The funerary bundle of the Lady of Cao was 181 cm long, 75 cm wide and 42 cm deep and weighed around 120 kilos.  It was covered by a large mat made of vegetable fibers, which was preserved in its position until the start of the opening of the bundle.

The unwrapping process recorded 22 layers that were taken off progressively, which were organized in three stages.  That is to say, the funerary bundle of the Lady of Cao was actually composed of three successive bundles

Phase I  (Layer 1 to 5)

The superficial bundle featured on its exterior surface an anthropomorphic embroidered face and covered with cinnabar (mercury sulfide).  From layer 1 to layer 4 of the bundle, blankets were found, some of which with decorated edges.  On level 5 there were six layers of square cloths with square metal plates of gilded copper sown onto the textile material.  Then, it was possible to identify and recover the emblems of power placed at the level of the head of the personage: two lateral bludgeons and four crowns with their respective V-shaped diadems.

Phase 2 (layer 6 to 12):

The face on the intermediate bundle (layer 6) had a new face embroidered with the appearance of a monkey, which had on either side metal earrings with the representation of felines.  The vermilion red color of the cinnabar that covered the embroidering was most intense.  From layer 6 to 12, more textiles appeared as straps and cloths.  This stage is characterized by the abundant presence of the straps and shrouds associated to small offerings and to large quantities of cotton fibers.

Phase 3 (Layer 13 to 22)

The internal bundle is the earliest one.  On this stage, the body of the Lady of Cao was found.  Four finely decorated dresses were recorded on an extended layer of white cotton, two of which were in a state of decomposition and the other two in good condition.  There was also a cape made of fine fabric with instruments and supplies for textile production.  Later appeared a textile cloth with 31 plates of gilded copper, sown and held by straps.

LADY OF CAO