Friday, December 17, 2010
Stabbed, Beheaded, Lost, Found
Credited with ending the wars between Catholics and Protestants,
French King Henry IV was perhaps one of France’s most popular
monarchs. His popularity, however, would not prevent his assassination
in 1610 by a devoted catholic, Francois Ravaillac, who slashed the
king’s throat when his coach was stuck in traffic. His body was buried
with other kings, but would eventually be dug up by revolutionaries
who chopped off his head and through it in a pit.
For several centuries the head’s location was unknown until it
resurfaced in 1919 and was auctioned off. However, identifying the
head has remained impossible until recently. Using modern day
technology and techniques such as radiocarbon dating and forensic
science, researchers have determined the head is definitely Henry’s.
Using the same techniques it may now be possible to identify the
remainder of the bodies in the basilica of Saint Denis. King Henry’s
head will be returned to the basilica sometime next year.
by Liam S., Period 8