“The Beauty of Xiaohe,” female mummy, ca 1800-1500 BCE. Excavated from Xiaohe (Little River) Cemetery 5, Charqilik (Ruoqiang) County, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. © Wang Da-Gang.
This mummy has been preserved extremely well, with the entire body covered in an even layer of thick, milky white substance. The “beauty” has thick, flaxen hair that has grown long down to the chest. Except for the head, calves, and feet, the entire body was wrapped in a wide, white wool cloak. She was buried with three small pouches that contain broken pieces of ephedra, a kind of evergreen shrub with medicinal properties, and a wooden phallus was placed on her chest.