Peder Winstrup
Human Mummy
2F39D70300000578-0-image-a-15 1449750621730
Biographical Information
Name(s) Peder Winstrup
Age 74
Sex Male
Status bishop
Height unknown
Culture Lutheran
Date(s) 1605-1679
Site Lund Crypt
Current Location
Location Sweden
Catalog #

Peder Winstrup (1605-1679) was born in Copenhagen Denmark.  He was a Bishop of a prominent Lutheran church. He died after a long battle with illness.  He graduated from the University of Copenhagen in 1633, and assigned royal chaplain to King Christian IV in 1635.  He received a doctorate in theology in 1636, just two years before being appointed as bishop of Lund in 1638.  He was caught in between the lengthy dispute of Denmark and Sweden.   He remained bishop until his death at age 74.  He was an architect, a scientist and had his own book printing.    


In June 2015, Winstrup’s grave was relocated from the Lund crypt to the northern tower, but was also examined for research at that time.  It was very well preserved.  Through the use of CT and x-ray technology, facts about his burial were revealed.  The body did not undergo embalming, the body dried out naturally and included all of his organs within him.   The clothing was almost perfectly preserved.  He was wearing leather gloves and a velvet cape.  A fetus was discovered underneath his feet, a common burial practice for babies at that time period.  The baby was most likely the result of a miscarriage and was approximately 5 months old.  It is unknown if the fetus is biologically related to Winstrup but it was speculated that the fetus was illegitimate and someone took advantage of the bishop’s burial to give it a respectable Christian burial.


This mummy was one of the most well preserved bodies from the 17th century.  It gives a detailed glimpse into the lifestyle of the wealthy at that time period. Research showed much detail about his living conditions as well as details of his death.  He had a high fat and sugary diet, a rarity at the time.  This caused him to develop type 2 diabetes as well as a significant amount of tooth decay.  He died likely due to tuberculosis and pneumonia, which was seen in the large amount of sinus fluid revealed during and x-ray.  It was discovered that Peder suffered from many current ailments such as diabetes and arthritis, plaques and gallbladder problems.

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