Working during their free time, Dutch doctors at the Meander Medical Center in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, carried out a CT scan and endoscopy on the statue to investigate its contents. Following various medial tests, bone material from the mummy was sent for DNA testing.
RT said that gastrointestinal and liver doctor Reinoud Vermeijden and radiologist Ben Heggelman told the press that it was their “oldest patient ever.”
While the doctors already knew that there was a mummy inside, they were surprised to discover that all of its internal organs had been removed and replaced by scrolls with Chinese writing on the them. Unfortunately, some of the material had rotted away.
According to the Mail Online, this the first time that a mummy has been found inside a Buddhist statue. The Mail quotes Erik Bruijn, an expert on Buddhism, who identified the mummy as Buddhist master Liuquan, a member of the Chinese Meditation School. Many Buddhists believe that the remains of the such monks are not dead, but meditating.
There have been other discoveries of mummies recently. In January, in Mongolia, archeologists found a Buddhist monk in the lotus position preserved by animal skins and two months ago, a mummified woman, buried as part of a ceremonial ritual, was uncovered in a temple in Peru.
The Buddha statue with the mummy still inside has been taken to the Hungarian Natural History Museum in Budapest, Hungary, where it will be on public display until May 2015.