4 ft) below the ground level – and it contained remains of 15 individuals, including five children. Among these, the historians have put forth their case for finding ‘some fragments’ of the famed author.
Interestingly, Cervantes’ own life was worthy of a novel or two – courtesy of his preliminary occupation as a soldier in the Spanish Navy infantry regiment, and his time as a prisoner inside an Algerian dungeon for almost five years. As a matter of fact, he was freed by his captors (corsairs) on receiving ransom from his parents – with the fund being arranged by the Trinitarians, a Catholic order. Later on in his life, he tasted the much deserved literary success, especially through international appreciation, with the publication of the first part of Don Quixote in 1605. Unfortunately, the second part of the novel was only published in 1615, a year just before his death when he went through some hard times.
As for the discovery in question here, the remains are reported to be in pretty poor state – with some of them being already crumbled. However, the researchers are nigh certain that this crypt had the bones of both Miguel de Cervantes and his wife. And as the post-effect of this wondrous find, there are already plans to erect a big monument dedicated to Cervantes (pertaining to his 400th death anniversary), within the confines of the church.
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