University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Freak rain storm drowned skeletons

Hard work of staff and student assistants saved the day

A cloudburst that dumped two months of rain on the inner city in two hours on 2 July also swamped the Æbelholt skeleton collection at the University’s Medical Museion.

The collection of 600 skeletons from the medieval Æbelholt monastery’s ruins stored in the cellar all turned out to be waterlogged after the 30 centimetre surge of water into the museum’s yard and cellars finally had subsided.

»I drove in there right away and immediately set to work getting the boxes up from the cellar,« Head of Collection Ion Meyer relates. »The boxes were up against the door. And so we had to open the door slowly, taking one piece at a time, all the time making sure that each set of skeletal remains, was separate from the rest«.

See University Post article: New stories from old bones.

Still staggering

By the next day, a Sunday, 20 staff and student assistant colleagues were hard at work, packing the bones so that they can dry slowly.

Now they are in special cardboard boxes, and in crates, meticulously separated.

Figuratively speaking, the Medical Museion is still staggering from the wave. All museum services have been put off for the next six months. There is one piece of good news. Ion Meyer can assess now, that there has been hardly any damage to the Æbelholt skeletons.

See a photo gallery of the Æbelholt skeletons: here and here.

Stay in the know about news and events happening in Copenhagen by signing up for the University Post’s weekly newsletter here.