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  • Ancient nomads spread earliest domestic grains along Silk Road, study finds

    04/05/2014 8:57:03 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | April 1, 2014 | Gerry Everding
    Charred grains of barley, millet and wheat deposited nearly 5,000 years ago at campsites in the high plains of Kazakhstan show that nomadic sheepherders played a surprisingly important role in the early spread of domesticated crops throughout a mountainous east-west corridor along the historic Silk Road... "Ancient wheat and broomcorn millet, recovered in nomadic campsites in Kazakhstan, show that prehistoric herders in Central Eurasia had incorporated both regional crops into their economy and rituals nearly 5,000 years ago, pushing back the chronology of interaction along the territory of the 'Silk Road' more than 2,000 years," Frachetti said... ...several strains of...
  • Kushan Empire (ca. 2nd century B.C.–3rd century A.D.)

    07/21/2013 10:08:33 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    Metropolitan Museum of Art ^ | circa 2013 | MMA
    Under the rule of the Kushans, northwest India and adjoining regions participated both in seagoing trade and in commerce along the Silk Road to China. The name Kushan derives from the Chinese term Guishang, used in historical writings to describe one branch of the Yuezhi—a loose confederation of Indo-European people who had been living in northwestern China until they were driven west by another group, the Xiongnu, in 176–160 B.C. The Yuezhi reached Bactria (northwest Afghanistan and Tajikistan) around 135 B.C. Kujula Kadphises united the disparate tribes in the first century B.C. Gradually wresting control of the area from the...
  • New Indo-European Language Discovered

    06/21/2012 5:14:04 PM PDT · by Renfield · 19 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | 6-19-2012 | John Shanks
    A linguistics researcher at the Macquarie University in Australia has discovered that the language, known as Burushaski, which is spoken by about 90,000 people who reside in a remote area of Pakistan, is Indo-European in origin. Prof Ilija Casule’s discovery, which has now been verified by a number of the world’s top linguists, has excited linguistics experts around the world. An entire issue of the eminent international linguistics journal the Journal of Indo-European Studies is devoted to a discussion of his findings later this month. More than fifty eminent linguists have tried over many years to determine the genetic relationship...
  • Cultural heritage: Takht Bhai offers a glimpse of life under Kanishka {Kushan Empire}

    04/02/2012 4:33:51 AM PDT · by Cronos · 5 replies
    The Tribune ^ | 10 Mar 2012 | Mahwish Qayyam
    A visit to Takht Bhai offers the chance to explore ruins dating back to the time of Kanishka, a Kushan emperor, famous for his military, political and spiritual feats.Buddhists offered prayers at the site and left statues to mark their gratitude once their wishes had been fulfilled, said Dr Shah Nazar Khan, from the Directorate of Archeology and Museums, K-P, while speaking to The Express Tribune. People visited the place in the final stages of life to meditate.Since the site is situated on top of a hill, it escaped the devastation wrought by successive invasions and is still well preserved,...
  • Unearthed cities in Southern Siberia could rewrite Aryan history

    10/04/2010 7:10:56 PM PDT · by James C. Bennett · 26 replies · 1+ views
    Sify News ^ | Sify News
    A new study has suggested that recently unearthed cities in Southern Siberia could rewrite Aryan history-as they are believed to be the original home of the Aryans. Twenty of the spiral-shaped settlements, believed to be the original home of the Aryan people, have been identified, and there are about 50 more suspected sites. They all lie buried in a region more than 640km long near Russia's border with Kazakhstan. The cities are apparently 3500-4000 years ago and are about the same size as several of the city-states of ancient Greece. If archaeologists confirm the cities as Aryan, they could be...
  • Folk wanderings in "the Heartland"

    07/07/2009 7:51:36 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies · 698+ views
    Gene Expression ScienceBlog ^ | Tuesday, July 7, 2009 | Razib
    Herodotus tells us of the Scythians, who ravaged the Middle East and Europe. The Romans later defeated Sarmatians on the plains of Pannonia. Even further back in history we know of the Indo-Aryan Mittani in Syria, while there are hints of a relationship between nomadic societies on the steppe of Eurasia and later settled populations in Eastern Europe, Iran & India. Because of the lack of literacy in most of the world before 500 B.C. we must rely on archaeology to connect the vaguest of these dots... Standard physical anthropological methods did yield results which suggested that populations of European...
  • Fragments Of The Tocharian

    01/30/2008 8:39:28 AM PST · by blam · 14 replies · 354+ views
    Salon.com ^ | 1-30-2008
    Fragments of the Tocharian Between 1902 and 1914 the German Ethnological Institute sent repeated expeditions into the great Taklamakan desert of Central Asia, in search of ancient manuscripts that had survived destruction due to the arid climate of the Tarim Basin. One expedition brought back fragments of a manuscript written in a hitherto unknown language but employing a familiar North Indian script. Later dubbed Tocharian A, the language was deciphered by two linguists at Germany's Gottingen University, Emil Siel and Wilhem Siegling. The parchment turned out to be part of the Maitreyasamiti-Nataka, a Sanskrit Buddhist work in the Mahayana canon...
  • Tocharians

