Medieval Radio Blog

Alas, the Mona Lisa… I knew her, Horatio!

Some researchers in Italy are excitedly announcing that they may have, at last, found the bones of the real life Mona Lisa who posed for Leonardo da Vinci back in the 1500s.

They found some fragments in a convent where she is thought to have retired after a brilliant career of sitting around, smiling in a knowing way that hinted at something that we can’t quite put our finger on…

Sadly, her skull has not made it to our time.  If it were still around, the researchers could do a sort of forensic reconstruction to try to identify her (by comparison with the painting).  But absentmindedly, she seems to have misplaced her own skull over the course of the intervening centuries since her death in 1542.  Worse still, researchers can’t compare her DNA to that of her relatives because their bone fragments got all watery and now they aren’t good for DNA samples.  So let that be a lesson to all y’all.  If you want your DNA samples to stay fresh, keep the bones in a dry place, like where you keep your contact lens solution!

Anyway, we ought to be very excited about the direction this research is taking, and it forms a reminder that Ars is longa, but Vita, sadly, is a wee bit brevis.

Check the link!



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