Autopsing history: The mummy of Charlemagne (c. 747 – 814 AD), father of Europe

Joachim H. Schleifring, Francesco M. Galassi, Michael E. Habicht, Frank J. Rühli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, a complete history of Charlemagne's mortal remains is outlined, including the first publication reporting on the most recent tomb opening in 1988. Besides exclusive bioarchaeological details – namely that his body was indeed mummified - a full clinical interpretation of the Emperor's final illnesses and death is given: a likely combination of osteoarthritis, gout and a recurrent fever caused by an infectious disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-17
Number of pages7
JournalEconomics and Human Biology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Charlemagne
  • Middle Age
  • Einhard
  • Aachen
  • Relics
  • mummy
  • Literature
  • disease
  • cause of death
  • Anthropology


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