Xinjiang discovery provides intriguing DNA link (3)

17:45, April 30, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

The Xiaohe cemetery, 175 km west of the ancient city of Loulan, is located on the ancient Silk Road, once a booming trade route traversing the Asian continent.

The burial ground, with 167 graves, was first explored by Folke Bergman, a Swedish archaeologist in 1934. But it "vanished" until the Xinjiang Archaeological Institute rediscovered it in 2000, Zhou said.

The excavation of the cemetery began in 2002, but only experts with the institute and the Research Center for Chinese Frontier Archaeology of Jilin University were authorized to unearth the lowest layer where the oldest mummies were buried.

"We found 41 graves in this layer, and 37 of them had human remains. The corpses were lying in bottom-up-boat-like coffins. They all had distinctive European appearances and were well-preserved thanks to the dry air and good drainage." She said.

Some mummies unearthed in the Tarim Basin are displayed in a number of museums in Xinjiang, said Idelis Abdurisulu, former director with the Institute of Cultural and Historical Relics and Archaeology of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

"The regional museum has six or seven mummies, while others are scattered around Xinjiang in some smaller museums," he said.

In late March, the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana in California began exhibiting two of the Tarim Basin mummies, including Xiaohe Beauty, a 3,800-year-old female, and Qiemo Baby, an infant aged eight to 10 months who died about 2,800 years ago.

Source: Xinhua
【1】 【2】 【3】

(Editor:赵晨雁)

  • Do you have anything to say?

双语词典
dictionary

  
Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • On Sept. 26, a resident passes by a flower terrace decorated for the coming National Day. (Xinhua/Hang Xingwei)
  • The photo, taken on Sept. 26, shows the SWAT team ready for the joint exercise. (Xinhua/Wangkai)
  • Two metro trains in Shanghai collided Tuesday afternoon, and an identified number of passengers were injured in the accident, the Shanghai-based eastday.com reported. Equipment failures were believed to have caused the crash on the Line 10 subway, Xinhua quoted local subway operator as saying.
  • An employee at a gold store in Yiwu, located in east China's Zhejiang province, shows gold jewelry on Monday.(Xinhua/Zhang Jiancheng)
  • Tourists ride camels near China's largest desert lake Hongjiannao in Yulin, north China's Shaanx Province, Sept. 24, 2011. Hongjiannao is shrinking as a result of climate change and human activities, and may vanish in a few decades. Its lake area, which measured more than 6,700 hectares in 1996, has shrunk to 4,180 hectares. Its water level is declining by 20-30 centimeters annually and its water PH value has risen to 9.0-9.42 from 7.4-7.8. (Xinhua/Liu Yu)
  • Actors perform royal dance at the Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul, Sept. 27, 2011. A ceremony commemorating the 38th South Korea Sightseeing Day was held in Gyeongbok Palace on Tuesday. (Xinhua/He Lulu)
Hot Forum Discussion