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Scientists Identify Head of France's King Henry IV

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the losing-then-finding-your-head dept.

Idle 64

JThaddeus writes "The Associated Press reports that 'After nine months of tests, researchers in France have identified the head of France's King Henry IV.' Henry was assassinated in 1610, and his head has been missing. His body was dug up and decapitated during the French Revolution. Researchers found features similar to those in royal portraits, and radiocarbon dating confirms that the head dates to the 17th Century. Interestingly, 'Perfumers on the team used their professionally trained noses to identify specific embalming substances in the mouth used to hide nasty odors.' The results have been published an online medical journal."

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Does rest in peace mean anything to scientists ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34584884)

I don't want to be dug up by scientists writing papers that nobody reads.

Re:Does rest in peace mean anything to scientists (5, Informative)

lordholm (649770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584906)

No scientists dug him up. If you RTFA, you will see that he was dug up during the French revolution and posthumously decapitated. The head was then stolen and passed along in "private collections".

The scientists found the head, confirmed that it was the dead kings missing head and, there will be a national burial of the head in a cathedral.

So, essentially, the scientists did exactly the opposite of what you are complaining about.

Re:Does rest in peace mean anything to scientists (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591728)

But what about the poor people who are losing the use of this head? Shouldn't they be offered a replacement of equal worth?

What do you do with a mumified head anyway? Open pop bottles? Ash tray? Candle holder? How far does "hey, wanna see a head" go anyway?

Re:Does rest in peace mean anything to scientists (2)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584928)

I don't want to be dug up by scientists writing papers that nobody reads.

Anonymous cowards are dug up and put on public display quite often. Do something noteworthy enough that you get a fancy tomb and you might avoid this fate. Not that the rest of us will be holding our breaths for you to accomplish anything ... we'll just be standing over at the edge of the graveyard with shovels. "Specimen of early 21st-century Homo semi-sapiens trollicus patheticus. Name unknown."

Re:Does rest in peace mean anything to scientists (1)

fbartho (840012) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585020)

You've got options: 1. Get yourself cremated (or dumped into a volcano) 2. Make sure your body is dumped in a pig farm 3. Make sure your body is diced into pieces, and then dumped at sea 4a. Don't do anything noteworthy (preferably with the above) 4b. Do something so noteworthy that you are beloved. State that you must not be embalmed, make sure they plant some real plants above your grave, and make sure there's access for rainwater and natural light in the shrine that would be your tomb. This is a tricky balancing act as you need to be naturally exposed enough to decompose, but protected enough that your fanatic fans won't disinter you for totems (like they did for saints).

Re:Does rest in peace mean anything to scientists (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34588462)

4b. Do something so noteworthy that you are beloved. State that you must not be embalmed

Lenin would tell you it doesn't work so well.

Re:Does rest in peace mean anything to scientists (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 3 years ago | (#34586654)

I don't want to be dug up by scientists writing papers that nobody reads.

If you don't read the paper, then you won't know they dug you up.

Re:Does rest in peace mean anything to scientists (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 3 years ago | (#34587988)

Why not? Are you going to be around to give a shit when it happens?

I didn't think so.

Idle (3, Insightful)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584886)

Look. Idle is supposed to be STUPID STUFF that's a waste of time. This isn't idle; it's interesting. I swear that slashdot is getting more and more idiotic every time I log in

Re:Idle (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34584940)

Then for the love of god stop logging in!

Re:Idle (0)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585022)

Good point. I never thought of that.

Re:Idle (1, Offtopic)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585024)

The admins of the site have explained that essentially the idle section was mandated by their corporate overlords. By keeping the idle section as close to a "real" story as possible without totally violating the "spirit" of idle they are in essence maximizing the # of "real" stories on slashdot.

Re:Idle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34585066)

Is that also why they make it almost impossible to read? The click-to-expand interface suddenly becomes a click-to-view-only-this-stupid-post on idle.

Re:Idle (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34588878)

Click on your title bar, delete idle. hit enter. This will then cause it to be opened as a normal story with the working controls.

Re:Idle (1)

rourin_bushi (816292) | more than 3 years ago | (#34592480)

Single best piece of advice I've read here in quite some time. Thanks, I hadn't yet figured out that it was just idle that had the screwed up controls.

