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The Accidental Mummies of Bremen, Germany

When Arp Schnitger, a reputed organ maker working in Germany in the late 17th century, was assigned a portion of a basement crypt of St Peter’s Cathedral in Bremen to work in, little did he expect to find the mummified remains of not one but eight residents of the German city.

The crypt is located beneath the nave of the cathedral and was originally used to store lead which was used for renovations to the roof and other structures, giving the chamber its name: Bleikeller. Either the lead or the dry air of the crypt or a combination of factors are thought to have caused the natural mummification of the corpses, some of which are thought to date back around 400 years. 

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