FOUND: A Baby Buried With a Bishop 350 Years Ago - Atlas Obscura
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FOUND: A Baby Buried With a Bishop 350 Years Ago


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. 

Bonus finds: A 12,000-year-old puppy, a missing lionthe largest outdoor pot farm ever discovered in Virginia

Every day, we highlight one newly lost or found object, curiosity or wonder. Discover something unusual or amazing? Tell us about it! Send your finds to sarah.laskow@atlasobscura.com.