At Home in Her Tomb by Christine Liu-Perkins,Sarah S. Brannen

By Christine Liu-Perkins,Sarah S. Brannen

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HUNAN PROVINCIAL MUSEUM medicine. To cure a wart, seven different remedies are given. One remedy involves performing a ritual dance while chanting and rubbing the wart with dirt clods. Another says to touch the wart with the burning tip of a cord made of cattail leaves. Exercise was valued in ancient China, much as it is today. An exercise chart called “Daoyin tu (Drawings of Guiding and Pulling)” portrays fortyfour human figures in various poses. Some of these poses imitate animals, including the grasshopper, crane, eagle, bear, dragon, and monkey.

But soon they will stop eating. Then each tiny silkworm will weave a cocoon around itself, secreting a sticky liquid as it gyrates its head in a figure eight. This process is magic to Lady Dai, no matter how many times she sees it. Shields of Silk Not only is silk stronger than steel, it also can stretch without breaking. Chinese and Mongolian soldiers wore silk under their leather or metal armor for protection. Arrows rip flesh when they are pulled out. However, if a soldier wore silk, an arrow would enter the body but not tear through the silk.

They placed the shrouded body in a beautifully decorated coffin, which was then nested within three more coffins. One of the outer coffins had paintings of creatures believed to be spirits who would protect her from evil. Preparing the Grave Next the family made preparations for the tomb. The oldest son instructed a diviner, a type of fortune-teller, to determine that the gravesite was in a secure place safe from disaster, such as a landslide. Once the site was approved, the builders dug an enormous pit fifty-two feet (sixteen meters) deep.

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