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Le Du Tong
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Le Du Tong
Age 51
Sex Male
Culture Buddhist
Date(s) 1680-1731
Current Location
Location Bai Trach village, Tho Xuan district, Thanh Hoa province, Vietnam
Catalog #

Le Du Tong was a Vietnamese monarch who assumed the throne in 1705, he was the 22nd Emperor of the Le Dynasty which had been ruling over Vietnam since 1427. He died at the age of 52, and for the last two years of his life, he was a devout Buddhist.

Farmers accidentally unearthed his the coffin in a field in 1958. Experts were first able to exam the remains in 1964.


Little is known about the mummification of Le Du Tong, but it is suspected that formaldehyde was used to preserve the body. The discovery of his body was a very important find as it is one of the only cases in which a leader of the Le Dynasty was ever excavated and examined.

He was encased in a red lacquer inner coffin trimmed with gold, and in 1964, the coffin, which is made of precious ngoc am wood (also known as po mu),was taken to the Viet Nam History Museum.


The coffin had two bottoms, with a 10 cm layer of roasted rice between them. The body was wrapped in many layers of clothing and shrouds, including eight large shrouds made of brocade, measuring 1.5 meters by 5 meters each; a small shroud made of two layers of brocade; a large royal robe with an embroidered dragon on the front and many other smaller dragons on the back and on both sleeves; two inner royal mantles; and three pairs of silk trousers. The King’s face was covered with a towel that has an image of a dragon in the center.

Grave goods included a book, a pen, a brush, a paper fan, and a bag to hold betel and areca nuts.


The Le dynasty reigned from 1428 to 1789, famous for its founder, Le Loi, who liberated the country from Chinese Ming invaders.

After several requests by the council of the Le royal family, the Ministry of Culture permitted a reburial. A special ceremony was held to rebury the remains of Le Du Tong in Bai Trach village, Tho Xuan district, Thanh Hoa province on Jan. 25, 2010. The King’s stele was placed at the imperial temple of the former Le Kings, alongside those of the 27 Le Kings of the Le dynasty in Dong Ve ward of Thanh Hoa city.

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