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The hunt for Miguel de Cervantes’ bones

Archaeologists in Madrid have begun a search for the remains of Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote.

The project to seek Cervantes’ bones, which lie buried somewhere in the walls or floors of a convent in central Madrid, would allow forensic archaeologists to reconstruct the face of a man only known from a picture painted by artist Juan de Jauregui some 20 years after his death.

The bones may also reveal whether Cervantes, who is believed to have died of cirrhosis and was accused by rivals of being a notorious tippler, drank himself into the grave. “They may not just help us to discover what he looked like, but also why he died,” said historian Fernando Prado.

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Story: Giles Tremlett, The Guardian | Photo: Bettmann/CORBIS

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