Sunday, January 08, 2006

Mystery of Mozart's Skull Continues

According to a story on ABC News the question of Mozart's skull remains unresolved. Researchers were testing DNA extracted from the skull against skeletal material that came from the graves of his maternal grandmother and a niece. They assumed this would settle the question once and for all. An unexpected problem has defeated the attempt:

Experts had assumed the remains were of Mozart's maternal grandmother and a niece. But DNA analysis showed that none of the skeletons in the grave were related, making it impossible to prove that the skull was Mozart's, Parson said.

So basically, the material from the grandmother's grave is unrelated to the material from the niece's grave and neither is related to the skull (picture below).

Which means that grandma or the niece, or both, may not be members of the Mozart family (i.e. that one, or both, of the graves are not correctly identified).