Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Takla Makan Mummies

In the late 1980's, perfectly preserved 3000-year-old mummies began appearing in a remote Chinese desert. They had long reddish-blond hair, European features and didn't appear to be the ancestors of modern-day Chinese people. Archaeologists now think they may have been the citizens of an ancient civilization that existed at the crossroads between China and Europe.

Mummies of "Tomb 2"

The Takla Makan Mummies pictures galleryThis mummy of a young woman was found in 1989. Based on her partially dismembered limbs and gouged out eyes, Chinese archaeologists believe she was a sacrificial victim.

The Takla Makan Mummies images galleryThis mummified boy, approximately one-year-old, was found in the same grave. He, too, is believed to have been a sacrificial victim who was buried alive.

The Takla Makan Mummies pics galleryThis mummy of a woman, who was approximately 40-years old, was found in the main chamber of the same tomb. Her tall stature, high nose, and red hair indicate that she was of European descent.

Mummies from the Wupu cemetery

The Takla Makan Mummies photos galleryThis mummy of an 18 to 20 year old woman is on display at a museum in Hami. Her features, particularly her overbite, indicate Caucasian heritage.

The Takla Makan Mummies pict galleryhis mummified man was approximately 40 years old at the time of his death.