In 1959, an inexplicably well-preserved lung was found in a stone sarcophagus in the Basilica of St. Denis, Paris, France. Since then, researchers have often wondered just how the lung of the 6th century Merovingian Queen Arnegunde had withstood the passage of time so well. Now, an international team of researchers has found a somewhat surprising explanation.
The remains of Queen Arnegunde were found in 1959 by the archaeologist Michel Fleury. Along with the skeleton and preserved lung were a strand of hair, jewelry, and several fragments of textiles and leather. A gold signet ring, with the inscription "Arnegundis" showed that the remains belonged to the Merovingian Queen Arnegunde (c. 515/520-580) - one of the six wives of King Clotaire I (c. 497 – 29 November 561), and the mother of King Chilpéric I (c. 539 – September 584).