European / Western Inhabitants In Ancient China (?)

KeyserXSoze

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jun 2, 2002
Messages
944
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-07/06/content_1576929.htm
Ancient European remains discovered in Qinghai

XINING, July 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Archeologists confirmed that the human skeletons discovered this May in northwest China's Qinghai Province belonged to three Europeans who lived in China over 1,900 years ago.

"The physical characteristics of the bones showed it is a typical European race," said Wang Minghui, an expert with the archeological institute under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The skeletons were spotted at Zhongchuan Town of the province's eastern most Minhe Hui and Tu Autonomous County.

Since 2002, archeologists have unearthed nine tombs of Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) at a construction site of a brickfield in the town, but it was not until this May that they felt the skeletons in two tombs "very special", said Ren Xiaoyan, deputy director if the provincial archeological institute, who added they invited Wang, who specializes in human bone identification, to take part in the study on the findings.

Qinghai is on the southern section of the world-known land trade corridor -- the Silk Road, linking China with Central and Western Asia and to the eastern shores of the Mediterranean begins in the country's northwest and runs 7,000 kilometers.

Serving as an important bridge for the economic and cultural exchanges between the East and the West, the area, which the Silk Road covered in China, used to see throngs of Indian, Persian, Arabic, Greek and Roman people.

Ren said the tomb shape, the burial articles and the way they were put in the tomb are all typical in Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220), which proved the three westerners had lived here for a long time and were accustomed to local traditions and customs.

"Although so far, we have been not sure of the country the three Europeans came from and there might be a large number of such 'westerners' living here at the ancient time," said Ren.

Such European skeletons have only been revealed in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, a neighboring region which is to the northwest of Qinghai, so the discovery this time is of great importance for the study of the ancient society in Qinghai, said Wang. Enditem
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,404
There doesn't seem a thread on things like the mummies of the Taklamakan Desert/Tarim Basin so here it is.

The Lop Nur desert is on the eastern side of the Tarim Basin (and is one of the country's main nuclear test areas:

Last Update: Sunday, October 24, 2004. 8:48pm (AEST)

Light shed on mysterious Caucasian community in China

Chinese archaeologists have started unearthing hundreds of tombs in an arid north-western region once home to a mysterious civilisation that most likely was Caucasian, state media said today.

The researchers have begun work at Xiaohe, near the Lop Nur desert in Xinjiang region, where an estimated 1,000 tombs await excavation, according to Xinhua news agency.

Their findings could help shed light on one of the greatest current archaeological riddles and answer the question of how this isolated culture ended up thousands of kilometres from the nearest Caucasian community.

The tombs, thought by some to be 4,000 years old, were first discovered in 1934 by a Swedish explorer, but virtually no work was done on them over the next more than six decades.

In 2003, a Chinese team started digging in the area, finding 33 tombs and nearly 1,000 relics, but had to stop because of a severe storm, Xinhua said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200410/s1226735.htm

Some more general links on related topics:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taklamakan

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/chinamum/taklamakan.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lop_Nur
 

Melf

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Nov 6, 2002
Messages
1,697
iirc there was a horizion(?) prog (5 yrs ago?) which dealt with the caucasian mummys and wall paintings in some caves in western china.

didnt the romans also send ambasadors to china aswell?
 

TheQuixote

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Sep 25, 2003
Messages
3,271
iirc there was a horizion(?) prog (5 yrs ago?) which dealt with the caucasian mummys and wall paintings in some caves in western china.

There was one shown on Channel 4 a few years ago that showed the mummies, IIRC there was a female mummy that had tartan/plaid clothing. I'm sure they speculated that she was Keltoi due to her red hair.

IIRC too, the Chinese authorities were not happy that the mummies may have predated the current Chinese population, due to national pride and all that.


Cherchen Man
Was Cherchen Man a European?

The Tarim Basin in Xinjiang in north-west China is an inhospitable place: extremely dry, with very hot summers and freezing winters. But these are good conditions for preserving bodies.

In 1978, Chinese archaeologists discovered the mummy of a tall man dressed in a dark-red wool tunic and brightly coloured leggings. His red hair and aquiline nose identified him as European rather than Chinese, and they named him Cherchen Man after the province where he was found.

