Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Historians and archaeologists plans to reveal the true face of the creator of Don Quixote of La Mancha, known as one of the most important writers of the western literature.

The scientific project try to found the bones of Cervantes, buried in a convent in Madrid. The scientists wonder about which was the true face of the writer, only known from a picture painted by artist Juan de Jauregui 20 years after his death. The bones study also would reveal the real cause of death of Cervantes. It believes that Cervantes died of cirrhosis, because his rivals accused him of being a tippler. But the researches also say that he was very ill late in life.

An interesting tip is that Cervantes participated in the naval battle of Lepanto in 1571, where he suffered wounds on his chest and arms. Those are two things will have left some imprint on his bones. This could help to identifying the Cervantes’s bones.

The investigation has complications because nobody knows where the bones are exactly in the convent. For this reason, the experts pretend use a methodology based on geo-radar technology to search for hidden niches in the convent’s walls and to scan below ground.

This research is especially important for the field of literature, because it is about to know the true face of one of the most influential writers from the West. Also becomes important because there are still doubts about the cause of death of Cervantes, and the study of his bones certainly could give clues about that. Although, archaeologically, I think this research is more a literary fetish than a relevant problem about the past. You can judge for yourself.

If you want to read the original article, go to this link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jul/25/cervantes-bones-madrid-convent-search


  1. If chilean archaeology had those resources we could do great things! But I agree with you, this kind of projects are more like a fetish...
    See you right now :p

  2. I keep stuck why the thought of how exact can be a portrait do 20 years after the death of the model. Anyway, see a little fetishist to me too. But maybe is important for many Hispano-American Literature lovers.

  3. I remembered discussions about the face of Christ. And I think as you mention is more of a literary fetish of a humanity problem. Although, it could know if is similar to the description of Don Quixote's face.

  4. I think it's very difficult for the archaeology or anthropology determine the faces of someone because the metod for those investigations is very incipient...