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  • Author: Petr Velemínský x
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Abstract

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”.

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Abstract

The People exhibition will be composed of several closely interconnected expositions. The first will be the mainly biological-anthropological exposition Man and His Predecessors, which will continually transform into an archaeological and cultural-anthropological exposition Story of the Prehistoric Past. A smaller exhibition devoted to diseases and their treatment will form a standalone unit. The final exposition will be dedicated to Antique arts and culture. The exposition block will encompass the most comprehensive presentation of anthropology, prehistory and Antique material culture in the Czech lands. General patterns of humans, societies and culture will be presented through the development of man and Czech and European prehistory and Antiquity. Interlinking approaches of various disciplines will form the fundament for original and current presentations of individual topics. It will offer not only interpretations and conclusions, but it will also reveal the possibilities and limits of their study methods. The ratio of presentation forms will change throughout the individual parts of the exposition blocks. The visual focal point will pass from models, reconstructions, replicas and dioramas towards the impressive power of original exhibits.