Radiocarbon dating, showed that he had been lying there since the 11th century BC and that similar mummies found in the region dated from between 2000BC and 300BC. Until then, historians believed that China had not been in contact with the West until around 140BC. Proof of the Xinjiang mummies' European origins came in 1995, when DNA tests showed that they were genetically related to present-day Swedes, Finns, Tuscans, Corsicans and Sardinians.

http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/B/bodies/cases/case16.html
 

Kondoru

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
9,252
The tombs, thought by some to be 4,000 years old, were first discovered in 1934 by a Swedish explorer, but virtually no work was done on them over the next more than six decades.

Wasnt that Hedin??

And the Tocharans?? (Tokarians, whichever spellings in favour this week)

There was one shown on Channel 4 a few years ago that showed the mummies, IIRC there was a female mummy that had tartan/plaid clothing. I'm sure they speculated that she was Keltoi due to her red hair.

Yes, Im sure every red head in Plaids from Alba....

Actually, since the Indo-european people really did originate in INDIA....no doubt some got lost on their way to Europe. Those mummies are really old after all.

(IMHO they dont look very caucescoid to me, merely blonde, blue/grey eyed versions of the Chinese. )

The Romans `did` send envoys to China, but many didnt make it. Some merchants got though (by sea! not the silk road!) in the reign of Marcus Aurlainus
 

TheQuixote

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Sep 25, 2003
Messages
3,271
Homo Aves said:
Yes, Im sure every red head in Plaids from Alba.....

That's really good of you to point out but the programme didn't assert that the bodies were of a Gaelic origin and neither did I.

If that is what you mean.

Originally posted by Homo Aves
Actually, since the Indo-european people really did originate in INDIA....no doubt some got lost on their way to Europe. Those mummies are really old after all.


I think that the archaeologists on the programme concerned asserted that the bodies were of a people who may have originated from the Mesopotamian region. As you say some went west and these people seemed to have gone east into the Taklamakan.

But hey what do I know, I'm going on a memory of a programme I watched approx. 3 years ago.
 

rjmrjmrjm

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
1,379
Is it really that inconcieveable that at least a few ancient people travelled further than thought? I've always believed that we largely under-credit the abilities of our ancestors.
 

JamesWhitehead

Piffle Prospector
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
13,878
Alchemical students have always been at a loss to explain the similarities between Eastern and Western traditions which appear to pre-date the traditional dates of contact between the communities.

:confused:
 

Kondoru

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
9,252
There was an awful lot of contact between east and west in even `very` ancient times. (between the sumerians and Harrapans, say)

by Roman times a trip to India was daunting but widely done (several hundred ships a year) there were hindu communities in Rome, and Roman ones in India. Romans were prized as trade contacts because of the purity of their currency.

This is widely known by the specialists, but `pop` historians so very seldom mention it.

(id put you onto a book ref but its my brekfast...later)
 

Kondoru

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
9,252
J W Sedlar `India and the Greek world` Totowa 1980

A very comprehensive overview.

Another, more specialist tome is G G Josephs `The Crest of the Peacock` a study in non european origins of mathmatics
 

lopaka

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Sep 17, 2001
Messages
2,008
The Romans in China
They came, saw and settled
Dec 16th 2004 | YONGCHANG
So it's said, anyway

IN A remote village of western China, high on the dusty pastures that
stretch toward the Qilian mountains, the local branch of the Communist Party is finishing off a new headquarters that stands out from the local
buildings, all built of compacted earth. This building has a classical Roman portico, made of concrete, at the entrance. The local party chief and his deputy both think they are the descendants of Romans.

Their village, Zhelaizhai, is separated from what was the Roman empire by about 6,500km (over 4,000 miles) of forbidding terrain. To get to this
little place in Gansu province, a Roman would have had to cross all of
Central Asia and the Middle East, encountering fierce tribes en route. Yet
some people believe that a group of Roman soldiers made this journey 2,000 years ago and then stayed.


