Exploring Ancient European Mummies in the Taklamakan Desert: Unveiling a Remarkable 3,000-Year-Old Stature.
The finding of European-type bodies hundreds of kilometers apart gives evidence of a hitherto undiscovered Bronze Age relationship between East and West. The guy whose mummified remains was discovered features gray-flecked reddish-brown hair, high cheekbones, a long nose, large lips, and a red beard.
3,000 years ago, he stood at about 2 meters in height. He was buried wearing a crimson double-breasted tunic and striped trousers. Looks like a Bronze Age European.
In reality, he possesses every characteristic of a Celt, as shown by his DNA. Yet, this is not an ancient native of central Scotland. That is the man of Cherchen’s mummified body, found in the lonely stretches of the Taklamakan desert. It presently resides at a museum in Urumqi, the province capital. In the language of the Xinjiang Uighurs, Taklamakan means “one enters so as not to leave.”
What is remarkable is that the Cherchen man, together with the mummies of three women and an infant, was discovered at a burial location hundreds of kilometers from the major Celtic settlements in France and the United Kingdom.
Like hundreds of other mummies from the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang, he originated in Europe, according to Genetic studies. No one knows how he arrived, why he was there, or how long he and his family were there.
But, as the name of the desert suggests, he never came out. One of the women sharing his grave has light brown hair that looks like it was brushed and braided just yesterday, for his funeral. Her face is adorned with painted symbols, and her magnificent red funeral dress has lost none of its luster over the three millennia during which this tall, fine-featured woman has rested under the sand of the Silk Road.
The bodies are much better preserved than the Egyptian mummies, and there is something poignant about the sight of the infants. The baby was wrapped in a rich brown cloth tied with red and blue cords, and a blue stone was placed over each eye. Next to him was a bottle with a teat made from the udder of a sheep.
From the mummy, the museum has reconstructed the appearance of the man of Cherchen and his way of life. The resemblances to the Celts of the traditional Bronze Age are striking. The analyzes also showed that the weaving of the fabrics was comparable to that of the clothes worn by the salt miners living in Austria in 1300 BC. J.-C.
In 300 B.C. B.C., the Celts’ influence expanded from Ireland to southern Spain in the west to the Po River, Poland, Ukraine, and the central plain of Turkey in the east. Yet, these mummies seem to indicate that the Celts had gone well into Central Asia, reaching the Tibetan Steppes. Between 500 and 100 B.C., the Celts eventually established in Brittany [today Britain]. We cannot precisely talk of an organized invasion since they came at various periods and are believed to be a loosely connected group of people that share the same language, religion, and culture. Cherchens seem to have been a peaceful people, since their tombs contained few weapons and there were little indications of classes. The Loulan Beauty is much older than the Cherchen discoveries, dating back 4,000 years. She is one of many mummies unearthed in the village of Loulan and had long blonde hair. One was the mummy of an eight-year-old kid wrapped in a woolen robe with bone ʙuттons. Scandinavian beauty traits characterize Loulan. She died at the age of 45 and was buried with a basket containing wheat, combs, and a feather to sustain her in the hereafter.
Hundreds of dehydrated bodies have been discovered in the Taklamakan Desert during the previous quarter-century. The findings discovered in the Tarim Basin are among the most important of the last quarter-century. “About 1800 B.C. J.-C., the earliest mummies of the Tarim basin are totally Caucasoid,” says Pr Victor Mair of the University of Pennsylvania, who has been attracted by these mummies ever since he discovered them, practically forgotten, in the rear chamber of the old museum in 1988. He has stopped at nothing, even the darkest political entanglements, to discover more and more about these extraordinary individuals. He argues that East Asian immigrants came in the eastern portions of the Tarim Basin around three thousand years ago.
In China, it is traditionally said that, two centuries before the birth of Christ, Emperor Wu Di sent an emissary to the west in order to establish an alliance against the Huns, then installed in Mongolia.
The route that Zhang Qian, the ambᴀssador, took through Asia later became the Silk Road. Centuries later, Marco Polo took the opposite route and the opening of China began. The very idea that white people could have settled in an area of China thousands of years before Wu Di’s first contacts with the West and the voyages of Marco Polo has far-reaching political consequences. As for the fact that these Europeans would have lived in the restive province of Xinjiang hundreds of years before the East Asians, it is an explosive hypothesis.
Ji Xianlin, a Chinese historian, in his preface to archaeologist Wang Binhua’s book The Ancient Graves of Xinjiang, translated by Mair, says that China “supports and admires” the research done by foreign specialists on mummies. “However, in China itself, a small group of ethnic separatists have taken advantage of this opportunity to stir up trouble and are behaving like buffoons. Some present themselves as the descendants of these ancient ‘Whites’ and have no other goal than to divide the homeland. But these evil acts are doomed to fail.”
It is therefore not surprising that the government has been slow to report these important historical findings, fearing to stir up separatist currents in Xinjiang. The Beauty of Loulan is thus claimed by the Uighurs, who have made her their emblematic figure, celebrated in songs and portraits.
Even if genetic tests now show that in reality it was European. In all, there are 400 mummies in various stages of drying out and decomposition. Added to this are thousands of skulls. Mummies have something to keep scientists busy for a long time