Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The fascinating world of mummies

The fascinating world of mummies
In the coffin of the mummy bishop a baby corpse lay the corpse is considered one of the best preserved mummies of Europe. Now scientists have discovered a dead embryo in the coffin of the Swedish Bishop Winstrup. He was hiding among herbs. In an X-ray examination of the mummified corpse of Bishop Peder Winstrup (Photo) Scientists discovered at his feet the small body of a child. It sounds like the beginning of a historical thriller. It sets the imagination in motion. It allows images arise from a desperate mother. From a forbidden love. From an unhappy birth. For now, however, are the dead baby in the coffin of a Swedish bishop of a mystery for scientists.

As the British "Guardian" reported in its latest issue, archaeologists have at a X-ray examination of the coffin the mummified corpse of the Swedish Bishop Peder Winstrup the body of a premature baby found. How did he get there?

The baby's X-ray image in the coffin of Bishop Peder Winstrup. The case is mysterious. Winstrups corpse is considered one of the most famous and best preserved mummies of Europe. His face, his blond beard, his hair - the remains are so well preserved that they resemble portraits that have arisen during his lifetime quite. His velvet cape and the leather gloves he wears, are largely intact.

His coffin in the crypt of the Cathedral of Lund was opened several times. The child's body but was reportedly never discovered.

From the 17th century numerous mummies are preserved. The researchers explain this by saying that the coffin is half-filled with herbs, under which the child was lying. Now should be checked by using a DNA test to determine whether the child is related to the Bishop.

Per Karsten, director of the History Museum at the University of Lund, considers it possible that there could be a miscarriage or an unbaptized child who was in danger in the idea of ​​time, "not being able to partake of God's grace". Like with a bishop to share the resting place since have been considered hopeful. Someone thus had the funeral of the bishop used to put the child in the coffin.

The corpse of the bishop is not embalmed - and yet so well preserved like no other. While the dead baby riddles, is the fact that the body of the clergy, including its organs is hardly westernized, probably pretty easy to explain.

From the 17th century numerous mummies are preserved, even in Germany crypts that are hardly decomposed. Often it can be shown that ensures that the body dry up a special ventilation system. One of the best known examples of such a dry mummy is the Knights of Kahlbutz in the crypt of the church in Brandenburg Kampehl.

A deathbed of juniper, wormwood, hops
The corpse of the bishop is not embalmed - and yet so well preserved like no other. The Lübeck mummy researcher Andreas Ströbl can imagine that the bodies should be deliberately preserved by the air shafts. Finally, the Apostles' Creed was not until the mid-20th century, spoke: "I believe in the resurrection of the flesh." According Ströbl therefore could have served a special preparation for the Day of Judgment the body preservation.

The scientists suspect that to Winstrups mummification also filled with herbs mat has helped, on which he was laid. It is filled with juniper and wormwood. His head rests on a pillow with hops.


Winstrup, born in 1605 as the son of a bishop and professor of theology in Copenhagen, was in 1666 one of the founders of the University of Lund, which today is one of the 100 best in the world. He spent many years in Germany, studied in Jena, Rostock, Wittenberg and Leipzig and worked as a chaplain at the court of Christian IV. Of Denmark.

Probably accustomed from infancy to prosperity, he seems to have maintained a lavish lifestyle in his last years. This suggest the investigation of his body. He apparently unlike most other people of his time consumed much sugar. It implies the state of his teeth. His ailing gall allows conclusions to a preference for fatty food plentiful. Perhaps he was also otherwise no Kostverächter.

In September, the body is to be placed back in the casket. Whether the baby may rest at the feet of the bishop again, probably depends on the results of DNA tests. If the bishop is the father that will provide historians with new tasks. And maybe even the novelists.

In 1600 the Capuchin monks in Palermo began to bury their dead in a tomb. Due to the favorable conditions in the body mummified naturally.

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