In the days after the sinking of Vasa there were several reports on the number of victims. The reports said that 30 to more than 50 people had gone down with the ship. The Royal Chancellor’s brother, Gabriel Oxenstierna was witness to the sinking and in a letter to his brother estimated the casualties to: "about 30 people including crew, women and children"
When Vasa was raised several victims’ skeletons were found.

It was decided that the skeletons found inside the ship at the time it was raised would receive a Christian burial at the naval cemetery. Partial skeletons and bones found later outside the wreck were kept and subject to further study.

However, before the opening of the Vasa Museum 26 years later, it was determined that additional examinations of the skeletal remains were necessary and they were exhumed.

Several of the skeletons had not fared so well during their years underground and some were damaged by mould.

Skeletons can teach us much about how people lived in the past. With the help of specialized knowledge about the skeleton, known as osteology, as well as archaeology it's possible to discern certain facts, such as age, height, health, diet, etc. A picture of these people began to develop, who they were and how they lived.

During the new examinations, the skeletons were given names in order to make them more human. Skeleton A was named Adam, B was named Beata and so on. Adam was the first skeleton brought up by the divers in 1958. He was 35-40 years old, 5 foot 4 inches tall and was in good health but had received a facial injury in his youth which affected his appearance.
This skeleton in the exhibition is called Johan and has foot and leg damage which differentiates him from the other crew members. He was also wearing a long coat of finely woven wool. Researchers believe that he was the old captain Hans Jonsson who was one of the only victims whose name is known. Captain Jonsson was an invited guest on Vasa's maiden voyage and went down with the ship.

During the first part of the 21st century, the skeletons were examined once again, using DNA analysis technology. The DNA tests were performed in order to re-associate all the parts of the individual skeletons and to see if any of the victims were related. For example, it was discovered that skeletons Ylva and Beata, who were previously thought to be sisters, in fact had different mothers.

With DNA technology we can learn more about those who lived during the time of Vasa.