A second statue of a beautiful woman who lived about 2,200 years ago was successfully reproduced Wednesday in central China's Hunan Province, marking an important advancement in replicating ancient human bodies.
The woman, named Xin Zhui, was the wife of the prime minister of the Changsha Kingdom who lived during the early Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-24 AD) and died at the age of 50.
When her body was first excavated in 1972 at Mawangdui on the eastern outskirts of Changsha, archeologists hailed it as an archaeological miracle because most of her hair was in its original state, her joints were relatively flexible and her soft tissue was still intact.
In order to preserve the ancient mummy, Zhao Chengwen, a professor with the Chinese Criminal Police Institute, sculpted a statue of the woman in January, with the help of skull X-rays.
Since the original statue of the ancient mummy has a permanent home in the Hunan Museum, the second statue was made for the purpose of touring museums.
Compared with the original, the No.2 Xin Zhui statue was produced strictly in line with the archaeological findings and historical records and looks much more life-like and charming, said Chen Guoan, deputy researcher of the museum.
Made of silicon rubber and measuring 1.58 meters, the figure of the woman dressed in yellow has elastic skin and can be washed with water.
(People's Daily July 10, 2003)