It may be wishful thinking, but so captivating is the notion of a Roman town in ancient China that for 50 years it has inspired a disparate variety of supporters, among them an Oxford University professor, an Australian
adventurer and the abbot of a nearby Buddhist temple. The abbot says prayers for the ghosts of Roman soldiers, who, he reports, visit his temple to petition for salvation. Through an illiterate woman who acts as a medium, the abbot has discovered that Julius Caesar himself spent his final days in Yongchang county and died a Buddhist. Caesar's assassins apparently got the wrong man.

The curious physical features of the local Communist chiefs, Zhang Jianxin and Song Guorong, strengthen their belief that they are of Roman stock. Both have long straight noses, which any Chinese will tell you is the hallmark of a foreigner. Mr Song has long brown hair tipped with curls from the straight black hair of most Chinese. Mr Zhang tells of his delight
when a group of foreigners arrived in the village in the early 1990s and
told him about the Roman-settlement theory. ³It was good to be connected with the Romans. We felt we'd discovered our ancestors.²

Evidence of a Roman town in Gansu province would indeed be exciting could be established. One of the strangest aspects of China's history is
that such a cultivated civilisation should have stayed isolated from its
counterparts to the west for so long. The existence of not just a foreign
settlement but a western settlement, some 13 centuries before the arrival of Marco Polo and 16 centuries before the Portuguese established a colony in Macau, would require some rewriting of history.

Funny stuff: 166 and all that

The earliest recorded official contact between China and Rome did not occur until 166AD, when, according to a Chinese account, a Roman envoy arrived in China, possibly sent by Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Remarkably, that was the only contact between the two great powers of which a record survives. The Romans referred to the people of the remote east as the Seres people. But that term could have referred to the Central Asian tribes whose trade with the Chinese no doubt included silk grew on trees. The secret of silk production reached the West only in the sixth century, from the Byzantines.

An ambitious and relatively liberal-minded official, Jia Xiaotian, who took
over as local party chief in 1993, was one of the first to see the potential
of establishing a Roman connection >If they came at all, they usually stopped there only briefly on trips tracing the historic silk road, the trading route along which, by the first century AD, Chinese silk made its way to Rome. Yongchang was several hours' drive from the nearest tourist attraction and a world away from the booming coast.

Mr Jia committed what some officials must have considered a heresy: at the top of the main street of the county town he erected statues of three
towering figures. They stand there still: in the middle is a Chinese of the
ethnic-Han majority. To his right is a woman of the Muslim Hui minority, the second-biggest group in the area. And to his left is a Roman. A plaque notes the Romans' contribution to ³social progress and economic prosperity² in Yongchang.

Friends, Romans, countrymen: Yongchang lends more than its ears

Mr Jia was promoted to become head of the provincial tourism authority in 1998. Soon afterwards, he published a script about the arrival of the
Romans, and officials say he is negotiating film rights with an American
company. The authorities meanwhile had declared that a 30-metre stretch of battered earthen wall was to be considered part of the city wall of the Roman settlement. Locals say the wall was about 200 metres long until the 1970s, when peasants blew up most of it in order to scatter the earth on their increasingly barren fields. Yongchang is relatively well off by the standards of impoverished Gansu, but the town's museum does not have enough money to buy from the local peasants the ancient pots and coins that they dig up on their land. Even so, to get visitors in the mood, the county paid for a little Roman-style pavilion to be built atop the foundations of an old temple.

It sets the mood

The museum will soon put on show an exciting new find: the skeleton of a Roman inhabitant, some believe. It was found last year in a 2,000-year-old tomb unearthed during the laying of China's great west-to-east natural-gas pipeline, which runs through the county. The skeleton is of a 1.8-metre (5ft 11in) male. The average Chinese was then much smaller. In a grubby, bare room, the museum's officials proudly point to the bones, drawing attention to the straight teeth and long lower limbs >ancient Chinese.
All too recent to be anything but sensitive

But this is China, and even archaeological remains can be politically
controversial. The provincial government had refused your correspondent permission to visit Yongchang, saying the Roman connection was a ³sensitive² issue involving ethnic minorities. After two unauthorised days there, your correspondent was accused of conducting ³illegal interviews² and ordered to leave.

