Was He Murdered or Was He Not?-Part II: Multi-Elemental Analyses of Hair and Bone Samples from Tycho Brahe and Histopathology of His Bones

Jan Kučera, K. L. Rasmussen*, Jan Kameník, M. Kubešová, L. Skytte, C. Povýšil, V. Karpenko, Vladimir Havránek, Petr Velemínský, N. Lynnerup, J. Brůžek, Jiri Smolík, Jens Vellev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Hair and bone samples procured from the remains of Tycho Brahe were analysed by several analytical techniques. In segmented hair samples, concentrations of Fe, As, Ag and Au at the tips exceeded values for the contemporary population; however, they decreased towards the hair bulbs, similarly to Hg, indicating that recent exposure that was discontinued ~2months prior to Brahe's death. Several other elements did not follow this pattern. Analyses of bones revealed signs of long-term exposure to Au, while many other elements were within expected ranges. Histopathological examination of bone sections yielded no signs of severe bone metabolic disorders.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArchaeometry
Volume59
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)918-933
ISSN0003-813X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Bone histopathology
  • Bones
  • Hair
  • Time trends
  • Trace elemental analysis
  • Tycho Brahe

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