MADRID, Spain - Investigators said on Tuesday they believe remains found under a Madrid convent include those of Miguel de Cervantes, the author of "Don Quixote" and considered the father of the modern novel.
Nearly 400 years after his death, the quest to find Cervantes had led Spanish scientists deep into the sub-soil of a 17th century convent. Some of bones dug up in recent months almost certainly belong to Cervantes, they said.
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"Everything coincides to lead us to believe that Cervantes is there," forensics export Francisco Etxeberria told a news conference. Investigators may never be able to guarantee with absolute certainty that it was his body, Etxeberria added, even though DNA tests will be carried out.
Cervantes — whose masterpiece about an errant, daydreaming knight and his faithful servant Sancho Panza has delighted readers around the world — had requested to be buried in the convent.
The Trinitarian religious order had helped to pay a ransom to release him from slavery after he was captured by Moorish pirates. He died in 1616, the same week as William Shakespeare, but the exact location of his tomb was lost in a subsequent rebuilding of the convent.