SJ State finds itself in possession of piece of Beethoven's skull





Researchers at San Jose State have confirmed that a chunk of bone donated to the University's Center for Beethoven Studies is in fact a part of the remains of the master.

The Center spent six years conducting forensic tests on the bone fragment, on loan from a Danville business man whose great granduncle was a doctor in Vienna.

Researchers authenticated the bone, obtained when Ludwig van Beethoven's body was exhumed in 1863, by comparing it to a strand of the composer's hair, also at San Jose State.

"When I heard about this, I could barely contain my excitement," said John Sushe, a scholar at the Center.

"To find fragments of him like this and to be able to DNA test them, which let's face it not many years ago simply was unknown, unheard of," he said, "now we might get to the bottom of these great mysteries."

Both remains had an extremely high concentration of lead, which historians have long theorized was the leading factor in Beethoven's deafness.


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