The sarcophagus of Bishop Pal Jonson, who died more than 800 years ago, was found during an excavation in the 1950s, and geneticists are trying to examine it to gain greater knowledge about the lifestyle in previous eras.
The sarcophagus of a Catholic cleric who was bishop of Iceland from 1195 to 1211 and served in the diocese of Skälholt in the south of the country has been opened for a genetic study led by the National Museum and Icelandic genetics company deCODE to gain more knowledge about how people lived in previous centuries. .
The sarcophagus of Bishop Pal Jonson, who died more than 800 years ago, was found during an excavation in the 1950s, and his remains were then transferred to a small wooden box inside the sarcophagus.
Yesterday, the heavy coffin lid was lifted for the second time, with the help of three people, and the current Bishop of Skalholt, Christian Bjornsson, said prayers out of respect for him.
“He was a ruler and a benevolent man, with a good reputation,” Bjornsson said. “He combined secularism and spirituality when he became a bishop.”
The Icelandic pharmaceutical company, deCODE, is known for using population genetics studies to identify variations in the human genome associated with common diseases.