[Goethe's skull and skeleton].Anthropol Anz. 2002 Dec; 60(4):341-68.AA
In 1970 there was a conservation of Goethe's skeleton, housed in the Fürstengruft in Weimar. This procedure was kept secret until 1999. The restoration of the sarcophagus and the conservation of the skeleton have been documented together with many photos in the so-called "Sonderakte Mazeration Goethe" (special file mazeration Goethe). In this special file there are also photos of Goethe's skull and skeleton which will be published here for the first time and analysed under anthropological and palaeopathological aspects. A short description of the skull will be given. The dentition of Goethe at the time of his death and the question of progenia in Goethe's family are discussed in detail. Data on Goethe's stature obtained from the skeleton qualify statements of Goethe's contemporaries. Among the few documented pathological changes the ankylosis of eight thoracal vertebrae (T 5-12) and five right ribs are of special interest, caused by the loss of the intervertebral discs, spondylosis deformans and Morbus Forestier. A connection between this ankylosis and the known stiff posture and stiff gait of Goethe is obviously and possibly dates back to Goethe's fortieth years of age.