Dr. Fatima-Zohra Mokrane from the University Hospital of Toulouse made a daring statement in one of her most recent studies: French noblemen had heart diseases. She has then presented the findings of her most recent anthropologist research conducted in Rennes, France to prove her declaration.
During a recent excavation work, French researchers have come across a collection of five heart urns. These medieval objects contain the hearts of deceased noble men and women, who most likely lived 400 years ago, scientists have explained.
Thanks to the embalming material that the hearts were treated with, the organs were almost intact. Researchers used MRI and CT scans to study the structure of the hearts. They have, thus, found out that some of the hearts and their owners, respectively, had suffered of very common heart affections, such as, atherosclerosis and plaque deposits in the coronary arteries.
Scientists used to think that these diseases were common only for modern people, but the new study has revealed that French noblemen had them, too. These illnesses were found in three of the retrieved hearts, whereas only one heart was healthy and the other one was too damaged for scientists to study it.
In addition to learning the heart illnesses that ancient people used to suffer from, researchers also discovered interesting facts about their owners. One of the hearts belonged to a woman, whereas another one was most likely related to a nobleman in France.
His name was Toussaint Perrien and he was the Knight of Brefeillac. Based on the information on his urn, the man died in 1649. His heart was initially placed in the cemetery of the medieval convent of Rennes France, whereas his body was placed next to the one of his wife, Louise de Quengo, the Lady of Brefeillac.
She died in 1656, but her body remained just as well-preserved, according to the scientists, who have conducted the recent study. The custom was for the two partners to be set in the same grave as a symbol of the strong love connection they shared during lifetime.
The lead author of the current study, Dr. Fatima-Zohra Mokrane was very pleased with the results she has found. She has concluded that the research sheds light on the heart affections that humans used to have centuries ago and explains some of their most romantic practices.
Image source: www.thehistoryblog.com