Skip to comments.The Sand Dune Forgotten By Time (Caucasian Mummies In China - More )
Posted on 03/19/2005 3:48:39 PM PST by blam
The Sand Dune Forgotten by Time
Archaeologists working in the extreme desert terrain of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have moved a step closer to unraveling the mystery of a 40-century-old civilization.
They unearthed 163 tombs containing mummies during their ongoing and long excavation at the mysterious Xiaohe tomb complex.
And it's all thanks to the translation of a diary kept by a Swedish explorer more than 70 years ago.
"We have found more than 30 coffins containing mummies," said Idelisi Abuduresule, head of the Xinjiang Cultural Relics and Archaeology Institute and the excavation team.
The complex is believed to contain 330 or so tombs buried in several layers within a 2,500-square-meter sand dune.
"Most of the items are in the original state of the time when they were buried, and that will help reveal a lot of information about the society and life style of the people of that time," said Idelisi, during his trip back from the desert dust and heat to the autonomous region's capital Urumqi to record the finds, and store the artifacts.
The Xiaohe tombs are believed to have been the burial site of the mysterious Loulan Kingdom, which disappeared without historical trace about 15 centuries ago.
Today's archaeologists are following in the footsteps of Swedish explorer Folke Bergman, who in 1934 ventured south along a river in Lop Nur Desert in the eastern part of Xinjiang.
He said on his return that he'd discovered a dune harboring over 1,000 coffins that date back 4,000 years ago.
He named the place Xiaohe (small river) tombs.
But the river he used to navigate to this ancient site dried up and the dune and its tombs were forgotten about for decades.
In the late 1990s, however, Chinese sociologists translated Bergman's records on archaeological exploration in the area into Chinese and the hunt for dune and its mysteries was once again underway.
In addition to burial articles such as bent wooden blocks and straw baskets, Idelisi's team has found in some coffins wooden figures wrapped in leather instead of mummified bodies.
A bird's-eye view of Xiaohe tombs shows the oval-shape dune taking on the appearance of dumpling pricked full of chopsticks.
Above every coffin protrudes two thick wooden stakes, a symbol some believe of ancient worshiping.
"Considering the scale of the burial site and the mysterious cultural signs, the analyses of the relics are going to yield some exciting results," predicted Idelisi.
The State Administration of Cultural Heritage approved excavation of the Xiaohe tombs in 2003.
(China Daily March 19, 2005)
Be patient, I'll fill in all the blanks
Well-Preserved Mummies Found in Xinjiang
A team of Chinese archaeologists have recently discovered dozens of remarkably well-preserved mummies scattered about a sand dune on the western edge of Lop Nur, a desolate area in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
"Never before have such a large number of mummies been found in a single graveyard anywhere in the world," said Yang Lian, a research fellow with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who led the group in early January.
Yang said the exact number of bodies was not determined, as they were buried in layers in what experts believe is an ancient cemetery. Other bodies are lying on top of or partially protruding from the sand, as well as inside semi-deteriorated coffins.
"It is estimated there are well over 100 mummified bodies," he said.
The sand dune where the mummies were found covers 2,400 square meters and rises as high as seven meters. It looks like an isolated island in a sea of sand.
"The mummies lying at the bottom are older than those on the top layer as the sand dune was formed over a long period of time," said Wang Binghua, the foremost researcher of the Xinjiang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, who had visited the site on a separate expedition.
On the mummified body of a boy about six or seven years old, a plump eyelid is still intact, and his long brown hair still flows down his back. His skin has turned black.
The mummified bodies found in coffins were wrapped in leather and were not treated with any form of embalming, unlike Egyptian mummies, said Xia Xuncheng, a researcher with the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, who was on the January trip.
In Egypt, corpses of pharaohs or wealthy men underwent a complicated embalming process. The Lop Nur mummies were preserved naturally in the sandy area, which has annual rainfall of 13 mm and a yearly evaporation rate of up to 4,000 mm, said Xia.
"The discovery of the mummies is of great academic value to the study of social development in unrecorded history," he noted.
