Bishop Winstrup (Photo: Gunnar Menander)
Back in the 17th century, Bishop Peder Winstrup was one of the luminaries of Lund, Sweden—he was a scientist and theologian who help start Lund University in 1666. When he died in 1679, his coffin was filled with a deep layer of herbs—juniper, wormwood and hops—which helped make his body one of the best-preserved from that time. (His tufty beard is still on his mummified face.)
Recently, scientists in Lund decided to use modern technology (CT scans) to further investigate Bishop Winstrup’s remains, but when they scanned his coffin, they found a surprise, the Guardian reports. Beneath his feet, under the herbs, there was another body—a tiny baby, likely born prematurely, at just five or six months.
It was, the scientists report, “deliberately concealed under [the bishop’s] feet at the bottom of the coffin.” It’s not clear if the baby had any connection with the bishop; one theory is that the tiny corpse was snuck into the coffin, because the baby otherwise would not have been buried on Christian ground.
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