Exhuming the Medicis
The explorations of the Medici tombs in Michelangelo’s basilica of San Lorenzo (Florence, 16th-18th centuries)
In May 2016, SMATCH sponsored lectures by Professor Gino Fornaciari, of the University of Pisa in Italy, at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. and the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia, Penn. on “Exhuming the Medici: Forensic Pathology Uncovers a Dynasty’s Secrets.” Professor Fornaciari, a world renowned paleopathologist, along with a team of archeologists, pathologists and other experts employed sophisticated biomedical research technologies to investigate 49 corpses of the Medici family buried under the vaults of the Basilica San Lorenzo in Florence, Italy from the 14th century onward.The remains provide a remarkable genetic snapshot of this Florentine dynasty. Examinations of their bones and skeletal structures reveal information about their genetic makeup, eating habits, lifestyles, physical conditions and illnesses. Their findings also debunk several popular theories about the causes of death of prominent and fascinating Medici family members who ruled Renaissance Florence.By Gino Fornaciari
Division of Paleopathology, Department of Translational Research on New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa
Related reading: "CSI: Italian Renaissance"
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