‘Elixir of Life’ Found… in Tomb

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Some things never change

So we read this headline the other night, “‘Elixir of Life’ Found in Ancient Chinese Tomb,” and both exclaimed at the same time, “What’s it doing in a tomb?” Like, what’s wrong with this picture? (https://bgr.com/2019/03/05/immortality-elixir-china-archaeology-tomb/)

The search for an elixir that would prolong life indefinitely was once a big thing in Chinese culture, especially among the elite. Emperors wanted to live forever, but had no religion to sustain that hope; so they went to great lengths trying to find a worldly solution to the problem of mortality. This solution, for instance, contained a mixture of potassium nitrate (used in many fertilizers) and aluminum potassium sulfate. It would not be nice to drink and could possibly kill you. Back to the drawing board on that one.

The tomb dated from 202 B.C., and archeologists were surprised to discover a bronze vessel that still had liquid in it after some 2,200 years. Why didn’t it dry up?

Today we turn on the radio and hear ads for elixirs that grow hair on bald heads. The elixir industry has always been with us. The fact that none of them ever seem to work doesn’t kill the market.

But c’mon–immortality juice in a tomb? Not a good advertisement!

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