    07/26/2006 1:11:31 PM PDT · by blam · 139 replies · 9,945+ views
    Answers.com ^ | unknown
    Tocharians The Tocharians were the easternmost speakers of an Indo-European language in antiquity, inhabiting the Tarim basin in what is now Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, northwestern People's Republic of China. Their unique culture spanned from the 1st millennium BCE to the end of the 1st millennium CE. Their language is called Tocharian. Archaeology The Tarim mummies suggest that precursors of these easternmost speakers of an Indo-European language may have lived in the region of the Tarim Basin from around 1800 BCE until finally they were assimilated by Uyghur Turks in the 9th century CE. "Tocharian donors", possibly the "Knights with...
  • Burushaski

    11/06/2004 10:34:09 PM PST · by Ptarmigan · 10 replies · 427+ views
    Burushaski is a language spoken in northern Pakistan and Kashmir. It is spoken by 40,000 to 50,000 people. It has no known relatives and some believe it maybe a remnant of a prehistoric language. Burushaski is like Ainu and Basque, language isolate with no known relatives. Language Museum Burushaski: An Extraordinary Language in the Karakoram MountainsWikipedia-Burushaski
  • LINGUISTICS: Early Date for the Birth of Indo-European Languages

    11/28/2003 10:24:23 AM PST · by Lessismore · 36 replies · 3,431+ views
    Science Magazine ^ | 2003-11-28 | Michael Balter
    Ever since British jurist Sir William Jones noted in 1786 that there are marked similarities between diverse languages such as Greek, Sanskrit, and Celtic, linguists have assumed that most of the languages of Europe and the Indian subcontinent derive from a single ancient tongue. But researchers have fiercely debated just when and where this mother tongue was first spoken. Now a bold new study asserts that the common root of the 144 so-called Indo-European languages, which also include English and all the Germanic, Slavic, and Romance languages, is very ancient indeed. In this week's issue of Nature, evolutionary biologist Russell...
  • Coolest Archaeological Discoveries of 2014 [CHEESE!]

    12/30/2014 1:54:56 PM PST · by Red Badger · 10 replies
    www.livescience.com ^ | December 25, 2014 06:10am ET | by Megan Gannon, News Editor
    Thanks to the careful work of archaeologists, we learned more in the past year about Stonehenge's hidden monuments, Richard III's gruesome death and King Tut's mummified erection. From the discovery of an ancient tomb in Greece to the first evidence of Neanderthal art, here are 10 of Live Science's favorite archaeology stories of 2014. 1. An Alexander the Great-era tomb at Amphipolis [snip] 2. Stonehenge's secret monuments [snip] 3. A shipwreck under the World Trade Center [snip] 4. Richard III's twisted spine, kingly diet and family tree [snip] 5. A teenager in a "black hole" [snip] 6. Syria by satellite...
  • 3000 year old trousers discovered in Chinese grave oldest ever found

    06/12/2014 10:39:48 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 35 replies
    phys.org ^ | Jun 03, 2014 | by Bob Yirka
    (Phys.org) —A team of researchers working in the ancient Yanghai graveyard in China's Tarim Basin has uncovered what appears to be the earliest example of trouser wearing. The research team has published a paper in the journal Quaternary International describing the pants and why they were likely developed to assist with riding horses. The Tarim Basin in western China is host to the famous Yanghai tombs, a large ancient burial ground that dates back thousands of years—thus far over 500 individual gravesites have been excavated. In this latest find, two adult males (believed to be herders and warriors) both approximately...
  • These Are The World's Oldest Pants

    05/31/2014 6:44:58 AM PDT · by blam · 33 replies
    BI ^ | 5-31-2014 | Bruce Bower
    Bruce BowerMay 31, 2014, 7:14 AM The oldest known trousers, including this roughly 3,000-year-old pair with woven leg decorations, belonged to nomadic horsemen in Central Asia. Two men whose remains were recently excavated from tombs in western China put their pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us. But these nomadic herders did so between 3,300 and 3,000 years ago, making their trousers the oldest known examples of this innovative apparel, a new study finds. With straight-fitting legs and a wide crotch, the ancient wool trousers resemble modern riding pants, says a team led by...
  • Ancient mummies found buried with world's oldest cheese

