(died 1677) was a "petrified man" found in 1719.
In 1719, miners in the Falun copper
mine found an intact dead body in a long-unused tunnel. When they brought the body to the surface, it was identified as Fet-Mats Israelsson, who had disappeared 42 years earlier, by his former fiancée, Margaret Olsdotter, recognized him.
In the open air the body dried up and turned hard as a rock. People gave it a nickname "petrified miner". Fet-Mats Israelsson was put on display on Stora Kopparberget
When the naturalist Carolus Linnaeus
visited, he noticed that Fet-Mats was not petrified but just covered with vitriol
. He stated that as soon as the vitriol would evaporate, the body would begin to decay.
That proved to be correct. Fet-Mats Israelsson was buried in The Stora Kopparbergs Church December 21, 1749. During the change of the floor in early 1860, the remnants of Fet-Mats was found again and exhibited in a display case, until he was finally buried 1930 in the cemetery nearby the church.
Fet-Mats became an inspiration for the German romanticists
. The philosopher and naturalist Gotthilf Heinrich von Schubert
wrote about him in Ansichten von der Nachtseite der Naturwissenschaft
, Achim von Arnim
wrote a ballad about Fet-Mats, Johann Peter Hebel
wrote a short story about him called Unverhofftes Wiedersehen
(Unexpected Reunion). Friedrich Rückert
also wrote about Fet-Mats but most of all E.T.A. Hoffmann
wrote the short story Die Bergwerke zu Falun
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