Scientists have learned new secrets about a mummified monk dating 1,000 years old tucked inside a Buddha statue.
The Chinese status is being shared by museums in Hungary, Switzerland, Holland, and Germany during a joint exhibition, and scientists performed a CT scan and endoscopy on the mummy within to learn more about it, according to a Fox News report.
During its visit to Holland that ended last August, scientists wanted to take a look at the inner part of the mummy, as the statue’s owner was interested in doing a life-sized reconstruction of it, prompting them to do a 3D scan.
The owner purchased that statue back in 1996, completely unaware that there was a mummy inside, but while experts were restoring the statue they made the discovery.
During the endoscopy, scientists found that what they thought was lung tissue was actually pieces of paper that had Chinese writing on them that were inside the body, something that they are still investigating.
Scientists believe that the mummy is a monk named Liuquan, who died around 1100 A.D. and was a Buddhist mater of the Chinese Meditation School.
There are some added wrinkles to the story, as they found a 14th-century textile role beneath the body, which suggests that the body was worshiped in a temple as a mummy and was only turned into a statue centuries later.
The Buddha statue will remain on display in Hungary until early May, and then it will visit Luxembourg.
It’s not the only recent find of a mummified monk. Scientists discovered a 200-year-old corpse in Mongolia that includes very intact remains of a monk in the lotus position.