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Le Du Tong
Human Mummy
Le
Biographical Information
Name(s) Le Du Tong
Age 51
Sex Male
Status
Height
Source
Culture Buddhist
Date(s) 1680-1731
Site
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. Le Du Tong was the 22nd Emperor of the Le Dynasty which had been ruling over Vietnam since 1427. Le Du Tong died at the age of 52. For the last two years of his life, he was a devout Buddhist.

Farmers accidentally came across the coffin of Le Du Tong when they were digging in a field in 1958. Experts were first able to exam the remains in 1964.

Mummification

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

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

Studies

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 1.5m by 5m 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.

Additional

The Le dynasty, lasted 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.

External Links

https://www.flickr.com/photos/historicalbodies/14148417666

http://www1.rfi.fr/actuen/articles/121/article_6654.asp

https://en.vietnamplus.vn/king-le-du-tong-reburied-in-homeland/16255.vnp

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