Karlshhamn rights reserved. After they died, the wealthiest and most prominent residents of 18th-century Vilnius, Lithuania, were interred beneath the Dominican Church of the Holy Spirit, in the center of town.
Decades later, they were joined by the bodies of Napoleonic troops who had perished while headed home to France after their defeat in Russia. The tombs were also employed by the living.
But the dead bodies inside endured—even when the Soviets tried Karlsgamn turn the hidden cellars into a museum celebrating atheism. More than half the bodies in the Lithuanian crypt quickly decomposed, leaving behind nothing but skeletal remains. But for some reason—perhaps the season of their death combined with the consistently Church in Karlshamn with mummies underground climate—other bodies dried out and naturally turned into mummies. Instead of becoming skeletons, skin survived intact and facial Latin bliss Hudiksvall Sweeden remained Karllshamn.
In fact, 23 of the crypt's mummies remain in pristine condition. Piombino-Mascali, a National Geographic grantee, put them in a CT scanner, seeking to learn more about life and health in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The mummies are just as important as those from ancient Egypt, he says, because Nsa sites Sweeden allow scientists to compare current health issues with those of the not-too-distant past. Indeed, the Vilnius mummies bear the signs of obesity and sedentary lifestyles.
Most of the corpses also showed signs of cavities in their teeth. And several clearly endured tuberculosis.
The people of Vilnius used to think the crypts were haunted, believing that many of the corpses were victims of plague, and that the disease could spread to the living. Piombino-Mascali, who has also led research on mummies in Sicilysays Southern Avesta escort work has given Church in Karlshamn with mummies residents a more realistic picture of the crypt and their own history.
Learn more about the Lithuanian Mummy Project. By Karen Weintraub.
Photo gallery by Nicole Werbeck. Here are some of Piombino-Mascali's creepiest pictures from the project.