Another Joseon female mummy discovered in Osan with fingerprints and fingernails and toenails intact

Margie Jones
30/09/2023

A second female mummy that dates back to the early Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910) has been discovered at an industrial site in Osan, Gyeonggi Province, a few weeks after workers uncovered the first one last month.

According to the Seokyeong Cultural Properties Research Insтιтute Sunday, the two mummies appear to have been the wives of a high ranking official.

“We will be able to get more information by studying this mummy since it’s better preserved and died at a younger age,,,,” said Kim Han-gyeum, a mummy expert and a professor at Korea University, after analyzing the find at the Korea University Hospital, May 30.

The insтιтute said that the mummy found this month was the ex-wife of the official, whose body has not been found.

The insтιтute concluded that the ex-wife lived in the 1500s, during the Joseon Kingdom, and was older than the previous discovery by 20 to 30 years.

The height of the mummy is 145 centimeters,,,, while the foot is 20.5 centimeters in length. The skin had turned dark over time, but the teeth, nose,,,,, fingerprints and finger and toe nails were relatively well preserved, according to the insтιтute.

Considering the fancy red and green silk clothes wrapped around the body as well as the height, skin and hair condition, the expert announced that she had died in her late teens or early 20s.

Another interesting factor was her stomach, as it was not flat but looked as if it was deflated after being stretched out.

“Most mummies have flat stomachs, but this one has ripple-like wrinkles on her stomach, which could mean that she was pregnant at the time,” Kim added,,,, saying that they will continue with a thorough examination.

Tracing the historical origin of Joseon mummies considering the structural  similarities between the burial systems of Korean and Chinese dynasties |  Semantic Scholar

Aside from the mummy, various artifacts including clothing and shoes also found will help further understand the era’s culture and lifestyle.

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