Scientists have reached a dead end, investigating the mummy of Pirogov

Scientists have reached a dead end, investigating the mummy of Pirogov

Categories: Health and Medicine | History

The small church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker is located in a village with the cozy name of Cherry (now part of Vinnitsa). In the tomb of the temple there is a unique mausoleum, which houses a sealed sarcophagus with the body of the founder of military field surgery Nikolai Pirogov. Scientists have not yet been able to recreate the embalming recipe. The mummy of the famous doctor is 40 years "older" than the mummy of Lenin.

Scientists have reached a dead end, investigating the mummy of Pirogov

Local shrine

The parishioners of the church with a sense of deep reverence worship the mummy of the field surgeon as the relics of a saint. Many turn to him with a prayer for healing. At the same time, people are not deceived, they are well aware that in front of them is the body of a military doctor Nikolai Pirogov, who lived and rested in their village. Scientists have been racking their brains for a long time trying to solve the mystery of the Vinnytsia necropolis.

Scientists have reached a dead end, investigating the mummy of Pirogov

The small tomb set a kind of world record: no one has ever managed to keep an embalmed body in almost perfect condition for more than a hundred years. Local residents believe that collective prayers and respect for the deceased are crucial. It is not customary to talk in the mausoleum. Church services are held in lowered tones. Parishioners turn to the mummy of the doctor with prayers, as if there are really miraculous holy relics in front of them.

The last years of Nikolai Pirogov

The famous surgeon operated on almost 10 thousand patients during his lifetime. Innovative methods are still relevant. Modern surgeons still carry out "Pirogov operations". The scientist is rightfully considered the founder of not only military field surgery, but also the Red Cross Society. The Russian surgeon used ether anesthesia for the first time, developed a method of sterilization of surgical instruments.

Scientists have reached a dead end, investigating the mummy of Pirogov

Honesty was an integral feature of the outstanding scientist's character. Because of this, he lost the favor of Alexander II and was dismissed. However, he retained the rank of privy councillor with a lifetime pension. Nikolai Pirogov has not stopped practicing medicine. His estate, where he spent the rest of his life, was located in the village of Vishni. Here he founded a free hospital, where he conducted the reception of patients. The doctor became a victim of an incurable disease. He was diagnosed with cancer of the upper jaw. The surgeon knew about the diagnosis and the approaching death.

Pirogov 's body

There is a version that the surgeon was keenly interested in embalming issues. Allegedly, he bequeathed to mummify him after his death. In fact, the widow of Alexander Antonovna Pirogova alone petitioned the Holy Synod for the embalming of her husband's body. The church authorities "took into account the merits of Pirogov, allowing him to leave the body incorruptible for the edification of the continuers of God-pleasing deeds."

Scientists have reached a dead end, investigating the mummy of Pirogov

The body was embalmed within the first four hours after death. Pirogov's disciple and follower D. Vyvodtsev arrived at the request of Alexandra Antonovna. Previously, he published a scientific work on embalming. He was assisted by two paramedics and two doctors. Scientists are still trying to restore the recipe of the embalming solution used by D. Vyvodtsev. It is known that it included distilled water, ethyl alcohol, glycerin and possibly thymol.

It is noteworthy that Pirogov's body has hardly undergone any changes. The embalming procedure required only a few incisions in different parts of the body. Most of the internal organs, including the brain and heart, were not removed. Experts believe that the absence of fat in the body of the deceased had a positive effect on the result. N. Pirogov lost a lot of weight before his death.

The misadventures of the mummy

The great scientist died in 1881, three decades before the historical upheavals of Russia. In the first half of the twentieth century, the mummy went through several critical tests. So, in the 1920s, robbers got into the crypt. In search of easy prey, they broke the glass of the sarcophagus, thereby breaking the tightness of the inner chamber. The Likhodei removed the gold cross from the deceased, took away the precious cup, the nominal sword.

Scientists have reached a dead end, investigating the mummy of Pirogov

In 1941, a commission of scientists discovered mold on the clothes and skin of the mummy. It was urgently necessary to carry out a restorative procedure of embalming. But the Great Patriotic War broke out. On the eve of the occupation, the sarcophagus was buried in the soil, again breaking the tightness of the chamber. In 1945, scientists returned to the study of the problem. By that time, the condition of the mummy had deteriorated significantly. The Commission concluded that it was impossible to restore the mummy.

Scientists have reached a dead end, investigating the mummy of Pirogov

However, enthusiasts of the Moscow Laboratory joined the case. Lenin, who was responsible for the preservation of Lenin's mummy. Pirogov's body was transported to the basement of the laboratory, where for five months scientists attempted to rehabilitate the mummy. Since that time, the procedure of re-embalming is repeated every five to seven years. Despite the past misadventures, the condition of Pirogov's mummy is better than Lenin's.

Keywords: Doctor | Mummy | Death

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