The Lady of Dai mummy from the Mawangdui tomb
This Chinese woman has been preserved for over 2,100 years and she’s baffled scientists.
Called the Lady of Dai, she’s considered the best-preserved mummy ever discovered.
Her skin is soft, her arms and legs can bend, her internal organs are intact, and she still has her own Type-A blood, hair and eyelashes.
The Lady of Dai, also known as Xin Zhui, lived during the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 AD) and was the wife of the Marquis of Dai.
Her tomb was discovered inside a hill known as Mawangdui, in Changsha, Hunan, China, in 1971 when workers were digging an air raid shelter.
According to an autopsy, Xin Zhui was overweight, suffered from back pain, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, liver disease, gallstones, diabetes and had a severely damaged heart.
She passed away due to a heart attack at the age of 50 and experts have put it down to her lavish lifestyle as a marquis.
Xin Zhui has even been nicknamed “The Diva Mummy” because of her apparent life of luxury.
It’s led scientists to believe she is the oldest case of heart disease.
Amazingly, forensic archaeologists have deduced that Xin Zhui’s last meal was a serving of melons.
In her tomb, which was buried 40 feet underground, she had a wardrobe containing 100 silk garments, 182 pieces of expensive lacquerware, makeup and toiletries.
She also had 162 carved wooden figurines representing servants in her tomb.
According to records, Xin Zhui’s body was swaddled in 20 layers of silk, immersed in a mildly acidic liquid and sealed within four coffins.
This vault of coffins was then packed with 5 tons of charcoal and sealed with clay.
The tomb was made watertight and airtight so bacteria wouldn’t be able to thrive — but it remains a scientific mystery just how the body was preserved so well.
There are lots of unanswered questions, and despite the Egyptians being the most well-known for their mummies, the Chinese were arguably the most successful at it.
The ancient Chinese method of preservation was not as invasive as that of the Egyptians, who removed many of the internal organs from their dead for separate preservation.
For now, Xin Zhui’s incredible preservation remains a mystery.