Winstrup was bishop of the Churches of Sweden and Denmark in the 17th century.
Archaeologists were given the chance to study his remains in 2012 and were shocked to find a five or six month old foetus buried between the bishop’s legs.
This type of burial isn’t unusual in terms of archaeology if it’s associated with female remains and there are other examples at Lund Cathedral.
However, the decision to place a foetus with the bishop baffled experts.
“The foetus may have been placed in the coffin after the funeral, when it was in a vaulted tomb in Lund Cathedral and therefore accessible.
“It made us wonder if there was any relationship between the child and the bishop.”
DNA samples were taken from both the feotus and the bishop and a 25% match was found.
The two corpses share a Y chromosome that can only be passed down from a father.
We know that the bishop had one son from his first marriage who survived into adulthood.
His name was Peder Pedersen Winstrup.
The young Winstrup is not known to have had any children and the bloodline stopped with him.
The foetus may have been put in his father’s coffin as a symbolic gesture.
“The foetus of a boy placed in the coffin could thus be the grandson of the bishop.
In other news, an unearthed stone slab dating back to the Bronze Age may represent Europe’s oldest map.
Human skulls were transformed into pots and drinking cups as recently as 4,000 years ago by Bronze Age Brits.
What do you make of the foetus mystery? Let us know in the comments..
A new study claims to finally provide some answers to why Bishop of Lund Peder Pedersen Winstrup had stillborn remains placed behind and between his calves. Winstrup was bishop of the Churches of Sweden and Denmark in the 17th century. He was mummified after his death at the age of 74 in 1679 and buried…