Re:Idle (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585916)

Well other than the fact there is no upward limit on the number of stories that can be posted to Slashdot. They really don't need to maximize the value of idle stories.

If they really felt the way you claim about idle they could post whatever junk to it and post good stories in other sections and then we could all just filter out idle in our user prefs. Right now I don't because often idle does have stories like this one I find interesting.

Re:Idle (1)

Jay L (74152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585800)

Disagree! Everyone already knew that the King Henry IV was the head of France. No identification needed. -1, Obvious.

so... (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34587524)

you're unhappy because idle is interesting

slashdot is idiotic, because idle is NOT idiotic

and yes, i agree: i think the concept of being "idiotic" figures heavily in the formation of your opinion

I hadn't known about Henry IV (4, Funny)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584888)

He sounds like a great monarch, truly ahead of his time.

Re:I hadn't known about Henry IV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34585004)

Alas, If only he had quited with the whole "cake" business while he was still ahead.

Re:I hadn't known about Henry IV (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34586894)

Back then, the cake really *was* a lie.

Re:I hadn't known about Henry IV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34585056)

I disagree. Seems to me like he just couldn't cut it for the French people.

Re:I hadn't known about Henry IV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34585126)

But the French people could cut the big cheese.

Re:I hadn't known about Henry IV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34585424)

No, He was so stupid that he could not find his head with both his hands.

Re:I hadn't known about Henry IV (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585434)

... that joke is a capital offense.

Re:I hadn't known about Henry IV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34585970)

some might say, he was not all there, had lost his head....

Re:I hadn't known about Henry IV (1)

one cup of coffee (1623645) | more than 3 years ago | (#34586094)

You might say these scientist really know how to get a head in life.

Re:I hadn't known about Henry IV (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34588908)

I keep trying to get head, never seems to be available though...ok, my puns suck, I know.

Re:I hadn't known about Henry IV (1)

splerdu (187709) | more than 3 years ago | (#34586576)

Indeed!
He was much loved by the people, and his reforms were cutting-edge.

Re:I hadn't known about Henry IV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34590154)

I've always heard he was a bit headstrong.

Re:I hadn't known about Henry IV (1)

GregC63 (1564363) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590220)

He sounds like a great monarch, truly ahead of his time.

That is VERY funny! Chuckled out loud when I read it! Well played Daniel!

which part (2)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584924)

Henry IV part I or Henry IV part II

Re:which part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34585154)

Yes, if you cut the head of Henry IV you get two parts.

Re:which part (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34588496)

Really? Henry I and Henry V, I assume?

Re:which part (1)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585474)

This is part II. The summary mentions that his body was dug up earlier, so it was part I.

Re:which part (1)

jewens (993139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34586974)

If you put them back together do you end up with Henry VIII?

There's a headline for you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34585090)

French Kind identified by halitosis news at 11!

Perfumers on the team ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585100)

Perfumers on the team used their professionally trained noses to identify specific embalming substances in the mouth used to hide nasty odors.

I bet the brochures for "perfumers school" does not mention that particular specialty.

Next... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34585294)

...Diego Garcia.

Re:Next... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34585896)

Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia! ...better yet, bring me the plate of linguini alfredo. :-9

Perfumers? (1)

adenied (120700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585518)

Can you imagine the perfumer...

[Perfumer going about his business mixing civet urine and various fatty acids] Ah that smells lovely!

[Phone rings]

Scientist: Hi! We need your nose for some important historical work.

Perfumer: Right-o!

Scientist: So you know this guy Henry IV? Head chopped off. Lost for ages?

Perfumer to self: Oh crap.. is this going where I think it's going? I read that Süskind novel..

Scientist: Yeah well, we need you to sniff this skull we found!

Perfumer: Jerry... is that you? It's a bit early for April fools.

Scientist: No really! This is important! You can help us solve a huge mystery.

Perfumer: Well... OK [to self: pretty sure this is a set up..]

[Two weeks later]

Perfumer: 30 years in the business, dozens of successful fragrances... and here I am sniffing a skull. Oh! Myrrh!

