Scientists who have been searching the church of the Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians for months said that they had found a skeleton of a man and woman that might belong to Cervantes and his wife, Catalina de Salazar, Spanish media reported on Wednesday.
Researchers said they found the bones in a niche of a crypt in the church with the initials 'MC'.
The skeletons are not complete and are in poor condition, according to researchers, but an analysis to date the remains seemed to correspond with the deaths of Cervantes and Salazar.
Work began in April of last year to find his remains at the church, where the author had asked to be buried. Due to reconstruction of the church over the years, his remains had been moved and their exact whereabouts was not known.
Scientists used infrared cameras, 3D scanners and a ground-penetrating radar last year to pinpoint the five areas at the church where the author might be buried. The researchers then faced months of negotiations to obtain permits and initial reluctance by the convent's residents to let the excavation begin.
The investigation coincides with the 400-year anniversary of the publication of the second part of Don Quixote in 1615.
Born near Madrid in 1547, Cervantes is heralded as the father of the modern novel with the publication of 'The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha'.
He was buried a day after his death on April 22, 1616 – the same week that William Shakespeare died.