Well-preserved mummy unearthed from Lujiashan Tomb in China, reveals mystery of Qing Dynasty concubine’s body
As we all know, Jingzhou was called Jiangling and Yingdu in ancient times. It is a prefecture-level city in Hubei Province. It is located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and in the hinterland of the Jianghan Plain. Jingzhou is a famous national historical and cultural city. “Jingzhou came into existence when Yu planned Kyushu.” Jingzhou has a history of more than 3,000 years. Since 689 BC when Chu State established its capital, Jinan City, 6 dynasties and 34 emperors have established their capitals here. From Sun Shuao, “the first official in the world” to Zhang Juzheng, the first assistant of Wanli in the Ming Dynasty, there are as many as 138 prime ministers who have gone out from Jingzhou. Jingzhou is the birthplace of Chu culture and the famous ancient battlefield of the Three Kingdoms. In history, stories of the Three Kingdoms such as “Liu Bei borrowing Jingzhou” and “Guan Yu lost Jingzhou” all happened here. In addition to countless historical legends, there are also many ancient tombs buried here. . What I want to tell you today is that well-preserved ancient corpses were unearthed from the Lujiashan tomb in Jingzhou, Hubei, revealing the mystery of the incorrupt female corpse in the Qing Dynasty.
In 2009, an ancient corpse was accidentally dug up at the Lujiashan construction site in Jingzhou, Hubei. The person in charge who felt the situation was serious immediately reported it to the local cultural relics department. The Jingzhou Museum immediately dispatched archaeologists to the scene after receiving the news. After archaeological exploration, this tomb is a vertical pit tomb, a single-coffin tomb with low grades and specifications, and it is preliminarily judged that it is a small tomb in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties. The position of the coffin lid is very close to the surface of the earth. What is incredible is that there is a well-preserved female corpse in the tomb. Her demeanor is peaceful, and her skin, muscles and other tissues are still elastic. Then the female corpse was rushed to the laboratory. Archaeologists were surprised to find that it was not a wet corpse that should have appeared in the humid areas of Jiangnan, but a mummified corpse that only existed in the dry desert environment in the past. Why do mummies appear in Jingzhou, where the water network is dense and groundwater is rich? What kind of identity did this mysterious Qing Dynasty woman have before her death?
According to the shape and decoration of the ancient corpse quilts, archaeologists determined that the tombs belonged to the late Ming and early Qing dynasties. At that time, brick-room tombs had long been popularized, and only civilians who lived in distress would choose to be buried in earth pits. The female corpse in the coffin stood up straight, her eyes were closed, her mouth was slightly open, and her skin, muscles, and quilts were well preserved. Throughout the cleaning process of the wet corpse, the preservation of highly perishable cultural relics such as silk fabrics and lacquer wood utensils is inseparable from important conditions such as deep burial, sealing, and water saturation. On the contrary, the tomb of the female corpse in Lujiashan is just the opposite. The burial is not deep, the burial equipment is thin, and the coffin is relatively dry. What is the reason why this female corpse can be preserved to this day? The archaeological team responsible for cleaning up the filling of the tomb found that the gap between the coffin and the pit in the tomb was not filled with green plaster, but all of it was filled with lime. Lime can not only prevent moisture, but also repel insects. Could it be that the preservation of the female corpse is related to the filling of lime?
According to archaeological experts, the female corpse is about 1.58 meters tall and about 60 years old. She wears a silk scarf and a diamond-shaped pillow under her head. By cleaning the ladies and clothes layer by layer, it was found that the female corpse was wearing four layers of clothing, with an emerald bracelet on her wrist, and a square scarf covered with strange characters in her quilt attracted the attention of experts. The square scarf was placed on the chest of the female corpse, and it was covered with characters drawn from cinnabar. After careful identification, archaeologists confirmed that it was a Buddhist scripture in Sanskrit. A string of Buddhist beads was also found on the woman’s wrist, so archaeologists deduced that she should be a Buddhist believer. Continuing to clean up the cultural relics of the coffin, archaeologists found that the female corpse was covered with embroidered black shoes with pointed tips, and the female corpse was still completely bound, which is known as the three-inch golden lotus.
The mummified corpse of Ming and Qing Dynasties unearthed in the Jiangnan area is the first discovery in the history of archaeology. Archaeologists have made various analyses and speculations about the cause of the corpse of Lujiashan women. The charcoal and lime in the coffin can prevent moisture and keep the coffin relatively dry. surroundings. However, the above conditions alone are not enough to form a mummy. As Buddhist believers, there is a funeral custom of bathing in aromatherapy, and even special treatment of the remains. The female corpse ate vegetarian food for many years before she died, and there was no perishable food in her stomach when she died. In addition, the female corpse was older, and the water content of the corpse was low. Charcoal and lime were used for moisture-proof treatment, plus some other factors. A corpse was formed. Although the tomb of the female corpse in Lujiashan is not of high grade and there are not many burial objects, the jade hairpins and jade bracelets unearthed are very exquisite. Later, after the Sanskrit translation of the cinnabar on the square scarf, the Sanskrit content was “Dabao Guangboge Shanzhu Secret Dharani Sutra”, so this square scarf should actually be classified as a Dharani Sutra.
The discovery of the Dharani Sutra made the matter a lot more complicated, because it was not something that ordinary people could enjoy. Experts said that the Dharani Sutra appeared in the Yuan Dynasty and was considered to be used by the royal family. However, due to the unique burial system in the Yuan Dynasty, the Dharani scriptures of the Yuan Dynasty have never been unearthed, and no such cultural relics have been found in the Ming Dynasty documents, including the Dingling Mausoleum, including the tombs of the vassal kings and princesses. When the warlord Sun Dianying robbed the tomb of the Empress Dowager Cixi, the cultural relics in the tomb were looted. Later, archaeologists unearthed a gold-woven Dharani quilt in the tomb of Cixi. According to the ritual system of the Qing Dynasty, the Dharani Sutra could only be used by the emperor and concubines of nobles and above, and other princes and ministers could only be rewarded by the emperor after submitting a formal application before their death. So, how could such a precious thing in the Ming Dynasty not have the Yuan Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty be related to an old woman who was unknown during her lifetime and had a low social status, and the identity of the female corpse is still a mystery.