It may well irritate some of the proud custodians of China's cultural
heritage that it was foreigners who first promoted the theory of the Roman settlement. Homer Dubs, a professor of Chinese at Oxford University, raised it in a lecture delivered to the China Society in London in 1955. According to Dubs, the journey to Gansu began in 53BC when Crassus, who together with Julius Caesar and Pompey formed Rome's First Triumvirate, decided to make up for his lack of military glory by going to war with the dreaded Parthians. Dubs says the Chinese kept the ex-legionaries as frontier guards, installing them in a specially created town called Liqian in what is now Gansu

Crassus's legions were no match for the Parthian archers, nimble horsemen who could loose their arrows off even as they turned. Of the 42,000 Romans who set out, 20,000 were killed and 10,000 were captured in the battle of Carrhae, in modern Turkey; it was one of the most spectacular losses of Roman military history. According to Pliny the Elder, the Roman prisoners were used by the Parthians as guards on their eastern frontier in what is today Turkmenistan. From there, Dubs conjectured, some escaped and joined the Huns as mercenaries. In 36BC, Chinese troops on a punitive venture defeated the Hun ruler Zhizhi in today's Uzbekistan. Among their captives they found 145 Romans. Dubs says the Chinese kept the ex-legionaries as frontier guards, installing them in a specially created town called Liqian in what is now Gansu.

If only there were proof. Dubs's theory rests mainly on tantalising hints
found in ancient Chinese historiography, none of which refers specifically
to Romans. There is a reference to the use of a ³fish-scale formation² by
soldiers in Zhizhi's army, which Dubs said described the testudo formation of overlapping shields ³made only by Roman soldiers². And Zhizhi's town had a double wooden palisade outside its wall >was often used by Romans and not by the Huns. Then there is the name of the town, Liqian, which may have been used at the time to refer to the Roman empire. In 9AD the name of Liqian was changed for a few years to Jielu, which may mean ³prisoners captured in storming a city². In the sixth century Liqian ceased to be used as a placename.

Dubs was not the only one to believe in the Roman connection. Guan Yiquan, a Chinese scholar in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu, also became convinced that Liqian had links to Rome. From 1978 until his death 20 years later, he laboured on a huge 450,000-character tome on Liqian. According to his son, Guan Heng, it was not until 1988 that he saw a copy of Dubs's lecture, which happened to dovetail with his own views. Unfortunately, as the younger Mr Guan admits, it too contains no clincher.

Chinese officials would probably not have cottoned on to the tourist-pulling potential of the Roman story had it not been for an Australian writer and adventurer, David Harris. Mr Harris, virtually penniless and upset by the break-up of his marriage, decided to set out for China in search of the town mentioned by Dubs. With the help of the elder Mr Guan, he narrowed his search to the village of Zhel izhai. His experiences are described in his
travel book, ³Black Horse Odyssey².
MEPL

Did Zhizhi copy this?

Mr Harris's efforts drew attention from the media, as well as from the
authorities. Even the Communist Party's main mouthpiece, the People's Daily, carried an approving article. But there were sceptics aplenty. Liu Guanghua, a retired professor at Lanzhou University, says the name Liqian derives from the second and third syllables of the word for Alexandria, the Egyptian city sometimes used by the Chinese as a term for the Roman empire in general. Yet Alexandria was not conquered by the Romans until 30BC, and it was only after this date that the Chinese began to use the name in this way. Some scholars also think Liqian was founded well before the Romans were supposed to have settled there.

As for the somewhat foreign-looking faces of a few Yongchang residents, it would hardly be surprising to find some mixed racial features in the county, given that it straddles what was once a major trading route and borders on Central Asia, whose peoples look quite different from the Han Chinese. For a few among the people of one of China's poorest provinces, there is perhaps romantic consolation in the thought that they share their blood with Caesar. But the abandoned shell of a new luxury hotel and the dark empty corridors of the main guest-house in Yongchang suggest the romance is proving slow to take hold more widely.

Copyright © 2004 The Economist Newspaper and The Economist Group. All rights reserved.

http://www.economist.co.uk/printedition ... buviewed=1[/quote]
 

KeyserXSoze

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jun 2, 2002
Messages
944
UpdateSource
Genetic testing reveals awkward truth about Xinjiang’s famous mummies
(AFP)

19 April 2005

URUMQI, China - After years of controversy and political intrigue, archaeologists using genetic testing have proven that Caucasians roamed China’s Tarim Basin 1,000 years before East Asian people arrived.

