Conditions contributing to the natural mummification of corpses deposited below North Finnish churches

  1. Milton Núñez Garcés 1
  2. Tiina Väre 1
  3. Olalla López Costas 2
  4. Annemari Tranberg 1
  1. 1 Oulu University
  2. 2 Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

    Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

    Santiago de Compostela, España


Canarias Arqueológica: Arqueología-Bioantropología

Ano de publicación: 2021

Número: 22

Páxinas: 423-436

Tipo: Artigo


The tradition of burying the members of the el ite beneath the floors of North Finnish churches has resulted in a number of naturally mummified remains. The practice began during the Catholic period, continuing and even intensifying after the Reformation until it was final ly prohibited in the early 19th century. Although the combination of low temperatures and good ventilation beneath the old unheated churches of northern Finland can be seen as the primary cause of corpse preservation, there were also a series of funerary customs and traditions that though unintentional, may have also contributed to mummification. We present the results of our recent work with the mummified remains of North Finnish churches and comment on the possible role of certain cult ural and funerary traditions to natural mummification processes.