Construction workers in the Chinese city of Taizhou were working to widen a road when they struck an odd object in the ground. Strangely, it didn’t appear on any schematics. Whatever it was, it was older than the city itself.

Soon after, they began digging around the object, trying to determine what it could possibly be. As more and more of it was revealed, the workers realized they’d never seen anything like it before.

When they suddenly learned what it actually was, they were stunned—and they immediately had to call for backup.

While working on a road in the city of Taizhou, China, contractors discovered a strange object buried six feet beneath the surface. It didn’t appear on any of the schematics for the dig, so they were completely bewildered by the discovery, to say the least.

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They dug it out in an effort to determine what they’d encountered as quickly as their equipment would allow. It wasn’t until after they studied it for several hours, however, that they realized what it was. Despite its appearance, it wasn’t just a random block of cement!

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It turned out that they’d stumbled upon something that had never been documented before. An archaeological team was immediately called in to investigate. After all, there was the chance that there was an amazing discovery inside…

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The team of determined archaeologists finally managed to open the stone structure without disturbing its contents. At first, it just appeared to be filled with linens, silks, and a strange liquid. But as they dug around, they uncovered something else.

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See, beneath all of those layers of different linens and fabrics, the scientists found a body! Still soaking wet from spending years underground, the human remains inside were pretty hard to identify.

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They soon discovered it wasn’t just any body, either. The fact that it was wrapped in all sorts of cloth and linen qualified the archaeologist’s discovery as an actual mummy. This made their find all the more interesting, and they couldn’t wait to see who was beneath the linen.

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Naturally, they dove right into their investigation. The archaeologists were completely determined to figure out who they’d stumbled upon. Once they removed the wrapping, they could tell that the mummy, once a woman, was over 700 years old.

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Based on the preparation of the body, as well as the jewelry around her neck and on her fingers, the archaeologists determined that the woman was once an extremely prominent member of the Ming Dynasty.

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The mummy’s body was also in remarkably good condition, and they were able to remove her corpse from the tomb fairly easily. This was an achingly meticulous process, because it can often lead to damage of the mummy. Over the centuries, the body breaks down.

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Luckily, most of the fabrics were still intact when they removed her from the tomb. The archaeologists sifted through all of the materials in an effort to learn as much as possible from the mummy and her rich history.

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The preserved mummy was in such good shape, in fact, that you could even easily make out her features. You can clearly see her eyebrows, protruding eyes, and soft, sunken nose in the image below.

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Not to mention, her clothes were in fantastic shape! Look at how well-preserved her shoes were, for instance. This detail gave the archaeologists so much to study. Even though she wasn’t alive to tell them now, what was inside her tomb answered a lot of their questions.

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It’s easy to forget that Chinese culture stretches back so many centuries. Despite a history that dates back thousands of years, ancient artifacts actually weren’t all that uncommon there. This mummy, however, was truly a unique specimen.

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Just imagine finding a 2,000-year-old tomb in the parking lot near your local Walmart? Archaeology is so cool.

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