The research, which the Chinese government has appeared to have delayed making public out of concerns of fueling Uighur Muslim separatism in its western-most Xinjiang region, is based on a cache of ancient dried-out corpses that have been found around the Tarim Basin in recent decades.

“It is unfortunate that the issue has been so politicized because it has created a lot of difficulties,” Victor Mair, a specialist in the ancient corpses and co-author of “Mummies of the Tarim Basin”, told AFP.

“It would be better for everyone to approach this from a purely scientific and historical perspective.”

The discoveries in the 1980s of the undisturbed 4,000-year-old ”Beauty of Loulan” and the younger 3,000-year-old body of the ”Charchan Man” are legendary in world archaeological circles for the fine state of their preservation and for the wealth of knowledge they bring to modern research.

New findings and discoveries

In historic and scientific circles the discoveries along the ancient Silk Road were on a par with finding the Egyptian mummies.

But China’s concern over its rule in restive Xinjiang has widely been perceived as impeding faster research into them and greater publicity of the findings.

The desiccated corpses, which avoided natural decomposition due to the dry atmosphere and alkaline soils in the Tarim Basin, have not only given scientists a look into their physical biologies, but their clothes, tools and burial rituals have given historians a glimpse into life in the Bronze Age.

Mair, who played a pivotal role in bringing the discoveries to Western scholars in the 1990s, has worked tirelessly to get Chinese approval to take samples out of China for definitive genetic testing.

One expedition in recent years succeeded in collecting 52 samples with the aide of Chinese researchers, but later Mair’s hosts had a change of heart and only let five of them out of the country.

“I spent six months in Sweden last year doing nothing but genetic research,” Mair said from his home in the United States where he teaches at the University of Pennsylvania.

“My research has shown that in the second millennium BC, the oldest mummies, like the Loulan Beauty, were the earliest settlers in the Tarim Basin.

“From the evidence available, we have found that during the first 1,000 years after the Loulan Beauty, the only settlers in the Tarim Basin were Caucasoid.”

East Asian peoples only began showing up in the eastern portions of the Tarim Basin about 3,000 years ago, Mair said, while the Uighur peoples arrived after the collapse of the Orkon Uighur Kingdom, largely based in modern day Mongolia, around the year 842.

“Modern DNA and ancient DNA show that Uighurs, Kazaks, Krygyzs, the peoples of Central Asia are all mixed Caucasian and East Asian. The modern and ancient DNA tell the same story,” he said.

Mair hopes to publish his new findings in the coming months.

China has only allowed the genetic studies in the last few years, with a 2004 study carried out by Jilin University also finding that the mummies’ DNA had Europoid genes, further proving that the earliest settlers of Western China were not East Asians.

Mixed opinions…

In the preface to the 2002 book, “Ancient Corpses of Xinjiang,” written by Chinese archeologist Wang Huabing, the Chinese historian and Sanskrit specialist Ji Xianlin soundly denounced the use of the mummies by Uighur separatists as proof that Xinjiang should not belong to China.

“What has stirred up the most excitement in academic circles, both in the East and the West, is the fact that the ancient corpses of “white (Caucasoid/Europid) people’ have been excavated,” Jin wrote.

“However, within China a small group of ethnic separatists have taken advantage of this opportunity to stir up trouble and are acting like buffoons, (styling) themselves the descendants of these ancient “white people’ with the aim of dividing the motherland.”

Further on, in an apparent swipe at the government’s lack of eagerness to acknowledge the science and publicize it to the world, Ji wrote, “a scientist may not distort facts for political reasons, religious reasons, or any other reason”.

Meanwhile, Yingpan Man, a nearly perfectly preserved 2,000-year-old Caucasoid mummy, was only this month allowed to leave China for the first time, and is being displayed at the Tokyo Edo Museum.

The Yingpan Man, discovered in 1995 in the region that bears his name, has been seen as the best preserved of all the undisturbed mummies that have so far been found.

Yingpan Man not only had a gold foil death mask -- a Greek tradition -- covering his blonde bearded face, but also wore elaborate golden embroidered red and maroon garments with seemingly Western European designs.

