Saturday, March 5, 2011

700 Year Old Chinese Mummy Discovered - In Excellent Condition!

700 years old!  So say the Chinese.
 I imagine that already biotech firms, chemical firms, medical firms and cosmetic firms all around the globe are, as one, saying WHAT THE HELL WAS IN THAT BROWN LIQUID INSIDE THE COFFIN?'
Absolutely incredible find -- the degree of preservation on this lady's corpse is remarkable.  Story and lots of phots online at The Mail Online that you should check out now, because I don't know how long they'll be available and I've only saved one to publish here:

She's aged well: Face of incredibly preserved 700-year-old mummy found by chance by Chinese road workers
By Oliver Pickup
Last updated at 2:55 PM on 4th March 2011

[Excerpted] These incredible pictures show a 700-year-old mummy, which was discovered by chance - by road workers - in excellent condition in eastern China.

The corpse of the high-ranking woman believed to be from the Ming Dynasty - the ruling power in China between 1368 and 1644 - was stumbled across by a team who were looking to expand a street.

And the mummy, which was found in the city of Taizhou, in the Jiangsu Province, along with two other wooden tombs, offers a fascinating insight into life as it was back then.

Discovered two metres below the road surface, the woman's features - from her head to her shoes - have retained their original condition, and have hardly deteriorated.

When the discovery was made by the road workers, late last month, Chinese archaeologists, from the nearby Museum of Taizhou, were called into excavate the area, the state agency Xinhua News reported.

They were surprised by the remarkably good condition of the woman's skin, hair, eyelashes and face. It was as though she had only recently died.

Her body, which measures 1.5 metres high, was found at the construction site immersed in a brown liquid inside the coffin.

And the coffin was opened earlier this week, on March 1, much to the excitement of the local city - and further afield. And the right hand of the 700-year-old mummy showed her preserved skin, and a ring.

The mummy was wearing traditional Ming dynasty costume, and also in the coffin were bones, ceramics, ancient writings and other relics.

Director of the Museum of Taizhou, Wang Weiyin, told Xinhua that the mummy's clothes are made mostly of silk, with a little cotton.

He said usually silk and cotton are very hard to preserve and excavations found that this mummifying technology was used only at very high-profile funerals.

Updated March 7, 2011:

Well of all the cheats -- this mummy wasn't discovered recently by road workers - a series of excavations beginning in 1979 through 2008 uncovered this mummy and others from the Ming dynasty, and they are about 400 years old.  Also, the recovered burials were evidently ordinary people, not "high profile" - as this People's Daily Online article notes that there were little sacrificial items in the coffins.  Here is the report from People's Daily Online -- compare to the above report from The Mail Online.  Well, I should know better than to trust The Mail for accurate reporting!

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