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Document: Mawangdui Tombs Silk Text
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Document: Mawangdui Tombs Silk Text

Mawangdui Tombs Silk Document

Mawangdui Tombs Silk Document

108 × 240  271 × 598  453 × 1,000
license: public domain
source: Wikimedia Commons
author: unknown

A photograph shows a silk document filled with Chinese characters. The manuscript bears signs of aging, with frayed edges and small holes and tears throughout.


Artifact: 2nd century BC

Photo: 1980


This ancient Chinese manuscript was among a number of others discovered in the Mawangdui Tombs in 1973. This photo shows part of a Taoist manuscript. Another text discovered in the tombs was Wushi’er Bingfang or Recipes for Fifty-Two Ailments (not pictured), a 2nd century BC medical text detailing 283 prescriptions and treatments for various ailments, such as surface wounds, ulcers, frostbite, warts, internal bleeding, and poisoning.

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Recipes for Fifty-Two Ailments


Harper, D. J. (2003). Early Chinese medical literature. Routledge.