An ancient Buddha statue, which was on display at the Drents Museum in Amsterdam, has revealed a surprising secret. In the first discovery of its kind, researchers have found the mummified body of a 1,000-year-old Chinese monk hidden inside the statue.
The mummified monk dates back to the 11th century and was preserved in the exact same Lotus sitting position as the exterior statue.
— Newser (@Newser) February 24, 2015
While the statue has been at the Dutch museum for some time, it was only recently that a team of scientists and doctors decided to test the statue using CT-scan imaging with endoscopic testing, to find out what was inside.
A 1,000-Year-Old Secret Hidden in a Buddha Statue A Mummified Monk http://t.co/3NLXy4Bh00
— FreedomFighterz (@PuliArason) February 24, 2015
According to the Straits Times, they moved the 1000-year-old statue to the Meander Medical Center in Amersfoort in the Netherlands, where the doctors performed the CT-scan and other technology.
Newsday reports a team of scientists and doctors tested the statue using CT-scan imaging and an endoscope. As can be imagined, there was no problem in keeping the “patient” still during the process.
According to the head of the project, Erik Bruijn, following the CT-scan and testing, the 1000-year-old monk has even been identified and radiologist Ben Heggelman at the medical center took bone samples from the mummified remains to confirm this identification using DNA testing.
Apparently the remains are of one Master Liuquan, a Buddhist monk of the kind that probably practiced Sokushinbutsu, or self-mummification.
As well as revealing the mummified monk, using the endoscope, scientists examined the mummy’s thoracic and abdominal cavities, where they found scraps of paper, containing Chinese characters where the monks organs had previously been. Experts will be working on a translation of the characters.
— Jacek Debiec (@DebiecJacek) February 24, 2015
Apparently the statue is currently doing the rounds and is visiting Hungary, where it will be on display in Budapest until May 2015.
A fascinating find indeed and difficult to imagine what the reaction of the original monk would have been if he knew of the current technology.
In other 1000-year-old news, the Inquisitr reports that a company will be selling ancient ice from the Svartisen glacier for that exclusive, and rather expensive, chilled cocktail and there are apparently mixed reactions to the news.
[Images: Screengrabs from YouTube video]