The 700-year-old Chinese Mummy ‘perfectly Maintained’ Body Turns Black Hours After Casket Is Opened, Confounding Experts
Chinese archaeologists are perplexed by a 700-year-old burial site where two individuals were reduced to skeletons and one was completely preserved.
Baffled Chinese archaeologists are studying a 700 year-old coffin found with two others in which two of the bodies had been reduced to skeletons, but in which the third was almost perfectly preserved
Experts believe that when one of the coffins was opened, the man’s face was perfectly preserved.
But after a few hours, the face started to become black, and the body started to smell bad.
The corpse’s skin likewise turned black; it has since been transported to the nearby university for study.
It is believed that the body dates from the Qing Dynasty.
On October 10, 2013, it was discovered on a construction site in Xiangcheng, Henan Province, central China, in a two-meter-deep hole in the ground.
When the coffin was opened by historians at Xiangcheng said the man’s face was almost normal but within hours it had started to go black, and a foul smell had appeared
According to MailOnline, Dr. Lukas Nickel, a specialist in Chinese art and archaeology at SOAS, University of London, preservations like these were unintentional.
Unlike ancient Egypt, for example, the Chinese did not treat the body in any way to preserve it.
However, they made an effort to safeguard the body by placing it in substantial caskets and sturdy tomb chambers.
The body was unearthed on October 2013 on a construction site in a two-metre-deep hole in the ground at Xiangcheng in Henan province, central China
Therefore, they placed a high value on the body’s physical integrity. At least in early China, one anticipated that the deceased would continue to exist in the tomb.
At times throughout the Qing Dynasty, remains were preserved by the environment around the coffin.
In this instance, it is possible that the body was buried in a charcoal-covered, lacquered casket, which was typical at the period. Therefore, bacteria could not have entered.
If this were the case, Dr. Nickel said, the body would naturally become black and immediately decompose the moment air touched it.
The garments on the body indicate he was a very important official from the early Qing Dynasty, according to historian Dong Hsiung.
Historian Dong Hsiung said: ‘The clothes on the body indicate he was a very senior official from the early Qing Dynasty. What is amazing is the way time seems to be catching up on the corpse, ageing hundreds of years in a day’
What is astounding is how the corpse appears to be ageing hundreds of years in a day as time seems to be catching up with it.
The Qing Dynasty, which followed the Ming dynasty and lasted from 1644 to 1912, was the final imperial dynasty of China prior to the founding of the Republic of China.
The empire tripled in size during the Qing era, and the population swelled from about 150 million to 450 million.
The Qing dynasty’s domain served as the foundation for many of today’s Chinese borders.
The 700-year-old mummy was found in the city of Taizhou, in Jiangsu Province in 2011
The Qing Dynasty’s eldest son was in charge of the funeral rites, which would have involved numerous authorities.
Professor Dong suggests a different explanation for the preservation. He speculated that the deceased man’s family may have utilized some items to preserve the body. Once it was unlocked, the natural disintegration process could actually begin.
We are making a lot of effort to preserve what is left, though.
The Qing Dynasty and the one before it are renowned for the quality of their preserved bodies.
A 700-year-old mummy that was in good condition was stumbled upon in 2011 in eastern China.
A team working to expand a street came uncovered the body of a high-ranking woman thought to be from the Ming Dynasty.
The mummy, found in 2011, was wearing traditional Ming dynasty costume, and in the coffin were bones, ceramics, ancient writings and other relics
The woman’s features, from her head to her shoes, were still in remarkably good shape when she was found two meters below the road’s surface.
The coffin included bones, ceramics, ancient manuscripts, and other artefacts, and the mummy was dressed in classic Ming period attire.
According to Wang Weiyin, director of the Taizhou Museum, the mummy’s clothing was primarily comprised of silk and a small amount of cotton.
The most recent discovery, according to researchers, may help them comprehend the funeral practices and customs of the Qing dynasty as well as learn more about how bodies were maintained