Remains of 'Don Quixote' writer found in Spanish convent

The remains of 'Don Quixote' author Miguel de Cervantes have been found. Credit: Reuters/Sergio Perez

The remains of Spanish literary giant Miguel de Cervantes have been found in a Madrid convent nearly 400 years after his death.

Anthropologist Francisco Etxebarria said his team had positively identified in an excavated crypt "some fragments belonging to Miguel de Cervantes", the author of 'Don Quixote' who died in 1616.

In January archeologists searching for the writer's remains in Madrid's Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians said that they found fragments of a casket bearing the initials 'M.C.' and bones, but did not confirm if it belonged to Cervantes.

But today experts announced that bone examinations had confirmed that some of the remains were from Cervantes as well as his wife and others who were buried in the same crypt.

'The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha' was published in two parts. Credit: Reuters/Sergio Perez

Cervantes was born near Madrid in 1547. He became a soldier in 1570 and was badly wounded in battle before being captured by the Turks and kept in prison for five years.

He is widely-known as the father of the modern novel for 'The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha', which was published in two parts in 1605 and 1615.

Cervantes was buried in the convent at his request reportedly because the nuns paid for his release from prison, but his bones were lost when the building was extended a few years later.

Spanish authorities said Cervantes would now be reburied 'with full honours' in the same convent after a new tomb has been built.