His nearly 2.00 meter (six-foot, six-inch) long body is the tallest of all the mummies found so far and the clothes and artifacts discovered in the surrounding tombs suggest the highest level of Caucasoid civilization in the ancient Tarim Basin region.

When the Yingpan Man returns from Tokyo to Urumqi where he has long been kept out of public eye, he is expected to be finally put on display when the new Xinjiang Museum opens this year.

China has hundreds of the mummies in various degrees of dessication and decomposition, including the prominent Han Chinese warrior Zhang Xiong and other Uighur mummies.

However, only a dozen or so are on permanent display in a makeshift building until the new museum is completed.
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,404
Caucasians preceded East Asians in basin


By Robert J. Saiget
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

URUMQI, China -- After years of controversy and political intrigue, archaeologists using genetic testing have proved that Caucasians roamed China's Tarim Basin 1,000 years before East Asian people arrived.
The research finding -- which the Beijing government apparently delayed releasing, fearing it could fuel Uighur Muslim separatism in China's western-most Xinjiang region -- is based on a cache of ancient dried-out corpses that have been found around the Tarim Basin in recent decades.

The discoveries in the 1980s of the undisturbed 4,000-year-old "Beauty of Loulan" and the 3,000-year-old body of the "Charchan Man" are legendary in international archaeological circles for the fine state of their preservation and for the wealth of knowledge they bring to modern research.
In historic and scientific circles, the discoveries along the ancient Silk Road were on a par with finding the Egyptian mummies.
But the separatists in Xinjiang have embraced the Caucasoid mummies as evidence that the Uighurs do not belong in China, forcing Beijing to slow the research.
"It is unfortunate that the issue has been so politicized, because it has created a lot of difficulties," said Victor Mair, a specialist in the ancient corpses and co-author of "The Tarim Mummies."
The desiccated corpses, which avoided natural decomposition because of the dry atmosphere and alkaline soils in the Tarim Basin, have given historians a glimpse of life in the Bronze Age.
Mr. Mair, a University of Pennsylvania professor who played a pivotal role in bringing the discoveries to Western scholars in the 1990s, has struggled to take samples out of China for genetic testing. One recent expedition was allowed to take five samples out.
"From the evidence available, we have found that during the first 1,000 years after the Loulan Beauty, the only settlers in the Tarim Basin were Caucasoid," Mr. Mair said.
East Asian peoples began showing up in the eastern portions of the Tarim Basin only about 3,000 years ago, he said, while the Uighurs arrived after the collapse of the Orkhon Uighur Kingdom, largely based in modern-day Mongolia, about the year 842.
A study last year by Jilin University also found that the mummies' DNA had Europoid genes.
Meanwhile, Yingpan Man, a nearly perfectly preserved 2,000-year-old Caucasoid mummy, was allowed this month to leave China for the first time, and is being displayed at the Edo-Tokyo Museum.
The Yingpan Man, discovered in 1995 in the region that bears his name, has a gold foil death mask -- a Greek tradition -- covering his blond bearded face, and wears elaborate golden embroidered red and maroon garments with seemingly Western European designs.
His nearly 6-foot-6 body is the tallest of all the mummies found, and the clothes and artifacts discovered in the surrounding tombs suggest the highest level of Caucasoid civilization in the ancient Tarim Basin region.
When the Yingpan Man returns from Tokyo to Urumqi, where he has long been kept out of public eye, he is expected to be finally put on display when the Xinjiang Museum opens this year.

Source
 

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
34,184
Location
East of Suez
Was reading a little on this subject and found this artistic depiction owned by Johnny Depp no less:

mummiesofthetarimbasin.jpg
 

KeyserXSoze

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jun 2, 2002
Messages
944
>Romans in China story<
Roman legion founded Chinese city
Survivors of Crassus's routed army said to have built town
(ANSA) - Florence, July 25 - Roman soldiers who disappeared after a famous defeat founded a city in eastern China, archaeologists say .

The phantom legion was part of the defeated forces of Marcus Licinius Crassus, according to the current edition of the Italian magazine Archeologia Viva .