Xia, who has studied mummies in China for decades, has made a careful study of a 3,800-year-old female mummy who lived in the ancient civilization of Lou Lan. Based on the sand found in the woman's lungs, experts believe Lop Nur became an arid land some 4,000 years ago.
Archaeologist have theorized that the newly found mummies were Indo-European men, judging from the facial structure and size of the bodies.
The experts believe the bodies were entombed over 4,000 years ago. Further testing will be done to determine the exact period of burial.
The recently found tomb is adjacent to Lou Lan, one of the busiest commercial cities on the ancient Silk Road, and Taiyang (which means "sun") Cemetery, where mummies had been found previously.
"It is amazing that so many ancient bodies were found in such good shape," Wang said, adding that further study of the mummies would aid Chinese scientists' research on ancient Xinjiang and the development of civilization in central Asia.
(Peoples Daily 02/26/2001)
Too far East and 3,000 years too late.
My ouigee board puts the homelnad of te Indo-Europeans at the bottom of what is now the Black Sea. That is why proposed homelands are scattered all the way around a body of water that wasn't there at the time.
Chinese archaeologists have recently rediscovered the Xiaohe Tombs (Small River tombs) in Lop Nur, a desert in northwest Chinas Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, after they were first found 66 years ago.
Chinese archaeologists found some 100 wooden poles, which are symbols of the Xiaohe Tombs and demonstrate how people buried the dead, on January 4, on a sand dune.
The tombs were first found by Folke Bergman, a Swedish archaeologist, in the summer of 1934. The tombs are regarded as the most mysterious place in the exploration of Loulan, an ancient kingdom located in the area, and Xinjiang.
Xiaohe Tombs, covering 2,500 square meters, have remained hidden in the Lop Nur desert from 1934 until the late 1990s when Chinese scientists with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) translated Bergmans book on archaeological exploration in the area into Chinese.
Chinese archaeologists also found bent wooden blocks, human bones, dismembered mummies and woven pieces of wool. But no living plants were found.
Bergman held that mummies unearthed in the area date back 4,000 years and belong to Aryans.
A quant-shaped object found in the area, which was mentioned by Bergman in his book, is one meter long, 70 to 80 cm wide and 10 to 20 cm thick. It is carved out of a poplar tree trunk with a diameter of over one meter, experts said.
Yang Lian, a researcher with the CASS, said that the Xiaohe Tombs might be the imperial tombs of the Loulan Kingdom. They play a very important role in the research of the Loulan civilization and the climatic changes in Lop Nur.
Xiaohe (small river), named by Bergman, runs from south to north in the delta area of the Tarim and Kongque rivers in Xinjiang.
The river was marked as a seasonal river on the geological map of China at the end of the 1950s. The river has since totally dried up.
(Peoples Daily 01/09/2001)
Or of banners. Maybe some sort of cloth tombstone?
"My ouigee board"
Be very careful and respectful with it...a PO'd Ouija entity is not good for your well-being.
Redundant vampire slaying?
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest -- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)
Thanks for posting the things you do. It's fascinating, but more than that, it's stuff we all need to know.
