The Takla Makan Mummies 10/01/2000   Search

Subtitle

NOVA PBS

In the late 1980s, 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

 

In the late 1980s, 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"
Mummy 10 This 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.


Mummy 13 This 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.


Mummy 7 This 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
Mummy 4 This 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.


Mummy 2 This mummified man was approximately 40 years old at the time of his death.


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