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280-year Old Mummy Discovered in Beijing
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Local archaeologists have unearthed a well-preserved mummy dating back more than 280 years in the Shijingshan District of the national capital Beijing


The mummy, identified as a male, is 1.73 meters long and flesh-colored. Curiously, the man has six toes on the left foot.


Archaeologists with the Shijingshan cultural relics department said that, judging from the relics unearthed inside the tomb, it had been built during the reign of Qing Dynasty Emperor Kangxi(1662-1722). The size of the tomb was not mentioned.  


The man wore a court dress decorated with a Kylin design, an auspicious legendary animal with a horn and scaled body, which indicates that he would have been a top-ranking military official of the Qing Dynasty. However, the characters carved on the coffin indicate that he was a civilian official of the fourth rank.


Further researches are needed to identify the status of the official, an archaeologist was quoted as saying by Monday's Beijing Youth Daily.


During the Qing Dynasty, the dresses of government and military officials were embroidered with the images of beasts including the Kylin, lion, leopard, tiger, bear and young tiger, while the designs for civilian officials' dresses included the crane, golden pheasant, peacock, swan goose and egret to indicate the rank of their status.


Archaeologists sorted out 31 pieces of relics from the tomb including an official's cap, a long string of beads, as worn by senior officials of the Qing Dynasty, a ceremonial gown, a ceremonial robe and a sachet.


Currently, the 31 pieces of relics are all housed at the Capital Museum.


(Xinhua News Agency August 22, 2006)

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