The famously wealthy Crassus needed glory to rival the exploits of the two men with whom he ruled Rome as the First Triumvirate, Pompey the Great and Julius Caesar .

Crassus decided to bring down the Parthian Empire - a fatal choice .

His forces were routed in 53 BC outside the Mesopotamian city of Carre - today's Harran - and he was beheaded .

According to the Roman historian Pliny, the Romans who survived were taken to a prison camp in what is now northern Afghanistan .

When Rome and Parthia sued for peace in 20 BC - 33 years after Crassus's last battle - all trace of the prisoners had disappeared .

The survivors of Crassus's legion became a mystery, walking ghosts in Roman legends. A Chinese historian in the Han Empire, China's second dynasty, provided an answer to the riddle in the early 3rd century AD .

The historian, Bau Gau, wrote that a Chinese war leader defeated a group of soldiers drawn up in typical Roman formation .

Crassus's old troops must now have been in their fifties and sixties .

Bau Gau said the foreigners were moved to China to defend the strategically important eastern region of Gansu, near today's city of Yongchang .

This is where the survivors founded the city of Liquian, the only site in China where the mark of Ancient Rome can be seen. 'Liquian' is said to mean 'Roman' .

The city has been virtually unknown outside China although hundreds of people visit it each year, admiring traces of defensive wallworks and pieces of broken pottery .

The number of visitors is certain to rise. Crassus, celebrated as the richest Roman of them all in pre-Imperial days, was never satisfied with his wealth and had an undying lust for glory .

Eighteen years before his doomed expedition to Parthia he put down a slave revolt led by the Thracian slave Spartacus. In Stanley Kubrick's epic film he was played by Laurence Olivier.
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
54,601
Roman descendants found in China?
By Richard Spencer in Liqian, north-west China
Last Updated: 2:02pm GMT 02/02/2007

Residents of a remote Chinese village are hoping that DNA tests will prove one of history's most unlikely legends — that they are descended from Roman legionaries lost in antiquity.

Scientists have taken blood samples from 93 people living in and around Liqian, a settlement in north-western China on the fringes of the Gobi desert, more than 200 miles from the nearest city.

They are seeking an explanation for the unusual number of local people with western characteristics — green eyes, big noses, and even blonde hair — mixed with traditional Chinese features.

"I really think we are descended from the Romans," said Song Guorong, 48, who with his wavy hair, six-foot frame and strikingly long, hooked nose stands out from his short, round-faced office colleagues.

"There are the residents with these special features, and then there are also historical records about the existence of these people long ago," he said.

Studies claiming that Liqian has Roman ancestry have greatly excited the impoverished county in which it is situated. The village is now overlooked by a pillared portico, in the hope of attracting tourists. A statue at the entrance of the nearby county town, Yongchang, shows a Roman legionary standing next to a Confucian scholar and a Muslim woman, as a symbol of racial harmony.

Even entrepreneurs have caught on: in "Imperial City Entertainment Street" there is a Caesar Karaoke bar.

The town's link with Rome was first suggested by a professor of Chinese history at Oxford in the 1950s. Homer Dubs pulled together stories from the official histories, which said that Liqian was founded by soldiers captured in a war between the Chinese and the Huns in 36BC, and the legend of the missing army of Marcus Crassus, a Roman general.

In 53BC Crassus was defeated disastrously and beheaded by the Parthians, a tribe occupying what is now Iran, putting an end to Rome's eastward expansion.

But stories persisted that 145 Romans were taken captive and wandered the region for years. Prof Dubs theorised that they made their way as a mercenary troop eastwards, which was how a troop "with a fish-scale formation" came to be captured by the Chinese 17 years later.

He said the "fish-scale formation" was a reference to the Roman "tortoise", a phalanx protected by shields on all sides and from above. Gu Jianming, who lives near Liqian, said it had come as a surprise to be told he might be descended from a European imperial army. But then the birth of his daughter was also a surprise. Gu Meina, now six, was born with a shock of blonde hair. "We shaved it off a month after she was born but it just grew back the same colour," he said. "At school they call her 'yellow hair'. Before we were told about the Romans, we had no idea about this. We are poor and have no family temple, so we don't know about our ancestors."

