The Jiangsu Woman: Ming Era Mummification

The Jiangsu Woman found in eastern China.
After 700 years beneath the city streets Jiangsu Woman has re-appears in the modern age.

In early March of 2011, while working on a street expansion project, a road crew in Eastern China made a startling discovery. Barely more than four feet below street level, encased in modern layers of cement, the men uncovered a small wooden coffin.

The coffin, once examined, dated back to the Medieval Ming dynasty that lasted from 1368 AD to 1644 AD - making the artifact somewhere between 600 and 700 years old. Hundreds of thousands of people had walked over the undisturbed grave site each year without ever knowing it.

Inside the ancient coffin was the most shocking discovery of all. After local archeologists arrived and opened the coffin they came face to face with the incredibly well-preserved body of an ancient Chinese noblewoman who was no more than 20 years old. They named her: the Jiangsu Woman.

The Jiangsu Woman found in eastern China.
A 700-year-old Ming noblewoman is accidentally discovered in Jiangsu, China.

The entire find is highly unusual due to the quality of the corpse and artifacts found within the coffin. This high level of preservation was due to the fact that the body was covered in a strange brown liquid, wrapped in ceremonial cloth (silk and wax) and then shut in an air tight coffin. The Jiangsu Woman was found with her traditional silk and cotton costume was intact including her shoes.

According to the director of the Museum of Taizhou in Jiangsu, Mr. Wang Weiyin, the body was still adorned with an ancient silver hairpin and a large jade ring on her right hand. Inside the coffin itself archaeologists found animal bones, ceramics and ancient writings.

Clearly this was an important woman buried in this specific location and preserved for a reason. But what could have that reason have been?

Currently, this amazing cultural find is being examined at the Museum of Taizhou where tests will be performed to determine Jiangsu Woman's cause of death, her exact biological age, racial descent and daily diet.

Wikipedia, Taizhou, Jiangsu
Museum of Taizhou, Medieval Taizhou Exhibit
Daily Mail, 700-year-old Mummy Found In Jiangsu
Topworth, Mummy Found Intact In China
DOGO News, 700-Year-Old Mummy Recovered In China

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