China’s Secret Mummies
China’s secret mummies have been discovered in a region of Western China called Tarim Basin. This region is found in Xinjiang Uygur .The arid climate weather in the area have played a major role in the preservation of the mummies. Specific areas where the mummies have been exhumed are: Qizilchoqa and another area found in the Takla Makan Desert. Other areas are: Urumchi, Cherchan and Qawrighut.
The first discoveries were made in the early 1900s though were stumbled upon by scientists accidentally and their conditions fall out of kilter with scientists. Subsequent discoveries have been made in 1978 conducted by Chinese archaeologists. Another discovery was made in the Summer of 1997 by Davis-Kimball.(Brian)
Types of clothes and tools
The mummies were found adorning long conical hats, brown clothes with red and blue cords; red burial gown; red twill tunic and tartan leggings. They were also found to contain wooden combs, straw baskets, and thick wooden stakes.
Clues about clothes
The colorful woven clothing found in the mummies’ graves and hats are identical to ancient hats found in Austria and southern China. On analysis of the weave of the clothes donned by the mummies revealed that they were similar to those that were worn by salt miners in Austria in 1300BC.
Bearing the fact that they had woolen clothes, it was evident that the mummies practiced sheep-herding and that practice can be traced to Fertile Crescent.
Their habitant which was later termed as the Silk Road is a barren land and is a long distance from water bodies. Being desert conditions, it had alkaline soils.
Why well preserved
With such desert condition Tarim Basin, they enhanced natural mummification, which helped prevent rotting and disintegration .Also, the Tarim Basin is an arid, restricting landscape which was a natural barrier against outside intervention.
Scientific methods used today
Radio-carbon dating is used and DNA-analyzing technology. Among the problems is that accuracy can’t be vouched for.
Some mummies had Caucasian features and they triggered questions as to East/West migration. Also sheep-herding could have started in the Fertile Crescent then later introduced to the East. Evidence is in the type of clothes that was donned by the mummies.
The DNA from the mummies’ leathery tissue was compared with the Tarim Basin dwellers, of Mair, Kazakh and Kirghiz and similarities were found out though there were no direct links.
Brian, Haughton. Hidden History: Lost Civilizations, Secret Knowledge, and Ancient Mysteries. New York: Career Press Inc., 2006.