"I detected there was an essay concerning the ethnic consist of "Wu Hu" which invaded China during the Jin Dynasty. The author's view was that the Turk which raided China later was a Caucasian tribe (there Khan described as with grenn eyes and red cheek, more evidance available) , "Wu Hu" (Xiongnu, Jie, Qiang, Di, Xianbei) were not. But according to the Chinese ancient historical annual, the Xiongnu are such Nordic tribe with red hair and blue eyes like "Wushun". And, Jie, which was a branch of Xiongnu, also described as with high Nose Bridge, and "deep" eyes. After the collapse of their ruling to Han, the Jie people was distinguished easily because of their Caucasian feature and slaughtered (more than 200,000 victims). The historical work of the later dynasties also described the remained Xiongnu people as "Long nose" and "yellow hair". Until Tang dynasty, the "Qi Hu" which is the offspring of the royal Xiongnu people, still called "Hu tou Han se" which mean's they adopt the Chinese tongue, but still "foreign" feature. Much other evidence can support the standpoint that Xiongnu are Caucasion,I don't want to illustrate any more. Some people believe the Xiongnu are Mongolian race, because the Roman historian said the Hun people who invaded were"brown skin, stocky body, slanting eyes" which are typical Mongolian trait. But, actually, the Hun who invaded Europe 5th century was not the descendant of Xiongnu. The contemporary scholars affirm they are the identical tribe just because the pronunciation of "Hun" and "Xiongnu" are approximately the same. And there is some relationship between their languege. I also want to point out that around the 5th and 6th century, there's another branch of "Hun" ruined the Persia and Northwest India, that Branch was called "White Hun" The Persian historian said that thier feature were different from "Hun", with white body. Hence, it seemed that, they were also Caucasian. Now, let's come to Xianbei, many people noticed that, in the historical book, the Xianbei people were called "Bai Lu" means white invader (thief). And in the Great Work <>, I found the following story--The Emperor Of Eastern Jin, Jin Ming Di (Shima Shao), was with yellow beard and hair, because his mother was a Xianbei female. Once he went to inspect his troop without notice, And the warriors all considered him as Xianbei people, then chased him as enemy. The folk songs at that time said, "Huang tou Xianbei jin Luoyang"--Xianbei is with "yellow head", it is quite possible that "yellow head" referred to their yellow hair and beard. Xianbei is an alliance of tribes; there might also be some Mongolian tribes in it, but the Caucasian consist was more obvious, which all Hans paid attention to it. I'm inclined to be in approval of what Mr. Peng elaborated yesterday. The contemporary Chinese people don't dwell on the ethnic origin of the nation, most of them believe they are simply Mongolian race. That's not a correct concept. The racial intermix in china began before any dynasty, but the Neolithic time. The skulls unearthed in the relics of Banpo Xi'an reveal the trait of Caucasian, exactly, the Nordish Caucasian. The Banpo civilian used to be the hybrid of Nordish and Mongolian (like the Finn today). We all know, the Banpo is the representative civilization of the Northern China Neolithic civilizations, we can infer, many other Chinese civilizations in that time were created by Caucasian or mingled people. The Hemudu in Zhejiang is the representative Neolithic civilization in Southern China. But after measuring the skulls detected there, it was extremely amazed that, they're of Negro characteristics! One renowned Chinese anthropologist stated in his work that "According to the numerous skeletons of Indo-Europe people unearthed in China and the feature of the Southern Chinese people today, the Chinese nation can't be classified into the Mongolian race simply. At an earlier time, many Chinese anthropologists also clarify that it's completely wrong to say the ancient skeletons discovered in China belong to the same race. The Mongolian couldn't be regarded as the only "Local Chinese". The Caucasian also had been inhabited in Eastern Asia since very early time. In Japan, the aboriginal Ainu people was finally confessed as the ancestor of current Japanese nation. The Ainu was the Caucasian tribe moved to the Japanese islands more than 20,000 years ago, while the Mongolian just reached Japan around 10,000 years ago. They intermixed and yielded the Japanese people now. The same procedure of intermixing also took place in Korea. Another famous event happened last year also support the idea--some researchers of biochemistry analyzed the DNA refined from the mummies in some ancient tombs in Shangdong province, and made a conclusion that these DNA correspond that of the European people. Another research discovered that the gene of Northern Chinese is more close to the Caucasian, rather than the Southern Chinese. The origin of Zhou, The third Dynasty of ancient China, is also doubtful. The