University of Oulu

Väre, T., Lipkin, S., Suomela, J.A. et al. Nikolaus Rungius: Lifestyle and Status of an Early Seventeenth-Century Northern Finnish Vicar. Hist Arch 55, 11–29 (2021).

Nikolaus Rungius : lifestyle and status of an early seventeenth-century northern Finnish vicar

Saved in:
Author: Väre, Tiina1; Lipkin, Sanna2; Suomela, Jenni A.3;
Organizations: 1Department of Archaeology/Cancer Research and Translational Medicine Research Unit, University of Oulu, Pentti Kaiteran katu 1, Linnanmaa, PL 8000, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Archaeology, University of Oulu, Pentti Kaiteran katu 1, Linnanmaa, PL 8000, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Education/Craft Studies, University of Helsinki, PO Box 8 (Siltavuorenpenger 10), FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland
4Nanomicroscopy Center, Aalto University, Puumiehenkuja 2 (door H), FI-02150, Espoo, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.4 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-05-03


Vicar Nikolaus Rungius’s (ca. 1560–1629) mummified remains have been the subject of research that has provided a wide variety of information on his life. This article examines the ways Rungius’s health and lifestyle highlight his status as a vicar, and this status is visible in his burial and funerary clothing. He was a relatively large man for his time. CT scans even include indications of certain conditions related to being overweight. Likewise, stable-isotope analyses of his nail keratin support the hypothesis that he was consuming a rather heavy, protein-rich diet. Given his status as the vicar of Kemi parish in northern Finland, he likely made sumptuous use of the rich local natural resources of fish, game, and domestic animals as part of his regular diet. In addition to his diet and health, the vicar’s high-quality clothes, while fragmentary, also open an avenue to extend the exploration of his social status and wealth.

see all

Series: Historical archaeology
ISSN: 0440-9213
ISSN-E: 2328-1103
ISSN-L: 0440-9213
Volume: 55
Pages: 11 - 29
DOI: 10.1007/s41636-020-00268-y
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
6132 Visual arts and design
3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: The research was a part of the Church, Space and Memory Project funded by the Emil Aaltonen Foundation, Finland, and led by Titta Kallio-Seppä and Sanna Lipkin’s academy research-fellow project: Daily and Afterlife of Children in Post-Medieval Finland (1500–1900)—New Perspectives in Identifying Childhood in the Past. Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
Copyright information: © This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit