Basel, Scientists in the Swiss city of Basel have identified a mysterious mummified body after more than 40 years and discovered that the woman was a relative of British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
The corpse was identified as Anna Catharina Bischoff, who died in 1787. The woman is the great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother of Johnson, researchers said.
Her body was first uncovered in 1975 while Basel’s Barfüsser church was being renovated. It was well preserved because of a high level of mercury in the remains, the Guardian reported on Thursday.
The site of her burial, in front of the church’s altar, indicated that Bischoff was probably of high status.
The scientists extracted DNA from the mummy’s big toe and it was compared with DNA from descendants of the Bischoff line. A 99.8 per cent match was found and the relationship to the Johnson family was confirmed by records of births, deaths and marriages.
Bischoff’s daughter married Christian Hubert Baron Pfeffel von Kriegelstein, an ancestor of Johnson. Johnson is yet to comment on the discovery.