Ancient estern boat people

Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 01:35 am
Desert riddle unearthed: ancient 'Western' boat people
March 17, 2010
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 4,780 • Replies: 7
No top replies

Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 01:54 am
ancient eastern and western boat people likely to have been first circumnavigators cf. the boats east meets west and upside down
0 Replies
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 02:17 am
I'll just see if i can include the artical this time. Embarrassed

Desert riddle unearthed: ancient 'Western' boat people
March 17, 2010

IN THE middle of a terrifying desert north of Tibet, Chinese archaeologists have excavated an extraordinary cemetery. Its inhabitants died almost 4000 years ago, yet their bodies have been preserved by the dry air
The cemetery is in China's north-west province of Xinjiang, yet the people have European features, with brown hair and long noses. Their remains, though lying in one of the world's largest deserts, are buried in upside-down boats. Where tombstones might stand, their cemetery sports a forest of phallic symbols, signalling an intense interest in procreation.

The long-vanished people have no name. Their origin and identity are still unknown. But many clues are emerging about their ancestry, their way of life and even their language.
Their graveyard, known as Small River Cemetery No. 5, lies near a dry riverbed in the Tarim Basin, a region encircled by forbidding mountains. Most of the basin is occupied by the Taklimakan Desert, a wilderness so inhospitable that later travellers along the Silk Road would edge along its northern or southern borders.
n modern times the region has been occupied by Turkish-speaking Uighurs, joined in the past 50 years by Han settlers from China.

The 200 or so mummies have a distinctively Western appearance. Some, including a well-preserved woman known as the Beauty of Loulan, were analysed by Li Jin, a geneticist at Shanghai's Fudan University, who said in 2007 that their DNA contained markers indicating an east Asian and even south Asian origin.

The mummies in the Small River Cemetery are, so far, the oldest discovered in the Tarim Basin. Carbon tests show that the oldest part dates to 3980 years ago.

Despite political tensions with the Uighurs over the mummies' origin, the Chinese said in a report published last month in the journal BMC Biology that the people were of mixed ancestry, having European and some Siberian genetic markers, and probably came from outside China.

The Small River Cemetery was rediscovered in 1934 by the Swedish archaeologist Folke Bergman and then forgotten for

66 years until relocated through GPS navigation by a Chinese expedition. Archaeologists began excavating it in 2003. Their reports have been translated and summarised by Victor Mair, a professor of Chinese at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert in the prehistory of the Tarim Basin.

As the Chinese archaeologists dug through the five layers of burials, Dr Mair recounted, they came across almost 200 black-and-red poles, each four metres tall. Many had flat blades, like the oars from a great galley.

At the foot of each pole were boats, laid upside down and covered with cowhide. The clothes on the bodies inside were still intact. They included felt caps with feathers tucked in the brim, and large woollen capes with tassels and leather boots. Underclothes consisted of woollen loincloths and skirts made of string strands.

Within each boat coffin were grave goods, including beautifully woven grass baskets, skilfully carved masks and bundles of the herb ephedra.

Several items resemble artefacts or customs familiar in Europe, Dr Mair noted. Boat burials were common among the Vikings. String skirts and phallic symbols have been found in Bronze Age burials of northern Europe.

The Tarim Basin was already quite dry when the Small River people entered it 4000 years ago. They probably lived at the edge of survival until the lakes and rivers on which they depended finally dried up around AD400.


Dr Mair believes their language could have been Tokharian, an ancient member of the Indo-European family of languages. Tokharian seems more closely related to the languages of Europe than to the languages of India and Iran.

0 Replies
Pamela Rosa
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 05:17 am
Beauty of Loulan
One of the most famous Tocharian mummies found, the so-called "Beauty of Loulan"; and right, her face as reconstructed by an artist

The Mummies of Xinjiang
In the dry hills of the central Asian province, archeologists have unearthed more than 100 corpses that are as much as 4,000 years old, astonishingly well preserved--and caucasian.
by Evan Hadingham:
One glimpse of the corpses was enough to shock Victor Mair profoundly. In 1987, Mair, a professor of Chinese at the University of Pennsylvania, was leading a tour group through a museum in the Chinese city of Ürümqi, in the central Asian province of Xinjiang, when he accidentally strayed into a gloomy, newly opened room. There, under glass, lay the recently discovered corpses of a family--a man, a woman, and a child of two or three--each clad in long, dark purple woolen garments and felt boots. "Even today I get chills thinking about that first encounter," says Mair. "The Chinese said they were 3,000 years old, yet the bodies looked as if they were buried yesterday."

But the real shock came when Mair looked closely at their faces. In contrast to most central Asian peoples, these corpses had obvious Caucasian, or European, features--blond hair, long noses, deep-set eyes, and long skulls......
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 08:34 pm

"European" R1a and R1b came around 20,000 years ago and those with herds' diet i.e. milk and curd, cheese which provided the calcium for the facial features of prominent noses e.g. Europe, Middle East, South Asia (Pakistan and India) parts of Africa. All countries that do not have cattle, goats or sheep in their foof system do not have the European facial features. The blond hair and blues eyes are probably from the colder northern climate and lack of vegetables thus robbing the hair to produce the normal black. Now that European nations have access to vegetables more and more Europeans have black hair.

In the Mahabharat epic some of the ancestors of the Hindu kings have Chinese names as they originally came from the region now known as Kryghistan, Afghanistan and Tajikstan by the Amyr River. In those days there were no borders and very sparsely populated. Central Asia was where East met West. From Central Asia people spread North, East and West (towards the Black sea and beyond. From the Levant people spread to Europe.

The Haplogroup R originated in the region of Afghanistan and Iran and from this Haplogroup came R1a and R1b (the mummies are of this group). They went into the Tarim Basin and into China itself to the Shantung area. Shantung people are noted for their height.
0 Replies
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 08:46 pm
Here is more on Haplogroup R1b

0 Replies
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2010 05:34 pm
@Pamela Rosa,
The Yuehzi are probably these people


Alexander the Great Married Roxana was a Sogdian or Yuehzi princess with blonde hair and not Persian. Alexander the Great had all his soldiers marry Sogdian wives in a mass wedding.




0 Replies
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2010 06:09 pm
Shantung images:

0 Replies

Related Topics

FREE TIBET!!!!...and then what? - Discussion by dagmaraka
The Voice of China - Question by Turandot
Chinese military parade, VJ day + 70 - Discussion by gungasnake
Disputed Area in South China Seas - Question by Ionus
The Spratly standoff between China and Vietnam - Discussion by BumbleBeeBoogie
Will GFC 2.0 start in China? - Discussion by hingehead
Yuan versus Renminbi - Question by gollum
Why Chinese Mothers are Superior - Question by Linkat
6.9 Quake near Tibet - Discussion by Butrflynet
  1. Forums
  2. » Ancient estern boat people
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/27/2021 at 08:19:05