Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ming mummy

Workers were improving a road in the city of Taizhou, in Jiangsu Province, China, and look what they turned up: the 1st Ming Dynasty mummy to be discovered in the area in 3 years (and only the 5th since 1979). Digging 2M below the surface, they found 3 wooden coffins. Inside one of them, immersed in a brown liquid, was the well-preserved body of a high-ranking female who stood about 5' tall. She was wearing a traditional Ming dynasty costume and slippers (3rd image) made of silk and cotton, which don't usually survive the centuries. Her skin was in remarkably good condition and her facial features including her hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes (1st image) have remained intact. A ring adorns the finger of her right hand (2nd image). Chinese archaeologists from the nearby Museum of Taizhou are excavating the area and examining the 700-year-old mummy and her grave goods: ceramics, ancient writings, and other relics.

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