This dead body just rot not wait for the Last Day: The archaeologist Andreas Ströbl of the "Research Centre Crypt" has his own theories as to why there are so many body also with us who do not want to rot. Four of eleven mummies in the crypt of a church in South-East Brandenburg City Illmersdorf. On the far left, the remains of Kaspar Ernst von Normann, the builder of the church, who died in 1748. Structural features of the tomb did not let the dead rot.
Four of eleven mummies in the crypt of a church in South-East Brandenburg City Illmersdorf. On the far left, the remains of Kaspar Ernst von Normann, the builder of the church, who died in 1748. Structural features of the tomb did not let the dead rot
Who wants Andreas Ströbl reached by telephone, must try it more often. For Andreas Ströbl usually works in places to which mobile phone radiation penetrate poorly. But when you reach it, you should not be surprised to. "I stand here just between coffins," he says. "Let's talk later." It is worth it.
Andreas Strobl is an archaeologist with research focus crypt burials. He has just reburied the body of the deceased in 1714 Prince Anton Ulrich Guelph in the royal crypt in Wolfenbüttel near Braunschweig. For the first time since his death 301 years ago, the remains were taken from the coffin, so he could be restored.
Archaeologist Andreas Strobl dealing with mummies
As Andreas Ströbl opened the coffin, blew him against history. Anton Ulrich, who was referred because of its culture assiduity, his commitment to progress and education and his love of luxurious representative office as "Little Sun King", still wore the velvet jacket and the blond wig, with which he was buried.
The crypt. What is taught us from horror movies and horror stories as a place of horror, is for Andreas Ströbl a place of research and awe. With a doctorate in art historian is one of three scientists who have dedicated themselves to the "Research Centre Crypt" with headquarters in Lübeck the Sepulkralarchäologie, the burial culture. Next to him, Regina Ströbl and Dana Vick working to document modern grave chambers and mausoleums and restore the dignity of burial sites.
For the scientists are the remains that can be found in the grave chambers, not simply organic material. There are the remains of people with history and destiny and relatives who mourned her. No sight but leads them so clearly before our eyes like that of a mummified body.
Receive fingernails and eyelashes
"A skeleton is much more abstract," says Strobl. "But when you see the mummy of a little girl of about two years, the dress, the fingernails are not received, the lashes - then it becomes clear how many tears were shed by the child, how great the pain of the parents must have been . If you yourself are the father of a girl, you can feel the perhaps even more so. "
A rare sight is not a mummy in German grave chambers. But there are no clear figures. In eastern crypts alone rest according Ströbl "hundreds, perhaps thousands" of these bodies, which do not decompose. A great mystery is not for Andreas Strobl. Although grown up around some desert legends.
As for the Knights of Kahlbutz in Brandenburg. The 1702 deceased nobleman is in the local church under a pane of glass. That he does not want to rot for more than 300 years, gave up many puzzles and displaced until today shudder Funny in delight. Let him of the murder of a rival accused Ritter have argued in court that he was innocent. And if not - then let his body do not rot!
The mummy of the knight Kahlbutz in the crypt of the church in Kampehl (Brandenburg) has for centuries been an attraction. Andreas Ströbl can only smile about the alleged mystery. "About him being amazed, as if you stand in front of a serrano ham and exclaim, What a miracle! '" The Knight of Kahlbutz was an ordinary dry mummy that arise in an environment with low humidity and a ventilation system that rapid drying allows. In Europe there are thousands of them.
It is usually the mummies from the Buddhist culture that attract the great interest of the public in coming. A few weeks ago investigators discovered in Mongolia, the mummy of a Buddhist monk who should probably be sold on the black market.
He was in the lotus position, which led scientists to assert with Buddhist background, it would be a holy man who is not dead, but meditate. Last week saw a Chinese Buddha Statue stir. The scientists carried out by a Dutch study showed that there is the mummy of a monk in the statue.
For us, the Far Eastern cult of the physical sheath may be disconcerting. And the idea that the meat was not dead, but only in a particular Hibernate, all the more. But who speaks with Andreas Strobl, learns that there are also Christian explanations for why there are so many mummies in German vaults.