time of the establishment of that dynasty is not far from the time of Aryan Expansion. The chariot used by the soldiers of Zhou just resembles the chariot used by Aryan invaders to India! More critical, the ancient Chinese work written by Mengzi said that, Zhou Wen Wang (the emperor of Zhou) is the people of "western barbarians" It's quite possible that a branch of Aryan intruded china at the moving of Aryan. Someone even suspect the origin of the Qin Dynasty, which was the subsequent dynasty of Zhou. At least, there was some independent Aryan tribes which didn't integrated with local Chinese or absorbed by local Chinese still existed in Western and central China at the time of late Zhou dynasty. It was recorded that the king of Qin attack the ruler of Zhou with some barbarous tribes but failed. That event happened a few hundred years BC, at that very time, the Bactoria in Central Asia was conquered by 4 Nomadic Aryan tribes, the origins of 3 of these tribes were definite. Now, some historians reckon the 4th tribe might be the failed Aryan tribe that moved back to Central Asia. Until Han dynasty, the "Yue zhi" (pronounced as 'rou zhi, an Aryan Tribe) still live in Ganshu province, and sometimes also find the track of their activity in Northern China. And the region east to Tianshan Mountain (in the center of Eastern Turkeystan) was distributed by Saka (A branch of Aryan, whose language belongs to the Iranian Group, known as Scythian by Westerners and 'Sai Zhong' by Chinese). Now, many scholars believe that many "Yi" and "Di" (the diverse barbarian tribes) recorded in early Chinese dynasties are Caucasian. I'm afraid the origin Xiongnu can be traced back to Scythian. Because the record revealed that their custom were exactly the same. Thus, the Chinese people nowadays contain abundant of Caucasian blood. But currently, they all belong to the same nation, that's because the ancient Chinese culture was so great that it could absorb any other races, it was a furnace to integrate all races. And the Caucasian, Mongolian created the grand Chinese civilization together."
275 Posted on 12/14/2001 02:10:41 PST by genealogy_prober [ Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | Top | Last ]
Well vampire legends are like the flood legend, present in all cultures so maybe....
Just joking but I do think that if you have two thick long stakes protruding from all graves that a banner strung over the grave makes sense.
Chinnghis Quan had reddish hair, and green eyes.
I think I remember him from the WWF.. he fought Jake the Snake.
We all made fun of him because of his inability to spell "Ghengis Khan".
This is the one that gets me. All culture is supposed to have either come from the North to the South yet The obviously asian physical types are not that closely related?? More digging, particularly of neolithic sites, is necessary. During the historic periods where depictions of people show mostly Asians, are consistent in both the North and the South (except in the far west where Monks and royalty of both physical types are shown).
"This is the one that gets me. All culture is supposed to have either come from the North to the South yet The obviously asian physical types are not that closely related??"
I don't believe that statement.
Stephen Oppenheimer, in his book, Out Of Eden, clearly shows with DNA evidence that the Northern Asians are directly descended from the Southern groups.
The North Asians developed Sindont (from Sundont) teeth, exagerated flat face, the peculiar eye fold and lighter skin color. He believes they were living around the Lake Baikal(sp) area when all these changes occured. Incidentlly, he also said that the oldest (undisputed) Mongoloid body type (skeleton) ever found is only 10k years old...and that suprised me.
Agreed. I think it's more possible it was Prussian (or Scythian) Celts who traveled to ancient China. bringing with them metal working and carts. Possibly even horseback riding.
Mummies of Urumchi (by Elizabeth Wayland Barber) is where I got the info the leads me to think this.
Looks like the climate in that area changed radically over the last 4,000 years.
High altitude Peruvian mummy wasn't it?
It looks like the horse was domesticated, wheels and pants were invented in this area. It was impossible for these people to travel the deep steppes without the horse and wagons. The oldest bronze smelting site ever discovered is in Thailand.
"Mummies of Urumchi (by Elizabeth Wayland Barber) is where I got the info the leads me to think this."
Barber makes a firm connection between these people and the Celts at Hallstatt, Austria...5,000 miles and 1,000 years apart.(give or take some)
I suggest you read, The Tarim Mummies, by Victor Mair for a much fuller picture of this whole story.
Also, maybe these people were moving in the opposite direction than believed by most...think about that some.
I'm beginning to think that both the Caucasians and Mongoloids split from the Jomon - Ainu types who appear to have dominated large areas of Asia 10k+ years ago.
