The present study is an archaeological and anthropological analysis of a grave pertaining to the Únětice culture and discovered in Holubice, in the Praha-západ district. In the tomb pit the remains of an adult male laid on his right side with his lower limbs sharply bent, had been buried. The skeleton was found to be only partially preserved. Only the frontal bone (os frontale), the major part of the left parietal bone (parietale sin) and a part of the left temporal bone (temporale sin) were preserved. The preserved part of the skull presents signs of a slash trauma including a skull penetration. Even though the bones went through an advanced healing process, the wound had remained open. The nature of the injury indicates that the wound was surgically treated and loose bone fragments were removed. The injury had not been fatal and the individual lived for some time after. The discovered grave is unique not only for its unusual and highly accurately datable grave goods, but above all for standing as proof of the considerable medical knowledge of the people from the Únětice culture.
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”.