Royal Blood May Be Hidden Inside Decorated Gourd





Dating back to the French Revolution, this gourd is thought to contain the blood of Louis XVI, collected shortly after he was executed.

The research, accepted for publication in the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics, shows how genetic analysis can provide new historical evidence independent of other traditional sources of information.

The gourd, originally used to store gunpowder, was extensively decorated on the outside with a flame tool. Burned into its surface is the text: "Maximilien Bourdaloue on January 21st, dipped his handkerchief in the blood of Louis XVI after his beheading."

The handkerchief is now missing from the gourd, but Lalueza-Fox and his team identified a brownish substance on the interior of the dried squash. Biochemical tests determined that the substance was dried blood.

Lalueza-Fox recalled that the king was known for his blue eyes, featured prominently in paintings. He then got the idea of looking for the blue eyes mutation within the dried blood's DNA. The scientists found this mutation, at a gene called HERC2.....




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