Ikea bags stuffed with the remains of 80 people found in Swedish church
Archaeologist Ludvig Papmehl-Dufay said that the Ikea bags were an efficient way of storing human skeletons, as they could stave off mould
Sunday 03 August 2014
A Swedish woman picked up more than she bargained for when she discovered a pile of unattended Ikea bags in her local church.
Instead of opening the bags to find a treasure trove of affordably priced flat-pack furniture, Kicki Karlén was instead greeted with the skulls and bones of nearly 80 people.
According to the Kläckeberga church, the bones had been stored in the bags and covered with tarpaulin since 2009 after they were dug up during a renovation of the church that saw the addition of a wheelchair ramp.
On stumbling across the bones, Kicki Karlén said she became very angry at discovering such a large number of human remains just left in Ikea bags.
She said: “I became angry, very angry about how they were just sitting there. I spoke with some people from the parish who said the bones had been there since 2009.
”How would you feel if it was your grandmother or grandfather?“
Ludvig Papmehl-Dufay, an archaeologist that was involved in the initial dig, confirmed to the Swedish newspaper The Local that the bones had been dug up five years ago, and said the initial plan was to document and then rebury the remains.
However, the reburial was delayed and instead, they were stored in the church and the Ikea bags.
Papmehl-Dufay said: "The plan was to rebury them as soon as possible, but that's up to the church. The county board said they couldn't leave church ground, and it became complicated.”
Despite criticism from Kicki Karlén, Papmehl-Dufay said that the Ikea bags were an efficient way to store the the bones.
“It's not standard practice, definitely not for archaeologists, but the Ikea bags aren't actually that bad. They'd be great for stopping the moulding process. But it can't be that good to have them in the basement for so long.”
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