Skip to comments.On The Presence Of Non-Chinese At Anyang
Posted on 08/16/2006 9:16:37 AM PDT by blam
On the Presence of Non-Chinese at Anyang
by Kim Hayes
It has now become clear that finds of chariot remains, metal knives and axes of northern provenance, and bronze mirrors of western provenance in the tombs of Anyang indicate that the Shang had at least indirect contact with people who were familiar with these things. Who were these people? Where did they live? When did they arrive?
Following the discovery of the Tarim Mummies, we now know that the population of the earliest attested cultures of what is present-day Xinjiang were of northwestern or western derivation. According to the craniometric studies of Ran Kangxin, these people can be divided into three distinct types.
The first group to arrive are held to have come from the north because the cranial measurements of the surviving skulls of this type are affinial with the skulls of the Afanasevo culture in particular, which was located in the Sayan-Altai/North Mongolia area, and with the skull types of steppe people living much further to the west. This group is called "Proto-European" by Mair and Mallory, and it can be dated to have arrived in Xinjiang about 1800 B.C.E. or somewhat earlier.
It has been suggested that this group may have been a relatively small group of Afanasevo/Tocharian refugees fleeing to the south, away from Indo-Iranian expansion arriving from regions west and southwest of the Sayan-Altai.
If we accept the refugee classification of these people, it helps us explain the geographical position in the southeast Tarim of the Qawrighul and Yanbulaq Proto-Europeans. It was as far away from everywhere as you could get-it was a safe place. This is important and may help us to understand much else that happened to these people prior to their arrival in Xinjiang, as well as what happened to them after this time.
For the period c. 2000-c. 1000 B.C.E.-which saw the emergence, development, expansion, and culmination of early Chinese civilization in the Erlitou, Erligang and related cultures, Anyang cultural continuum-there is no extant evidence of contact between the people of the eastern Tarim and the people of the emerging Chinese polity.
It is only from around c. 1000 B.C.E. that we have evidence for the arrival in Xinjiang of the two remaining types of caucasoid, the Pamir Ferghana and Indo-Afghan types. It is thought that the Pamir Ferghana type entered northwestern Xinjiang from contiguous regions to the west of the Tian Shan c. 1000 B.C.E. The Indo-Afghans are thought to have entered southwestern Xinjiang from Bactria somewhat later.
A clear illustration of "the three types of human cranial variation according to Han Kang xin," is provided on p. 238 of The Tarim Mummies and on p. 566 of The Bronze Age.
Given that there is no evidence to indicate interaction between the caucasoids of Xinjiang and their Han neighbors to the east, it is very unlikely that remains of any non-Chinese found at Anyang would have come from Xinjiang. This proposition is strengthened by the fact that the Pamir Ferghana and Indo-Afghan types are held to have entered Western Xinjiang around the time of the demise of the Shang, or after.
Heretofore, many scholars have suspected that there might have been a foreign contribution involved in the formative processes of the emerging Chinese polity, but beyond inferences and possibilities, no scholar has felt confident enough, or has been able to say, that there is material proof that this is possible.
This is an excerpt from an issue of Sino-Platonic Papers. (For the issue number and date, see the top of this page.) For the complete text, along with all notes and bibliographic citations, order the printed edition of this issue. For pricing information, see the SPP catalog.
Not sure if it is related, a programme on NGC once mentioned these people were Indo-European. They came to this conclusion by examining the preserved clothing fragments on those preserved bodies. Or something on those lines.
In the book, The Tarim Mummies, Han Kangxin describes the people of Qawrighul as robust proto-Europeans. I don't know what he means by 'robust.' Anyone?
Does proto mean that they eventually became Europeans?
I was would contend that 'robust' would refer to the body type and structure of the Qawrighul, I dunnno if modern day 'Russians' would be considered European.
I see your going back some years talking about Europeans in China, don't forget the Romans. Though, they are way after your time frame.
"Does proto mean that they eventually became Europeans?"
I took it to mean a precursor group of the people we know as European, but not these people specifically, who were somehow sidetracked into modern day China.
