212 B.C., China

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During the Qin Dynasty, the Emperor ordered all books not relating to practical matters, like construction or farming, to be burned to guard against so-called "dangerous thoughts". While we will never know with certainty whether accounts of zombie attacks were destroyed, a excerpt from a obscure medical manuscript, which was hidden in the wall of the home of a executed scholar, appears to indicate a familiarity with zombies among the ancient Chinese.

"The only treatment for victims of the Eternal Waking Nightmare is complete dismemberment followed by fire. The patient must be bodily restrained, his mouth filled with straw then bound securely. All limbs and organs must be removed, avoiding contact with any bodily fluids. All must be burned to ash then scattered at least twelve li in all directions. No other remedy will suffice as the sickness has no cure . . . the desire for human meat, unquenchable. . . . If victims are encountered in numbers, with no hopes of restraining them, immediate decapitation must be used . . . the Shaolin spade being the swiftest weapon for this task."

While it was never mentioned that the victims of the Eternal Waking Nightmare were dead, the craving for human flesh, and the method of "treatment", does seem to indicate to prescence of zombies in ancient China.

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead
Max Brooks | Solanum | Zombies | Outbreaks | Recorded Attacks

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