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J Forensic Sci. 1989 Jul;34(4):1021-36.

The death and mortal remains of Francisco Pizarro.

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  • 1C. A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.


When Francisco Pizarro was assassinated in 1541, he was buried near the Cathedral of Lima, but was later moved into the crypt under the altar. In 1891 mummified remains were identified as those of Pizarro and placed in a sarcophagus on public exhibition. In 1977 bones were discovered in a walled over niche in the crypt. The skull was in a lead box engraved with Pizarro's name. Which remains--the bones, or the mummy--are those of Pizarro? This question and more can now be answered. This paper will give evidence of the exact wounds that Pizarro received in his final sword fight, as well as a facial sculpture of the skull now identified as that of the conqueror of Peru.

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