Philippe Charlier, a physician and anthropologist, is known for his forensic research into some of France’s most famous dead.

From the NYT:  GARCHES, France — The plastic vial with the red top is Henri IV. The one with the blue top is the never-crowned Louis XVII.

Diane de Poitiers, the favorite mistress of Henri II, sits in a squat translucent vial a few inches away. Then there is Charles III, one of the Carolingian kings, locked in two black wooden file cabinets.

Their remains are the passion — or perhaps obsession — of Philippe Charlier, France’s most famous forensic sleuth.

A 34-year-old medical doctor and anthropologist, he conducts autopsies on bodies brought to the Raymond Poincaré University Hospital in the Paris suburb of Garches by morning and teaches at Paris Descartes University by afternoon. In between, he investigates the illnesses and deaths of the rich and powerful who made French history.

He refers to these subjects as his patients, and he prides himself on using the same rigorous methods as he would on current forensic cases. “Whether it’s Joan of Arc or a hand the police bring in from the Seine, it’s equally important,” he said.

But Dr. Charlier does not confine himself to his closet of a laboratory at the hospital here. He writes books, makes television documentaries and does radio broadcasts to popularize his findings, which has earned him the title of “Indiana Jones of the graveyards.”  Lisez l’article ici.