When the bodies of saints were exhumed remarks were
often made about the "odour of sanctity" surrounding the
corpse, as opposed to the expected stench of corruption.
It is likely that the pleasant odour was the result of the
infusion of spices used in embalming.
Museum of London Specialist Services
From: [log in to unmask]
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Stone coffins
Date: 19 June 2001 22:13
Al Vining wrote:
Are there good archaeological explanations for why saints' bodies might
have been found uncorrupt? No permafrost around here as far as I know...
There are a number of possible explanations that could be advanced:
1) Divine intervention
2) Oxygen exclusion (as the St Bees Man and Henry IV)
3) Natural Mummification (as the Bleikeller at Bremen)
4) Some sort of preservatives (as Thomas More and Simon of Sudbury)
Probably more, too, but it is getting late.