    03/01/2014 3:15:21 AM PST · by Renfield · 30 replies
    L. A. Times ^ | 2-28-2014 | Jean Harris
    For some cheese lovers, the older and stinkier the cheese, the better. Well, what about a cheese that's been aging for 3,600 years? Yellow lumps, believed to be the world's oldest cheese, were found on mummies buried in the Taklamakan Desert in northwestern China. The cheese, which was found during archaeological excavations that took place between 2002 and 2004, dates to as early as 1615 BC. The cheese was found on the necks and chests of the mummies. The multiple layers of cowhide the mummies were buried in, and the dry, salty desert helped preserve the cheese....
  • Redheaded Tocharian Mummies of the Uyghir Area, China

    12/06/2012 3:35:36 PM PST · by Renfield · 39 replies
    Frontiers of Anthropology ^ | 11-28-2012 | Dale Drinnon
    ~~~snip~~~ hey did a DNA test on the Cherchen man (the 3800 year old 6'6 tall dark blonde mummy and the oldest mummy found), and the beauty of Loulan (the red hair mummy), and both of these mummies contained East Asian Mongoloid DNA. Even the Chinese scientist were astonished. The Mongoloid component of the Tocharians are not from Han Chinese or pre Han Chinese, but most likely from Altaic types of Mongoloids such as Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and Mongolians. This obviously indicates that the Tocharians were already mixed for quite a few generations, since they looked mostly Caucasian. Very interesting....
  • Mystery of the Chinese mummy’s travel ban

    02/05/2011 1:25:40 PM PST · by The Comedian · 37 replies · 1+ views
    Sloppyunruh ^ | Feb. 5, 2011 | Aggregator
    China’s first contact with the West dates back to 200BC when China’s emperor Wu Di wanted to establish an alliance with the West against the marauding Huns, then based in Mongolia. However, the discovery of the mummies suggests that Caucasians were settled in a part of China thousands of years before Wu Di: the notion that they arrived in Xinjiang before the first East Asians is truly explosive. Xinjiang is dominated by the Uighurs, who resent what they see as intrusion by the Han Chinese. The tensions which have spilled over into violent clashes in recent years. Whatever the reason...
  • Xinjiang discovery provides intriguing DNA link

    05/01/2010 4:55:38 AM PDT · by Palter · 11 replies · 539+ views
    English.news.cn ^ | 28 April 2010 | Mu Xuequan
    The DNA of some 4,000 year-old bodies unearthed five years ago in Xinjiang, in northwest China, provides scientific evidence of early intermingling between people of European and Asian origin. Zhou Hui, a professor of life science and her team discovered that some of the earliest inhabitants of the Tarim Basin in the Taklamakan Desert were of European and Siberian descent. The basin, where hundreds of well-preserved mummies have been found since the 1980s, has attracted great attention from scientists worldwide. Professor Victor Mair of Pennsylvania University claimed in 2006, "From around 1800 B.C. the earliest mummies in the Tarim Basin...
  • Mummy find in China desert stirs ethnic debate [Caucasian Features]

    03/16/2010 3:18:32 PM PDT · by James C. Bennett · 34 replies · 2,402+ views
    The Times of India ^ | 17 March 2010 | Nicholas Wade
    In the middle of a terrifying desert north of Tibet, Chinese archaeologists have excavated an extraordinary cemetery. Its inhabitants died almost 4,000 years ago, yet their bodies have been well preserved by the dry air. The cemetery lies in what is now China's northwest 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. And where tombstones might stand, declaring pious hope for some god's mercy in the afterlife, their cemetery sports instead a vigorous forest of phallic symbols,...
  • The Mystery Behind the 5,000 Year Old Tarim Mummies

    08/31/2009 2:18:47 PM PDT · by BGHater · 28 replies · 2,209+ views
    Environmental Graffiti ^ | 31 Aug 2009 | EG
    A Tarim Basin mummy photographed circa 1910 Photo: Aurel Stein The door creaked open, and there in the gloom of the newly opened room, perfectly preserved despite the passing of thousands of years, a red-haired mummy with Caucasian features stared back. It was a life-changing moment for archaeologist Professor Victor Mair, and ten years on it still gave him chills. Mair had stumbled upon the recently discovered corpses of a man and his family in a museum in the Chinese city of Ürümqi, but the shock waves of the find would be felt far and wide. The 3000-year-old Cherchen...
  • Giant Chinese dustball circles the Earth

    07/21/2009 6:54:33 PM PDT · by Free ThinkerNY · 35 replies · 920+ views
    telegraph.co.uk ^ | July 21, 2009 | Malcolm Moore
    A giant Chinese dustball weighing hundreds of thousands of tons circled the world at high altitude in under two weeks, scientists have shown. A group of Chinese and Japanese scientists claimed that the dustball, which weighed 800,000 tons, was kicked up during a storm in 2007 in the Taklamakan desert. The desert, which is roughly the size of France, lies in China's far-Western Xinjiang province, and is fringed by mountains on three sides, including the Pamir mountains on the border with Afghanistan and the Karakoram range, an extension of the Himalayas. The dust ball was formed when a wind storm...