The mummified body of a woman from the cemetery Xiaohe in the western Chinese region Xinjian. When the Chunks around her neck is a special grave goods - by now 4000 years of cheese. It's not just about when the man rises again, if. After the death or until the Day of Judgment It is also about the question of which body he will live. "Both in Protestantism and Catholicism that is not clearly answered," says Andreas Strobl.
"Credo resurrectionem carnis", says the Apostles' Creed: "I believe in the resurrection of the body". Today in modern theology is the idea consistently that it is a transformed body, a transfigured, with the reunited soul separated from the body on the day of resurrection after death. Today we say: "I believe in the resurrection of the dead."
The commitment to the belief in the resurrection of the flesh but was still spoken up in the 60s of the last century. It had a millennia-old tradition that has unsettled and has even more, and the reformer Martin Luther even spent his own contribution to the afterlife.
Luther abolished purgatory in which the souls could purify by torment after death. For him, the dead went to the Doomsday into a long sleep. The idea of a carnal resurrection as was represented by Paul and in Revelation, was definitely the faith understanding of the early modern period.
Appreciation of the corpse
And something else brought the Reformation to be repressed or she: the cult of relics. Luther did not think much of the reverence of nails, which allegedly came from the cross of Jesus, or of teeth, allegedly pulled an apostle. Believers but perhaps were not so much that they could do without all those things. Ströbl and his colleagues can imagine, "that pushing back the relic cult has led to an appreciation of the corpse."
Were these the reasons that so many tombs were equipped with a special ventilation system and window openings between the chambers, which ensured that the bodies not decayed?
"We do not know whether the tombs of body preservation should serve", says Andreas Strobl. "But we can imagine that through the air ducts of the body should be receive believed that it will be easier on the last day with the motto:.. I'm ready."
Ströbl and his colleagues rely on their thesis, among others on a manuscript from 1710 from the Parochial Church in Berlin, which allows the conclusion that the construction of a tomb of the decay of a body should be counteracted. In fact, the lack of physical disintegration is traditionally regarded as a special grace, as a sign that they were largely a sinless man, as much as a saint at the deceased.
A mummy in CT scanners. The exhibition "Ancient live performance, New Discoveries" in London's British Museum tried to come up with the use of modern technology the secrets of thousands of years on the track. Michelangelo is said that his body still had hardly any traces of decay for many weeks after the death. 1933 body of canonized nun Catherine Labouré was found incorrupt. She now lies in a glass coffin in a church in Paris.
Under the Parochial Church in Berlin rest almost 90 mummies. All members of the Reformed Berlin upper class who could buy such a burial ground for a lot of money. Mid-90s, scientists began to look more closely into the grave chambers. In the years 2000 and 2001 Ströbl was there to document the tomb inventory. For months he typologisierte approximately 120 coffins. His doctoral thesis was on "The development of the wood coffin from the Renaissance to Historicism".
Exactly 560 dead were buried here since the 17th century in the 30 grave chambers. The special ventilation ensured that most body not decayed. But while nature the bodies largely spared, people focused on damage. For many years it was relatively straightforward to descend into the dark rooms. For decades penetrated ghouls in the vault, looking for jewelry and other valuables. There were also high-spirited, who wanted to learn the meaning of fear. Medical students, however, used parts of the dead body as Seziermaterial.
The mummy of the "new Germany"
In 1986, penetrated with black humor here unknown. They had dragged out a corpse, placed them on the steps to the monastery Underground Station and pushed her "New Germany" in the hand. Because of her red hair, and perhaps also because of their newspaper reading it soon had her name off: The Red Else.
Andreas Ströbl finds something indecent. Exhibit real human bodies - "that's unethical," he says. And Gunther von Hagens' Body Worlds "? "Hideous," says Strobl. "Revolting". Such a thing does not do. "We document, but we do not open sealed coffins," says Andreas Strobl. "Unless you need to be restored." Just as in the Guelph vault in Wolfenbüttel as Ströbl had umbetten the body of Anton Ulrich temporarily. He went on carefully. Anton Ulrich, who has always attached great importance to its representative appearance, it would certainly pleased that his wig is still sitting.