Staff at the Drents Museum in the Netherlands made a shocking discovery: a Chinese statue of a sitting Buddha contains the mummified remains of a monk. The amazing revelation occurred after the statue underwent a CT scan at a local hospital as part of routine restoration works. The statue is now on display at the Hungarian Natural History Museum in Budapest.
“[The restorer] looked right into the bottom of this monk. You can see part of the bones and tissue of his skin," says Vincent van Vilsteren, an archaeology curator at the Drents Museum in the Netherlands.
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Researchers believe the body belonged to Buddhist monk Liuquan, who died in China around 1,100 AD. During the artefact’s examination, it was discovered that the mummy’s internal organs had been removed and replaced with “paper scraps that were printed with ancient Chinese characters”, according to the Meander Medical Center in Amersfoort, Netherlands.
By the numbers: 1000
The Buddhist Monk has been dead for approximately 1000 years.Researchers used radioactive isotopes of carbon to determine that the mummy likely lived during the 11th or 12th century. The rolled carpet on which the mummy is sitting is about 200 years older.