Archeologists have discovered a strange liquid in a sealed ancient Chinese Tomb, described in ancient Taoist literature as an elixir of life or elixir of immortality. The potion supposedly grants the drinker eternal life and/or eternal youth.
Researchers excavating a massive tomb in central China’s Henan Province have recently revealed they have discovered a strange liquid sealed in a bronze pot dating back from the Han Dynasty (202 BC-8 AD).
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The sealed bronze pot has remained unopened for thousands of years and according to experts, the liquid is a so-called elixir of immortality.
Archaeologists discovered as much as 3.5 liters of the liquid when the tomb of a noble family was excavated int eh city of Luoyang.
Initially, experts had no idea that the liquid they had discovered was an elixir of life. In fact, it was initially thought to be an alcoholic beverage as it gave off a strong aroma.
To understand more about the liquid, scientists took it to a lab where further research revealed the potion was mainly composed of potassium nitrate and alunite.
These two elements were the main ingredients of ‘immortality medicine’ mentioned in ancient Taoist texts, explains Pan Fusheng, leading archaeologist of the excavation project. The seal of the bronze pot was intact, which prevented the liquid from evaporating for more than 2,000 years.
“It is the first time that mythical ‘immortality medicines’ have been found in China,” said Shi Jiazhen, head of the Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology in Luoyang in an interview with Xinhuanet.
“The liquid is of significant value for the study of ancient Chinese thoughts on achieving immortality and the evolution of Chinese civilization,” Shi added.
In addition to discovering what is considered the first elixir of life in China, researchers excavating the tomb which covers 210 square meters also discovered many color-painted clay pots, jadeware as well as different artifacts.
Archaeologists have revealed that the remains of the tomb’s occupant have also been preserved.
“The tomb provides valuable material for the study of the life of Western Han nobles as well as the funeral rituals and customs of the period,” Pan concluded.