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"Astonishingly" well-preserved mummy found

Photo: Gunnar Menander

One of Europe's most well-preserved 17th century mummies has been discovered in Lund, Sweden. Researchers at Lund University now hope it will shed some light on the medical and historical mysteries of everyday life in the 1600s.

"When we opened up the coffin, it was remarkable. Inside the coffin, there was an old man who looked like he was sleeping. The preservation was astonishing", says Per Karsten, Museum Director at Lund University Historical Museum.

WATCH: Coffin opened for the first time in almost 100 years

Peder Winstrup, a bishop and prominent historical figure in Scandinavia, was buried in the crypt of the famous cathedral in Lund in 1680. Winstrup played a key role in the founding of Lund University, and was also a physics professor, architect, entrepreneur and chaplain to the Danish king. It is still unknown why his body has been so well-preserved.

The coffin was last opened in the 1920s, but no research has been done before. The body is now being moved from the cathedral to go through medical testing, such as CT scanning, X-rays and 3D-imaging, as part of a longer research project.

"At 74, he was quite old when he died. He was born in 1605 and passed in 1679 - the entire 17th century is encapsulated in his body", Per Karsten concludes.

Per Karsten, Museum Director, Lund University Historical Museum
per [dot] karsten [at] luhm [dot] lu [dot] se