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圣女贞德遗骨将被检测

2006-02-16 00:00程瑶,CRI

Scientists to Test Possible Joan of Arc Bones

    A team of scientists hopes to crack one of the layers of mystery surrounding 15th-century French heroine Joan of Arc: Could a rib and other fragments recovered after she was burned at the stake be hers?

    Eighteen experts plan a battery of tests to determine whether the few remains reportedly recovered from the pyre where the 19-year-old was burned alive for heresy —— including a rib bone and some skin —— really could have belonged to her.

    The woman warrior-turned-saint remains omnipresent in the French imagination, nearly 600 years after her ashes were thought to have been thrown into the Seine River.

    The tests, which will take six months, will not be able to say with certainty that the remains are Joan of Arc's, because there is no known DNA sample from her to compare them with, said Dr. Philippe Charlier of the Raymond-Poincare Hospital in Garches, west of Paris.

    But the analyses will determine with “absolute certitude'' if the remains could not be hers, Charlier said at a news conference.

    He said Joan of Arc supposedly was burned three times on May 30, 1431, following her trial in the Normandy town of Rouen. She initially died of smoke inhalation, according to Charlier, 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.

    The 6-inch rib bone was wrapped in a blackish substance and was “remarkably well-preserved,'' Charlier said.

    He said scientists would use DNA testing to determine whether the rib belonged to a woman. Then they will put it through other tests to determine its exact age.

    No DNA comparison can be done with possible descendants since Joan of Arc's supposed family tree is “probably false,'' he said.

    Joan of Arc was tried for heresy and witchcraft and burned at the stake after leading the French to several victories over the English during the Hundred Years' War, notably in Orleans, south of Paris.

    The illiterate farm girl from Lorraine in eastern France disguised herself as a man in her campaigns and said she heard voices from a trio of saints telling her to deliver France from the English. Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909 and made a saint in 1920.

    The supposed remains were gathered by an unidentified person and conserved by an apothecary until 1867, when they were turned over to the archdiocese of Tours.

    In 1909, scientists declared it “highly probable'' that the remains were Joan of Arc's. Given recent developments in genetic technology, the researchers at Garches decided to try again.



    最近,法国的一些科学家希望通过检测澄清有关圣女贞德的一个秘密,即确定以往发现的骸骨是否真的属于这位15世纪时的法国女英雄,她被烧死时年仅19岁。

    据美国“生活科学”网站2月14日报道,由18名专家组成的一个科学小组目前已经计划好了一系列检测,目的是查清圣女贞德当时被烧死后,在柴堆中发现的残骸到底是不是贞德的。这些残骸包括一根6英寸长的肋骨和一些烧焦的皮肤。当时这些残骸由一位不知名的人收集起来,后由一位药剂师小心收藏着,直到1867年才交给了当时的大主教管区。

    法国巴黎以西的嘎尔什市雷蒙德-庞加莱医院的医生菲利浦·查理尔说,科学家们将首先利用DNA检测技术,搞清这根肋骨是不是女人的肋骨;然后再通过其他检测来确定其主人死亡时的年龄。由于圣女贞德家族传人的真实性还有待考证,因此利用其后代DNA进行比较的检测也就无法实施。

    查理尔说:“检测工作需要6个月时间。我们无法确定这些残骸就是圣女贞德的,因为没有已知的DNA样品与之相比较。但是如果残骸不是圣女贞德的,那么医学分析会对这一否定做出‘绝对可信’的判断。”

    查理尔还介绍说,1431年5月30日在诺曼底小镇卢昂受审之后,圣女贞德按照推测应该是被施了3次火刑。第1次施刑时,贞德就因浓烟窒息而死;第2次焚烧时,她的内脏并没有被烧光;而第3次焚烧之后,除了骨灰外就没剩下什么东西了。

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