What did a noblewoman dating back more than 2,100 years look like? This enigmatic question was answered in dramatic fashion

ChinaDaily | 07 01, 2024

  What did a noblewoman dating back more than 2,100 years look like? This enigmatic question was answered in dramatic fashion when Hunan Museum in Changsha, Hunan province, unveiled a 3D digital image of the human female remains recently, the longest-preserved "wet "human body ever found in China.

  Xin Zhui, also called Lady Dai, was unearthed from a tomb at the Mawangdui site in 1972 in Changsha. The other two tombs discovered next to hers belonged to her husband Li Cang, the Marquis of Dai, and their son. More than 3,000 artifacts were also uncovered, making it one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th century in China.

  When the noblewoman was discovered, her body was found to be intact and in a remarkable state of preservation.

  Her skin remained moist, her subcutaneous soft tissue had retained its elasticity and some joints were still movable. Even her eyelashes were in place and the lines on her fingers and toes were discernible, leading to the estimation that she was about 50 years old when she died, says Duan Xiaoming, director of Hunan Museum.

  Xin Zhui's face was swollen, deformed and decayed at the time of excavation, making it impossible to know her appearance when she was alive. The 3D digital version of Xin Zhui was based primarily on X-ray scans of her skull.