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Scotsman Magazine on the white mummies of China.


[At some point during the tail end of the last ice age, modern Caucasian people began an explosive migration out of Southern Europe and Central Asia. Some even crossing the Bearing Straight and making it into the Western US. We now know that some early Caucasians somehow made it to the Eastern US coast by crossing the Atlantic around the end of the last Ice Age. (See Ice Age Columbus by National Geographic) – ed.]

Photo Right: This naturally dessicated corpse found in Tarim has a decisively Caucasian skull.

Scotsman Magazine…

FOR four millennia their secrets lay hidden beneath the desert sands, the final resting place of a mysterious civilisation. And since their discovery in 1934, the Tarim mummies in China have perplexed historians and archaeologists.

But a remarkable new study has found that the origins of the inhabitants of the ancient graveyard in the Taklimakan desert north of Tibet lie in Europe.

A team of Chinese geneticists have analysed the DNA of the Bronze Age cadavers and found that they are of mixed ancestry, displaying both European and Siberian genetic markers.

One expert in Chinese history at the University of Edinburgh said the tests revealed a “fascinating development”. Professor Paul Bailey said the findings confirmed long-held suspicions that they had travelled to the autonomous region of Xinjiang from the West, well before the opening of the Silk Road in the 2nd century BC.

The graveyard of more than 200 mummies, known as Small River Cemetery No. 5, lies near a dried-up riverbed in the Tarim Basin, an inhospitable region encircled by mountain ranges.

The site was discovered by Folke Bergman, the Swedish archaeologist, in 1934 but then lay forgotten for 66 years until a Chinese expedition relocated it using GPS navigation.

Carbon testing carried out at Beijing University has dated the oldest of the mummies as far back as 3,980 years. However, until recently the history of how they came to be buried in the desert in upside-down boats was unclear.

That many of the mummies – well preserved thanks to the dry air and salty sands – displayed fair skin, brown hair, and long noses led to some educated guesses.

Bailey, professor of modern Chinese history at Edinburgh University, said: “There has always been talk of blue-eyed people inhabiting that area of China.”

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