Yes, very much. There are graveyards in the area that have large concentric circles of tree logs planted upright. There were many trees there at one time. These valleys leading into the Tarim basin were fed by streams from the melting glaciers that had accumulated during the Ice Age...when the glacier ice ran out, this whole area dessicated, even the large lakes that were there. The people must have had to move on...Mongoloid skeletons began appearing in the area around 100-200BC...and then mixtures. There were still pure Caucasian grave sites in the area all the way up to the 1300's AD.
Lots of salt left in the area and I do make note that the European Celts were settled around a lot of the salt mining areas in Europe.
Yes. An apparent sacrifice, frozen.
"Prussia didn't come into existence until the late medieval period"
And Scythians were Indo-European CELTS. You're thinking strictly in the Brittany-Irish celts. There were even Iberian Celts (until the arabs came to Spain)
The Indo-Europeans were largely Celtic, and had the same social structure. I don't know where you got your deffinitions.
That was a =really= interesting post. I musta missed it back in 2001. Thanks for posting. How the heck do you keep track of all that????
A worthwhile inquiry is whether these are remnants of what became a vast Celtic civilization, given many of the observed characteristics of these tombs and remains.
It ain't easy friend.
All I can add is that when I visited Xian in 1983 and walked amongst the clay soldiers, some of them difinitely looked Caucuasian. The uniforms and facial hair and eyes were different. Since the statues were thought to be modeled on real humans, I can only surmise that there were men of many races in that emporor's army. I also recognized friends (Chinese) that I had known back in California among the soldiers -- looked so much like them that they could have been direct ancestors. Eerie and quite wonderful.
"I'm beginning to think that both the Caucasians and Mongoloids split from the Jomon - Ainu types who appear to have dominated large areas of Asia 10k+ years ago."
Completely valid. I agree it's possible, almost probable.
"Also, maybe these people were moving in the opposite direction than believed by most..."
Interesting. Maybe originated from the Chinese highlands? Though the quest begs then... what wiped them out of thaty region for several generations?
"The Indo-Europeans were not largely Celtic, the largest numbers of Indo-Europeans were Aryans"
The Aryans (Indo-Europeans) had the caste system that the Celts (not the Slavs nor the Germanics tribes) used. It was the same social structure, same origins, similar language. This cannot be said of the Germanic tribes.
The Celts didn't ONLY settle in Brittany region, but the Irish and Brittany Celts you are reffering to were the only celts to do so.
You seem to forget the "Celtic" at this time period refers to almost 5 different groups. Brittany being one. (Made up Brits and Welsh) Irish being another (Irish and Scottish) Iberians (Spain) Then there were the Gauls and one whose names elude me. The first lived on the northern border of the Alps, the second lived on the western border of the Russian Steppes (Prussia) and made up a substantial portion of the "scythian" tribes. The last tribe is likely to have come (or at least have bloodlines into) the mongol hordes.
The Gauls also made the Galatians (from which we get the name of a book in the Bible.)
I seem to be crossing modern terms with the historical ones.
Should drop "arab" and place "semites" instead.
Before the Romans invaded (indeed, at a time when the Celts had made it to Rome) it was Celtic in tounge, culture, and genes. They had silver mines in the region when the Romans first encountered the Celts. The first Celts they met where the indeed Iberian.
What region and what time? I'll work on it if I don't already know. Thanks.
There is little doubt that the Black Sea shallows could have held a considerable civilization before it flooded. That wouldn't imply that it was the seat of that civilization nor the origin. The residents of the regions of Asia north of the huge Asian mountain range (does it have a single name?) have a considerable tradition of migrating.
Or a way to find the coffins after a sand storm.
Sure that is part, and not even most of it. The Caucusus is attached, what is north of Iran, what goes up into China around the Gobi Desert, it's all one big mountain chain. North of all that.
Yeah, the FR server pointed that out (saving keywords). ;')
"No 'semites' invaded Iberia. The Romans were Indo-European Italics."
Then what are "Moors" I ask?