The 2,000 Year-Old Mummified Body of Lady Xin Zhui

The 2,000 Year-Old Mummified Body of Lady Xin Zhui Mummy from various dynasties throughout China’s history have been discovered in several locations across the country. They are almost exclusively considered to be unintentional mummifications.

By Nerti U. Qatja@VOP_Today


Many areas in which mummies have been uncovered are difficult for preservation, due to their warm, moist climates. This makes the recovery of mummies a challenge, as exposure to the outside world can cause the bodies to decay in a matter of hours.

An example of a Chinese mummy that was preserved despite being buried in an environment not conducive to mummification is Xin Zhui. Also known as Lady Dai, she was discovered in the early 1970s at the Mawangdui archaeological site in Changsha.

She was the wife of the marquis of Dai during the Han dynasty, who was also buried with her alongside another young man often considered to be a very close relative.

However, Xin Zhui’s body was the only one of the three to be mummified. Her corpse was so well-preserved that surgeons from the Hunan Provincial Medical Institute were able to perform an autopsy.

The exact reason why her body was so completely preserved has yet to be determined.