2,000-year-old intact female skeleton with gray hair unearthed in Hubei

11:20, November 23, 2010      

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A 2,000-year-old intact skeleton of an elderly woman was unearthed from a tomb from the early Western Han dynasty. (photo: cnhubei.com)

A 2,000-year-old intact skeleton of an elderly woman was unearthed from a tomb from the early Western Han dynasty at the construction site of an industrial park in the north of Zhuchengjie, a satellite city of Wuhan, capital of east-central China's Hubei Province, on Nov. 19.

Much gray hair can still be seen clearly on her skull

The archaeological team said that when exploring the tomb numbered M6 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Nov. 19, they found a nearly intact outer coffin and almost no water had leaked into it. More surprisingly, there was a well-preserved dark brown skeleton inside the inner coffin, with a lot of gray hair still on the skull.

The coffin was tied with seven pieces of hemp rope. It was identified as the skeleton of a woman aged about 70 years, according to the funeral customs of the early Western Han dynasty, the distance between the chin and the pit of the stomach; bone structure and thickness; as well as other evidence.

The archaeological team explained that the woman's skeleton and hair were well preserved because she was buried in multiple coffins, with the outer coffin covered by a thick layer of special plaster, and hair is not easily damaged by water.

By People's Daily Online
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