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Nicolas Copernicus

Human remains excavated in a cathedral in northern Poland are very likely those of the Renaissance astronomer Nicolas Copernicus, archaeologists working in the cathedral said.

The remains of a 70-year-old man were dug up near the altar of the cathedral in Frombork where Copernicus held the office of canon.
A police laboratory in Warsaw used the skull to make a virtual reconstruction of the man's face which resembled portraits of Copernicus, a key figure in the scientific revolution of the 16th century with his heliocentric theory of the solar system.
Archaeologists said a scar on Copernicus' head visible in a portrait corresponded to a mark near the eyebrow on the skull.

"It is very likely that it is the skull of Nicolas Copernicus... Our starting theory, according to which canons were buried at the time near the altar of their church, has been confirmed" - Jerzy Gassowski of the Institute of Anthropology and Archaeology in the central Polish town of Pulutsk, who is directing excavations in the cathedral.

Copernicus, who lived from 1473 to 1543, developed the heliocentric theory which took account of the orbit of planets round the sun.
His best known work, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, was published a few days before his death and in 1616 was condemned by Pope Paul V as being contrary to the Biblical Scriptures.

(Ed- BTW, it was Tycho Brahe who had a artificial gold nose. He had a rather rowdy youth, and at one point his nose was cut off during a duel.)


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