Empress Dowager Cixi
Human Mummy
The Mummy of Cixi.jpg
Biographical Information
Name(s) Cixi
Age 73
Sex Female
Status Empress Dowager, Qing Dynasty
Height 162 cm
Culture Manchu culture
Date(s) November 15, 1908
Site Putuoyu Dingdong Tomb
Current Location
Location Tangshan city, Hebei province, China
Catalog #

Empress dowager, generally known in the west as queen mother, from the Manchu Yehe-nara clan. She was a powerful and attractive character who became the de facto ruler and rule of the Qing dynasty for 47 years from 1861 to her death in 1908.


The sealed coffin, internal oxygen content is low, the temperature and humidity constant, natural antibacterials.


In 2014, Chinese specialists of cultural relics protection used Low oxygen nitrogen technology to preserve the mummy better. The technology is the control of cultural relics preservation nitrogen oxygen ratio of the space, because the growth of bacteria microbial reproduction requires oxygen, by this technique, we let cultural relics preservation space is similar to the vacuum environment, avoid corruption.


The Qing dynasty had a strict dress code for court ladies. Designs of clothing varied according to ladies' status, the season, and the occasion. Empress Dowager Cixi had the highest status in the court and thus enjoyed the highest standard of dressing code. According to court records, every year, her clothing required 160 bolts (pi) of different types of silk, satin, gauze, and silk gauze that came from southeastern China's Nanjing, Suzhou, and Hangzhou textile workshops. The colors and patterns were carefully chosen, the embroideries neatly done. Each dress would be first drafted by designers and then submitted for her modification. After several changes in patterns and colors, the design was finally delivered to the workshop in Jiangnan, an area in the lower reaches of the Yangzi River. It took 450 craftsmen and 360 liang (16 liang roughly equal 500 grams) of silver to finish a single silk costume. The jewelry that she wore was collected from different sources. Some of them were specially crafted by the Qing Imperial Workshops, some were made by the Jiangnan Textile Workshop, some were gifts from officials, and others were bought from the jewelry shops of Beijing. Her jewelry was kept safe in The Chamber of Pearls and Jade (Zhuyu fang) in the Forbidden City.

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