Digs & Discoveries July/August 2012

(Courtesy Manuel Janosa and Archäologischer Dienst Graubünden)

Archaeologists working at Chur Cathedral in eastern Switzerland are trying to confirm that they have the remains of Jürg Jenatsch, a seventeenth-century preacher-turned-traitor. During the Thirty Years' War, Jenatsch was a Protestant political leader and fighter who later switched to the Catholic side, after which he was murdered during Carnival in 1639, supposedly by a man dressed as a bear. The remains thought to be his were first exhumed and examined in 1959. At the time, it was found that they bore the mark of the ax blow thought to have killed Jenatsch, as well as clothing consistent with a seventeenth-century nobleman. Now the skull will be scanned for facial reconstruction and DNA from the teeth will be compared with that of descendants of Jenatsch's cousin.