This is how Bermudo III died, the last Asturian king | Culture

This is how Bermudo III died, the last Asturian king | Culture

The guilt was of the trap. Bermudo III, king of León, raised her-or simply did not protect her eyes well-before facing alone hundreds of enemies in the battle of Tamarón (Burgos, 1037). The opposing spear entered his right eye, burst his eye socket and ripped out his upper jaw. In addition, a dozen rapier pierced the lower part of the trunk. Result: death on the spot or, at most, agony from multiple infections soon after. This is determined by the autopsy that a team of the Spanish Paleopathology Society made to his remains in 1997 and that comes back to light after the controversy of where his body is: in the royal pantheon of San Isidoro de León or in that of Nájera (La Rioja).

The medieval chronicles relate that the last king of the Asturian-Leonese dynasty of the Kingdom of León was speared, pierced and pierced with swords and daggers on about forty occasions. "Stitched to thrown," detailed the narrators of the eleventh century. However, the autopsy reduces proven casts, almost all fatal, to 16. And all because Bermudo III was riding on a saddle (Pelayuelo) faster than his hosts, so he found himself alone before the enemy (the Castilian armies of Ferdinand I). His soldiers did not have time to rescue him.

Anyway, the lack of foresight in the battle should be genetic in his dynasty, since his father, Alfonso V, also died in a siege on Portuguese territory because he took off his armor because of the heat and an arrow pierced his chest .

The final rest of Bermudo III, who died when he was only 19 years old, for what was known as The groomIt is very controversial. The cities of León and Nájera are vying to be the depositaries of their remains, since they have their respective graves in some impressive royal pantheons, a controversy that has rescued the forensic work of Professor María Encina Prada Marcos and Francisco Etxeberría Gabilondo.

Josetxo Mínguez, of the Tamarón Cultural Association, and an expert in the battle, recalls that the San Isidoro Museum, where the pantheon of the kings of León was located, required the presence of 24 experts and forensic experts in 1997 to put in order the " hodgepodge "of bones in which the royal cemetery had become. They were given only 15 days to finish their work.

The imbroglio begins when the French in 1808 converted the crypt of San Isidoro (whose frescoes are considered the Sistine Chapel of Romanesque) into a stable. The real stone sepulchres of the monarchs of León were descerrajados to the search of the pieces of gold that were in them and turned into troughs for the mounts. "The bones", indicates Maria Encina Prada ", were accumulated in a corner and transferred to another church in 1865, although they later returned to the pantheon, many were lost in the transfers, especially the small ones. "

Therefore, the experts required by the museum, the first thing they did was to fit the existing ones as if it were a puzzle to recompose the bodies, but without knowing with certainty who each skeleton corresponded to. Except one It was a young man, between 1.70 and 1.74 meters, whose war wounds fit perfectly with those of Bermudo III. "It is very possible that it is, but we can not say it one hundred percent until DNA tests are done," says Prada. "But it is true that the results make Bermud III compatible."

Sepulcher of Bermudo III, on the left, and of his father, Alfonso V, in San Isidoro de León.
Sepulcher of Bermudo III, on the left, and of his father, Alfonso V, in San Isidoro de León.

The doctors report details the injuries. Among them, a 23 mm throw on the hip (post morten), another one in the same place of 11 millimeters, a longitudinal incision of 17, an oblique sword in the front part of the femur, another in the back, a cut of 10 millimeters in the cheek that "cuts the malar bone" and the mortal one: "an inciso-punzante wound of 47 millimeters of length" in the "internal face of the right orbit" that "leaves its imprint on the parietal and on the upper jaw and breaks the wall".

The body, unlike others, was not modified because its death occurred in the midst of the high temperatures of August and the "natural processes of putrefaction" accelerated due to "the extensive foci of bruises and serious injuries that facilitated the entry of pathogenic microorganisms, favoring and accelerating the cadaveric decomposition ".

Mínguez remembers that Tamarón (30 inhabitants registered and 300 descendants spread all over the world) celebrates each year a representation of the battle in August. "We are very proud of our history and it is a way to get together every year."

The residents of this town in Burgos have compiled all the existing documentation on the battle and treasure enough files, except concrete archaeological tests of the fight. The only thing they have is a place called Carrera del Rey, which assumes that this place name is given by the battle lost by Bermudo III alone: ​​he went to death at a gallop.

And who has the true sepulcher of the king? The response of Mínguez is clear: both. "The body is in León, but the kings of those times had mausoleums built in different places. It was a symbol of his power. The important thing was not the bones, but the real sepulcher, representation of his authority. " Francisco Etxeberría intervenes: "Well, maybe, Nájera has some of his remains, because at some point in history he took something there, since we did not find them all".


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