Chinese scientists decipher ancient text about human anatomy

(ORDO NEWS) — About half a century ago, a scroll made during the Han Empire was discovered in Lady Dai’s tomb. The document contained information about human anatomy, which was only recently deciphered.

According to the results of the study, the scroll, the oldest surviving one, describes the “paths” in the human body. The human body consists of parts connected by “paths”. Diseases tend to affect these “paths”.

The scroll was found during the excavation of the Mawangdui Tomb in 1973 in the city of Changsha. The text turned out to be written in an ancient dialect. None of the scientists could have thought that he was concerned with medicine. The experts thought about poetry, songs, or even a personal diary, but certainly not about anatomy.

Interestingly, the Mawangdui tombs were discovered quite by accident during a military exercise in 1971. In total, three objects were excavated, in which an official named Dai, his son and wife Lady Dai were buried. The woman’s real name sounds like Xin Zhui.

The woman’s mummy is perfectly preserved, unlike her family members. Lady Dai’s body was not drained of blood or organs, nor did it start to decompose. The body was preserved due to the fact that the chambers were covered with coal and sealed with clay. This allowed the burial to become airtight.

Lady Dai’s death was due to cardiac arrest at the age of fifty. The woman had problems with being overweight, plus, there was no physical activity. She was found to have arteriosclerosis, coronal thrombosis, osteoporosis, gallstones and intestinal parasites.


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