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> Analysing Jeanne D'arc
post 20 Feb 2006, 11:52 AM
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Analysing Jeanne d'Arc

French scientists are hoping to shed light into the mystery of Joan of Arc, as they are trying to determine whether the charred tissues they have really belong to France’s national heroine. Some six centuries after being burned at the stake, the scientists have some samples of ashes that were allegedly recovered in the place where she died, in the town Rouen, southern France. The only remains of the leader of the French army toward the end of the Hundred Years’ War that survive until today are fragments of charred rib and material from clothing, which are on display in a museum of the Roman Catholic Church in Tours, SW of Paris. Forensic expert Dr Philippe Charlier leads the team of 18 scientists from Raymond-Poincare Hospital, while the tests are expected to last for six months.

Putting an End to Doubts?

The 19-year-old national heroine, and later Saint, burned at the stake on 30 May 1431.

Carbon dating techniques and analysis of pollen traces will allow the team to pinpoint the age of the relics down to the exact year and month, while the human tissues will reveal the sex and age of the victim.

However, as per Dr Charlier, it will be almost impossible for the tests to reveal whether the remains belong to an historic figure. Furthermore, no DNA comparison can be done with possible descendants, since Joan of Arc’s supposed family tree is "probably false," he added.

The scientists, though, will be able to determine with absolute certitude whether the remnants they have belonged to a 19-year-old woman that was burned three times in Rouen in 1431.

Joan of Arc led the French to several victories over the English towards the end of the War (1337-1453), saying that she heard voices from a trio of saints telling her that her mission was to save her country. After being injured in battle, she was captured, tried for witchcraft and burned at the stake three times on one day. She initially died of smoke inhalation and when she was burned a second time, her internal organs were not fully consumed by the flames. Nothing was said to remain after the third cremation except her ashes. She was made a saint in 1920.

It should be noted that Dr Charlier has also cleared up other mysteries of French History. Last year, he determined that Agnes Sorel, the mistress of King Charles VII of France, died of mercury poisoning.


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post 27 Apr 2006, 11:20 AM
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So what are they trying to proove? It might be her bones? So what? Wyhat is more important is that she lived and made an impact n the world.
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post 7 Sep 2008, 12:27 PM
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Oh she made a historic impact alright. But the fact if it were her part of a rib bone, can be placed in a special historic department to put a name to the part I guess.
But I do hope people do read up about her life and how an impact even in death it has made - even now.

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