Yoon Family Mummy
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Yoon Family Members

Mother And Son

Age unknown - At Death

440 - Mummification Age

Sex Female - Mother

Male - Son

Status Deceased
Height Unknown
Culture Joseon Korea
Date(s) Discovered - 2002
Site unknown
Current Location
Location Korea
Catalog # unknown


Elite families during the Joseon dynasty often placed their dead in heogyeok tombs. In 2002, a significant find was made when a member of the the elite Yoon family was found in a tomb. The significance of this find rests in the presence of a mummified fetus found in the tomb. It has been the only recorded find of both a mother and son mummy. The death of the mother and son was due to complications during labor.


During the Joseon era, mummification was not a deliberate practice. Mummification occurred as the upper class, such as members of the Yoon family were buried in hoegyeok like tombs. These tombs consisted of double sided coffins with a layer of limestone to cover the top. This practice created an air tight seal in the coffin, resulting in isolation from water and air, which causes decay in human bodies. As as result mummification occurs unintentionally, essentially what is created is dead body which is perfectly preserved.


With such high quality of preservation found in the mummies, Korean university scientists were able to create a three-dimensional representation of the situation that lead to the death of the mother.


Due to the unintentional mummification of the bodies within the tombs, scientist have been able to answer many questions about life during the Joseon Dynasty. The well preserved bodies provided scientists with information on disease and dietary norms during the era, including the causes of death.

Additional Info

External Links

Joseon dead found perfectly preserved in air-tight tombs. (2009, May 7). Retrieved April 06, 2016, from

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