Copernicus' Grave Found in Polish Church

WARSAW, Poland (AP) --Polish archeologists believe they have located the grave of 16th-centuryastronomer and solar-system proponent Nicolaus Copernicus in a Polish church,one of the scientists announced Thursday.

Copernicus, who died in 1543at 70 after challenging the ancient belief that the sun revolved around theearth, was buried at the Roman Catholic cathedral in the city of Frombork, 180 miles north of the capital, Warsaw.

Jerzy Gassowski, head of anarchaeology and anthropology institute in Pultusk, central Poland, said his four-member team found what appears to be the skull of the Polishastronomer and clergyman in August, after a one-year search of tombs under thechurch floor.

"We can be almost 100percent sure this is Copernicus," Gassowski told The Associated Press byphone after making the announcement during a meeting of scientists.

Gassowski said policeforensic experts used the skull to reconstruct a face that closely resembledthe features--including a broken nose and scar above the left eye--on aCopernicus self-portrait. The experts also determined the skull belonged to aman who died at about age 70.

The grave was in badcondition and not all remains were found, Gassowski said, adding that his teamwill try to find relatives of Copernicus to do more accurate DNAidentification.

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