“700-Year-Old Chinese Mummy Perfectly Preserved Thanks To A Mysterious Brown Liquid”
These incredible images show a 700-year-old mummy, discovered by chance by road workers in excellent condition in eastern China.
The body of a high-ranking woman believed to belong to the Ming dynasty, the ruling power in China between 1368 and 1644, was found by a team looking to widen a road.
And the mummy, which was found in the city of Taizhou in Jiangsu province, along with two other wooden tombs, offers a fascinating insight into life back then.
Discovered two meters below the surface of the road, the woman’s features, from her head to her shoes, retain their original state and have barely deteriorated.
When highway workers made the discovery late last month, Chinese archaeologists from the nearby Taizhou Museum were called in to excavate the area, state agency Xinhua News reported.
They were surprised by the remarkable good condition of the woman’s skin, hair, eyelashes and face. It was as if she had recently died.
His body, measuring 1.5 meters tall, was found at the construction site submerged in a brown liquid inside the coffin.
And the casket was opened earlier this week, on March 1, much to the excitement of the local town and beyond. And the 700-year-old mummy’s right hand showed her preserved skin and a ring.
The mummy was dressed in traditional Ming Dynasty costume, and the coffin also contained bones, ceramics, ancient writings and other relics.
This is the latest discovery after a three-year hiatus in the area. In fact, between 1979 and 2008, five mummies were found, all of them in very good condition.
These findings sparked interest in learning the techniques to better understand the Ming Dynasty’s experience in mummification, as well as its funerary rituals and customs.
Taizhou Museum director Wang Weiyin told Xinhua that the mummy’s clothing is mainly made of silk, with some cotton.
He said normally silk and cotton are very difficult to preserve and excavations found that this mummification technology was used only in very high-profile funerals.
The first discovery of the Ming Dynasty in Taizhou dates back to May 1979 and led to the opening of the museum.
At that time the bodies were also found intact, but due to the archaeologists’ lack of experience, only clothing, belts and braces could be preserved.
The Ming dynasty, which built the Forbidden City and restored the Great Wall, was the last in China and marked an era of economic growth and cultural splendor that produced the first commercial contacts with the West.