(CNN) — Researchers in Spain said Tuesday that they’re certain bones found beneath a centuries-old convent are those of “Don Quixote” author Miguel de Cervantes, according to the city of Madrid and media accounts.
“The remains are in a bad state of conservation and do not allow us to do an individual identification of Miguel de Cervantes,” the BBC quoted forensic scientist Almudena Garcia Rubio as saying. “But we are sure what the historical sources say is the burial of Miguel de Cervantes and the other people buried with him is what we have found.”
In January, researchers reported the discovery of badly damaged bones and fragments of a wooden casket bearing the initials “M” and “C” in a crypt beneath the Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians, according to media reports.
At the time, researchers said they couldn’t be sure the remains included those of Cervantes, who is widely credited as one of the most influential authors in Western literature.
But on Tuesday, according to the city of Madrid’s Spanish-language Twitter account, researchers said there were “many coincidences and no discrepancy” about the authenticity of the remains.
Forensics expert Francisco Etxeberria said that although DNA tests are planned, the mixed-up remains may never be fully identified, Reuters reported.
Cervantes died in 1616, a year after he published the second part of his most famous novel, “Don Quixote.”
The book, still read worldwide and often cited as a major literary influence, tells the story of a man enraptured by old tales of chivalrous knights who descends into a fantasy world of his own making, even fighting a windmill he believes to be an evil giant.
Cervantes will be buried with full honors at the convent after the tomb is rebuilt, the BBC reported.
The discovery comes just in time for the 400th anniversary of Cervantes’ death. City officials may try to open the site and establish it as a location for literary pilgrims, Reuters reported.