After bad dreams, mummy reburiedA 16th-century female mummy discovered in a family graveyard last year has been reburied according to the wishes of her descendants after they were alarmed by recurring dreams that they believed to be a message from beyond.
The mummy was excavated in April last year during a graveyard relocation by members of the Ryu clan at a mountain in Naju, 356 kilometers (227 miles) southwest of Seoul. Its well-preserved condition drew the attention of academia, and the family accepted a request by Korea University Guro Hospital in Seoul to donate it for examination.
But the Ryu descendants soon began to have recurring dreams of a cow, traditionally interpreted in Korea to represent a family ancestor. A family representative called the hospital and asked for the mummy’s return.
The mummy is believed to be of a woman surnamed Lee who married into the Ryu clan. The Ryu family registry book says she was born in 1544 and died at age 43. Lain in a wooden casket and buried in soil, the mummy still had skin and hair and her eyelashes were intact.
The cause of death was uncertain, but medical experts say she may have died while giving birth, based on what appears to be placenta dislocated from her uterus.
Korea University said the mummy was reburied beside her husband, dozens of meters away from where she was first discovered, in the family graveyard early Saturday morning.
An endoscopic test was conducted and tissue samples were taken prior to the return, the university said. The hospital research team also examined the mummy for features that may help shed light on Koreans’ clothing and diet in the mid-16th century.
The final report is expected to take two years.