Michał Kokowski, On the defectiveness of the argument for...

Copernicus portrait from Academic High-school (Torun), about 1580-85Copernicus epitaph from Frombork cathedral, 1735Copernicus monument (Warsaw) by Bertel Thordwaldsen, about 1830Copernicus monument (Torun) by Fryderyk Tieck, 1850Copernicus monument (Krakow) by Cyprian Godebski, 1900Copernicus monument (Olsztyn)

On the defectiveness of the argument for the finality of the discovery of the remains of Nicolaus Copernicus.

Part 1.
Results and interpretation of historical, archaeological, anthropological and anthroposcopic research.

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The article was peer-reviewed by:

  • Professor Karolina Targosz, Habilitated Doctor in Humanities (Ludwik and Aleksander Birkenmajer Institute for the History of Science, Polish Academy of Sciences) — historical issues, Copernican iconography;
  • Reverend Zbigniew Liana, PhD (Departament of Natural Sciences, Philosophical Faculty, Pontifical University of John Paul II) — methodological issues.

Published in:
Michał Kokowski (ed.), The Nicolus Copernicus grave mystery. A dialog of experts. (2015), pp. 169–207.

This paper was published originaly in Polish in:
Michał Kokowski (red.), Tajemnica grobu Mikołaja Kopernika. Dialog ekspertów (Kraków 22–23 II 2010) (2012), pp. 177–215.


The article presents a comprehensive critique of the argument in favour of the fi nding of the remains of Nicolaus Copernicus formulated before the genetic research. The arguments based on the knowledge of historical sources are analysed here, as well as the results of archaeological, anthropological and anthroposcopic research, the comparison of the skull 13/05 and the facial reconstruction with the portraits of Copernicus, and also the iconography of Copernicus and the methodology of interdisciplinary research.

The critique leads to the following assertion: Based on the results provided by the team of Jerzy Gšssowski before the genetic research, it was not possible to have grounds to assert that the grave of Nicolaus Copernicus had been discovered with a probability of 97% or higher. Therefore, this research should be continued, in order to increase the strength of the argumentation and obtain new evidence.

Keywords: Nicolaus Copernicus, Copernican studies, iconography of Copernicus, facial reconstruction, comparison of the skull 13/05 and facial reconstruction with Copernicus’s portraits, argument of authority, methodology of interdisciplinary research.

On the defectiveness of the argument for the finality of the discovery of the remains of Nicolaus Copernicus. Part 2.

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