Accidentally mummified, 500-year-old bodies recently unearthed in South Korea may offer scientists clues to combating a deadly modern-day illness—and tell a love story eerily similar to Romeo and Juliet.

One corpse, of an out-of-favor nobleman, was discovered with more than a dozen poems and other signs of his widow’s bereavement.

The mummy was found buried with a love poem written by his wife.

Dating to around the time Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet, the verse bears striking similarities to the famous tragedy.

It reads, in part:

"You always said we would be living together, to die in the same day

However, why did you go to the heaven alone? 

Why did you go alone leaving me and our child behind?

… 

I cannot live without you anymore. 

I hope I could be with you. 

Please let me go with you. 

My love to you, it is unforgettable in this world, 

and my sorrow, it is without end.”

… 

Existing clan records identify the 32-year-old man as the second son of a senior figure involved in a revolt against the emperor.

A total of 13 letters, as well as slippers woven from the wife’s hair, were discovered with his preserved body.

But the fate of his widow remains a mystery. Fearing retribution by the emperor’s forces, she probably fled with her children to the safety of her own family, experts speculate.


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    emperors in Korea? 500 years ago?
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