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Ancient Mummy Brought to Life Through Pictures
Four pictures were published on Sunday, showing what a 2,200-year-old mummy found in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province might have looked like when she was alive.

The female mummy, excavated 30 years ago at Mawangdui on the eastern outskirts of Changsha, has been hailed throughout the world as an archeological wonder and when found was in a remarkably good state of preservation.

Most of the hair was in its original state, the joints were still partly movable and the soft tissue still intact. The mummy was 154 cm long and weighed 34.3 kg.

Investigations have revealed that the mummy was Xin Zhui, the wife of a minister in the Western Han Dynasty (B.C 226 -- 24 A.D.). She died at the age of 50, shortly after eating muskmelons, whose seeds were found in her esophagus, stomach and intestines.

The four pictures published show Xin Zhui at her four ages in her life -- when she was seven, 18, 30 and 50 years old.

Zhao Chengwen, the expert in charge of bringing Xin to life in the images, said she was, in accordance with traditional Chinese criteria for measuring beauty, a great belle with cherry-like lips and oval eyes.

Zhao said the pictures took him 14 days to complete, using the advanced technology police are using.

(People's Daily April 29, 2002)

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