As it turns out, they didn’t. I posted on the story back in July, with the team reporting that they had found the final resting place of Lisa del Giocondo, the model for Leonardo’s Mona Lisa. Wellllll… not so much, it turns out.
Archaeologists who found the remains in July, earlier thought it to be of Lisa Gherardini. She was widely deemed to be the subject of the painting Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. Now archaeologists have clarified that they dug up the wrong body.
“The ledgers kept by the nuns of this convent tell us that, presumably, the remains exhumed today are those of Maria Del Riccio, a wealthy woman who (died) in 1609,” lead archaeologist Silvano Vinceti told the media at a press conference.
Lisa Gherardini was the wife of a rich silk merchant of Florence. She is believed to have died in 1542 and was buried at a Florentine convent. Vinceti’s team has so far found skeletal remains of four female bodies, including Ricco’s, at the convent.
However, Vinceti believes that they might be very near to digging up the body of Gherardini if they dig deeper from below where Riccio’s remains were found.
“The method of burial used by nuns during this period – stacking graves one above the other – suggests that Mona Lisa herself could be right here underneath the grave that contained Del Riccio,” Vinceti was quoted as saying by Italian news agency ANSA.
Better luck next time.