Just mentioning while we're talking archaeology:
Heard Glenn Kimball on the radio last night say that the Ark of the Covenant is in Arkansas. Ark-Ansas. I would have to put his area of interest in a combination of precolumbian America and prechristian Europe. He has a tremendous amount of documentation.
The Mummies of Urumchi (Hardcover) by Elizabeth Wayland Barber,Hardcover: 240 pages Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (January 1999) Language: English ISBN: 0393045218
When the physical evidence of the various desicated corpses, cranial measurements, tatoos, is combined with their clothing, the only conclusion is that they were Celts. The scientrific problem is that we have no such complete physical remains from ancient Celtic culture to compare in Europe.
Thanks, I have the video and all the books.
I tend to agree with you about the Celts...Elizabeth Barber does and excellent job of comparing the Fabrics of the Tarim Mummies with the ancient Celts found in the salt mines at Hallstadt, Austria...5,000 miles and 1,000 years later.
Han Kangxin describes the people of Qawrighul as robust proto-Europeans. I don't know what he means by 'robust.' Anyone?That means they were heavily built, almost as if they had, oh, I dunno, Neandertal forebears... ;')
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Horse-mounted invaders from the Russo-Kazakh steppe or agricultural colonists from western Central Asia?
Numerous Bronze Age cemeteries in the oases surrounding the Täklamakan Desert of the Tarim Basin in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, western China, have yielded both mummified and skeletal human remains. A dearth of local antecedents, coupled with woolen textiles and the apparent Western physical appearance of the population, raised questions as to where these people came from.
Two hypotheses have been offered by archaeologists to account for the origins of Bronze Age populations of the Tarim Basin. These are the steppe hypothesis and the Bactrian oasis hypothesis. Eight craniometric variables from 25 Aeneolithic and Bronze Age samples, comprising 1,353 adults from the Tarim Basin, the Russo-Kazakh steppe, southern China, Central Asia, Iran, and the Indus Valley, are compared to test which, if either, of these hypotheses are supported by the pattern of phenetic affinities possessed by Bronze Age inhabitants of the Tarim Basin.
Craniometric differences between samples are compared with Mahalanobis generalized distance (d2), and patterns of phenetic affinity are assessed with two types of cluster analysis (the weighted pair average linkage method and the neighbor-joining method), multidimensional scaling, and principal coordinates analysis.
Results obtained by this analysis provide little support for either the steppe hypothesis or the Bactrian oasis hypothesis. Rather, the pattern of phenetic affinities manifested by Bronze Age inhabitants of the Tarim Basin suggests the presence of a population of unknown origin within the Tarim Basin during the early Bronze Age.
After 1200 B.C., this population experienced significant gene flow from highland populations of the Pamirs and Ferghana Valley.
These highland populations may include those who later became known as the Saka and who may have served as middlemen facilitating contacts between East (Tarim Basin, China) and West (Bactria, Uzbekistan) along what later became known as the Great Silk Road. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
The clothing, dress, tatoos, and fabric would make them recognizable as Celts. Its interesting to see people work so hard to avooid the right conclusion, right down to attempting to establish a defined subrrace to explain the Tarim Mummies. Modern science and history work very hard to keep the Celtic underpinnings of modern society obtuse and obscure. Its actually quite amusing to anyone who is familiar with the dynamic.
I mean if you saw a person dressed like a cowboy walking down the street, you would not exclaim," There is a protid Nordic with slightly abherrant facial features that come from Eskimos, he must be from Hawaii. You would take a closer look and realize that the " Dallas Cowboys" pin on his shirt is a dead give away,which Tarim Mummy researchers refuse to do.
These folks are no more,"Eastern Mediterranean," than my cat is.
I always did like your way of thinking. Maybe we've found a group of hybrid Modern Human - Neanderthals, huh?
The people he defines as robust were found in these locations:
and later he says that they're closely related to people known by these names:
But not related at all to these people:
* Sredny Stog
And, all of the above are defined as proto-Europeans...some robust, some not.
The late Grover Krantz, best known perhaps for his interest in Bigfoot, discussed a scenario where archaic hunter-gatherers persisted for a long time in Europe, still vanishing for the most part before literacy arrived, with perhaps some straggler pockets of population lasting until the Middle Ages.
[my parents already do, anyway]...;D