If he had a shit, it would be smelly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34585542)

In all honesty, I would have to say that King Henry's shit would stink, but.. you all probably all knew this.

Looks like... (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585576)

... Somebody got ahead of him.

Thank God (1)

peaceful_bill (661382) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585638)

Jesus, I wish I was in the room.

Scientist 1: SIR! We've found it!
Scientist 2: long pause..."the head"....?

His shit smelly and he looks like Cowboy Neal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34585722)

Say it isn't so.

Show us your heads! (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585736)

This reminds me of the Molly Maguires ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molly_Maguires [wikipedia.org] ) , disgruntled Irish coal miners in Pennsylvania. They lopped off peoples' heads. I learned this story in high school in US history. Sometimes the severed heads were just dropped somewhere, and ended up in funeral parlors, who placed them in the window with a note, asking, "Do you know whose head this is?"

At any rate, my history teacher was at a funeral there, and asked the director about the story. He answered, "Sure, it's true, and we still have some of the unclaimed heads in the basement. Do you want to see them?"

She declined.

When a school friend heard of this story, he suggested that we drive his parents' big ole black Cadillac out there, and knock on the door, and shout, "Show us your heads!"

Re:Show us your heads! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34588456)

When a school friend heard of this story, he suggested that we drive his parents' big ole black Cadillac out there, and knock on the door, and shout, "Show us your heads!"

"Fry, remember what I told you about always ending your stories a sentence earlier?"

No DNA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34585754)

I wish the article had been more clear on why no DNA match could be made. Haven't we done DNA matches on much older samples?

Re:No DNA? (2)

Mushdot (943219) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585938)

A BBC [bbc.co.uk] article mentions that any DNA sample would be contaminated.

Good job (2)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#34586610)


I'm sure this great news will bring closure to his family.
Now they can close this dark chapter of their lives and move on.

hm.

Oh (1)

Ramirozz (758009) | more than 3 years ago | (#34586710)

I will never eat Burger King again

Re:Oh (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#34587548)

With a head the size of the Burger King, you could feed millions.

I woke up this morning... (1)

sjfoland (1565277) | more than 3 years ago | (#34587790)

and my head was missing again. It's detachable.

That's insane! (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34588252)

So these Frenchies, during the 'frenzy of the Revolution' dug up a king who had been dead a hundred years, lopped off his head, and stole it?

For the love of god, WHY?

Re:That's insane! (1)

charlesj68 (1170655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34589100)

People do stupid things. Groups of people do *really* stupid things.

Link to the BMJ paper (2)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 3 years ago | (#34589834)

Here's a link to the paper in the British Medical Journal [bmj.com] , complete with pictures!

Perfumers on the team, concerning nasty odors. (1)

purplemecha (1823386) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590534)

'Perfumers on the team used their professionally trained noses to identify specific embalming substances in the mouth used to hide nasty odors.'

400 years of hiding nasty odors, where can I get this deodorant?

Dirty jobs... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591048)

> 'Perfumers on the team used their professionally trained noses to identify specific embalming substances in the mouth used to hide nasty odors.'

Worst. Job. Ever.

Someone should send that in to Mike Rowe....

Well, I suppose... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#34596072)

We'll be seeing him on Futurama now?

Let me guess... (1)

wallsg (58203) | more than 3 years ago | (#34596498)

It was in the Head Museum between Charles de Gaulle and Leonard Nimoy?

Wrong.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34597566)

It's not his head which has been missing, it's the rest of his body. It was exhumed and scattered in the French revolution, and someone saved the head. Poster did not read TFA!

True! Not many in the 17th century had a head. (1)

nikkipolya (718326) | more than 3 years ago | (#34707928)

After nine months of tests, researchers in France have lost their head and they went .... "Gee... Henry was assassinated in 1610, and his head has been missing. We have a head here that dates back to the 17th century. How many people in the 17th century had a head? I guess not many. The portraits show that King Henry 1V indeed had a head. So this must be his head." To put the last nail in the coffin... we will ask one of the 'Perfumers' on the team to take a sniff and if it stinks it must be King Henry IV.

And it gets published in a medical journal!

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