Archaeological research in the area of the chateau park uncovered the relic of the Gothic church of St. Elisabeth, dated to the second half of the 13th century. It is a single-nave building with a rectangular finish (length 25 m, boat width 13 m, presbytery width 10.5 m). The church probably had an older predecessor - a wooden structure on a stone foundation, dating from the mid-13th century. At the same time, the church site was a burial place: a grave of a young woman and a 1.5-year-old child, dated 13th/14th century were found outside the presbytery wall. In the presbytery, there were 3 graves of men dating back to the 14th century. It is very likely that these are the Lords of the Wallenstein family. Archaeological research in graves in the Church of St. Elisabeth unearthed a small collection of animal bone remains. The occurrence of bones of young and mature cattle and domestic fowls, which are abundant in the archaeozoological assemblage, indicates the prevailing meat consumption of these animals. The butchering marks on their bones document removal of meat from the carcasses.
Tycho Brahe, noted Danish astronomer and founder of modern astronomy died in Prague in 1691, at the age of 54, and was buried in the Church of the Virgin Mary before Týn. In 2010, at the request of Danish authorities, his remains were exhumed and an investigation into the cause of his death was undertaken, with an aim to addressing speculations of him having been poisoned. This report contains detailed information on the process of the exhumation and results of the subsequent investigation. An anthropological analysis confirmed the authenticity of the remains, that they are actually those of Tycho Brahe, and confirmed the results of an earlier exhumation, done in 1901. Physical chemistry analysis was unable to confirm a lethal or sub-lethal dose of heavy metal poison (Hg). A detailed paleopathological analysis of the skeleton confirmed that Brahe suffered from DISH (diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis), which attends Type II diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity (the metabolic syndrome). From period documents describing Tycho Brahe’s lifestyle and his last days, it seems likely that he died of complications resulting from these conditions, today described as diseases of affluence, also referred to as “Western disease”.
Adalbert Wraný (*1836, †1902) was a doctor of medicine, with his primary specialization in pediatric pathology, and was also one of the founders of microscopic and chemical diagnostics. He was interested in natural sciences, chemistry, botany, paleontology and above all mineralogy. He wrote two books, one on the development of mineralogical research in Bohemia (1896), and the other on the history of industrial chemistry in Bohemia (1902). Wraný also assembled several natural science collections. During his lifetime, he gave to the National Museum large collections of rocks, a collection of cut precious stones and his library. He donated a collection of fossils to the Geological Institute of the Czech University (now Charles University). He was an inspector of the mineralogical collection of the National Museum. After his death, he bequeathed to the National Museum his collection of minerals and the rest of the gemstone collection. He donated paintings to the Prague City Museum, and other property to the Klar Institute of the Blind in Prague. The National Museum’s collection currently contains 4 325 samples of minerals, as well as 21 meteorites and several hundred cut precious stones from Wraný’s collection.
A new record of the Midas free-tailed bat, Mops midas (Sundevall, 1843), from Saudi Arabia is presented. This new record is the northernmost occurrence point of this rare bat in Arabia (ca. 160 km NNW of the closest previous site) and also within its entire distribution range.
This work examines the historical context and implications of the accounts on nonhuman primates reported in the Histoire Naturelle des Indes, circa 1586. It is a fundamental document for the understanding of Caribbean natural history. It shows color illustrations and descriptions of different animals, including primates such as Sapajus flavius (or S. apella cf. margaritae.), Callithrix sp., and Alouatta palliata. This document offers early reports of monkeys in the circum-Caribbean region.