Procedures and Frequencies of Embalming and Heart Extractions in Modern Period in Brittany. Contribution to the Evolution of Ritual Funerary in Europe

Abstract : The evolution of funeral practices from the Middle Ages through the Modern era in Europe is generally seen as a process of secularization. The study, through imaging and autopsy, of two mummies, five lead urns containing hearts, and more than six hundred skeletons of nobles and clergymen from a Renaissance convent in Brittany has led us to reject this view. In addition to exceptional embalming, we observed instances in which hearts alone had been extracted, a phenomenon that had never before been described, and brains alone as well, and instances in which each spouse's heart had been placed on the other's coffin. In some identified cases we were able to establish links between the religious attitudes of given individuals and either ancient Medieval practices or more modern ones generated by the Council of Trent. All of these practices, which were a function of social status, were rooted in religion. They offer no evidence of secularization whatsoever.
Keywords : funeral practices
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas

https://hal-univ-rennes1.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01488026
Contributor : Laurent Jonchère <>
Submitted on : Monday, March 13, 2017 - 12:06:37 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 11, 2019 - 2:10:08 PM

Links full text

Identifiers

Citation

Rozenn Colleter, Fabrice Dedouit, Sylvie Duchesne, Fatima-Zohra Mokrane, Veronique Gendrot, et al.. Procedures and Frequencies of Embalming and Heart Extractions in Modern Period in Brittany. Contribution to the Evolution of Ritual Funerary in Europe. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2016, 11 (12), ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0167988⟩. ⟨hal-01488026⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

204