Another resident, Cai Junnian, 38, said his ruddy skin and green eyes meant he was now nicknamed Cai Luoma, or Cai the Roman, by friends. He has become a local celebrity, and was recently flown to the Italian consulate in Shanghai to meet his supposed relatives. The professor's hypothesis took almost 40 years to reach China. During Chairman Mao's rule, ideas of foreign ancestry were not ideologically welcome and the story was suppressed.

Mr Cai said his great-grandfather told him that there were Roman tombs in the Qilian mountains a day and a half's walk away, but he had never connected them to the unusual appearance he inherited from his father. "People thought I had a skin problem," he said.

The blood tests are part of a project undertaken by scientists and historians after local authorities loosened control over genetic research. The results will be published in a scientific journal. But Prof Xie Xiaodong, a geneticist from Lanzhou University, cautioned against over enthusiasm.

"Even if they are descendants of the Roman empire, it doesn't mean they are necessarily from the Roman army," he said. "The empire covered a large area. Many soldiers were recruited locally, so anything is possible."

The issue has split the university's history department, with some scholars supporting the claim, some rejecting it. Prof Wang Shaokuan poured scorn on Prof Dubs's thesis, saying the Huns themselves included Caucasians, Asians and Mongols.
http://tinyurl.com/36yao4
 

synchronicity

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
170
I have fair skin and green eyes.

That proves it.

I am a direct descendant of the Imperial House of Rome.

I always knew I was a princess! :lol:

Seriously--fascinating story. Green-eyed Chinese? And that little girl with the blonde hair?? I guess she did surprise her family LOL!

I wanna hear more about this!! :D
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,542
Wasn't there a green-eyed Chinese actress in Big Trouble in Little China?

Maybe I'm a princess too, I have green eyes.
 

synchronicity

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
170
Gncxx--I remember that movie, it was good! One of the stars of the movie was Kim Cattrall--later famous for playing one of the "girls" in "Sex and the City". But I think she wore green contact lenses in the movie--not that she's any more Chinese than I am! If I recall, there was a green-eyed Chinese girl in the movie, but I suspect she was wearing colored contact lenses too.

Then again, genetics can be weird! There were twin African-American sisters in my high school years ago--identical twins--and they had the most gorgeous green eyes!! This was long before people could buy colored contact lenses, so these sisters' eyes were genuinely green--and yet otherwise they looked like any other African-American girls!! Their eye color was incredibly striking!! They were pretty girls anyway, but everybody noticed those green eyes!!

And yes, I expect both you and I are princesses LOL! :lol:
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
33,542
The Indian film star Aishwarya Rai has green eyes, so I guess they're not solely confined to whites, just unusual.
 

LaurenChurchill

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
671
Kondoru, what do you mean by 'Roman currency was liked as it was pure'?
NOTE: Obviously I'm paraphrasing
 

Hanslune

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Dec 28, 2006
Messages
153
Green and blue eyes are rare but not uncommon in 'Chinese' appearing humans (to westerners) especially those from western and northern China.
 

Nemo

Go away, leave me alone, nemo is home
Joined
May 10, 2006
Messages
1,265
And sometimes you get blond/e, blue eyed, light skinned children being born in parts of India too (Alexander the Great's army managed to get that far)
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
54,601
synchronicity said:
I wanna hear more about this!! :D
Oh, all right then:

Chinese villagers 'descended from Roman soldiers'
Genetic testing of villagers in a remote part of China has shown that nearly two thirds of their DNA is of Caucasian origin, lending support to the theory that they may be descended from a 'lost legion' of Roman soldiers.
By Nick Squires in Rome 9:00PM GMT 23 Nov 2010

Tests found that the DNA of some villagers in Liqian, on the fringes of the Gobi Desert in north-western China, was 56 per cent Caucasian in origin.

Many of the villagers have blue or green eyes, long noses and even fair hair, prompting speculation that they have European blood.
A local man, Cai Junnian, is nicknamed by his friends and relatives Cai Luoma, or Cai the Roman, and is one of many villagers convinced that he is descended from the lost legion.

Archeologists plan to conduct digs in the region, along the ancient Silk Route, to search for remains of forts or other structures built by the fabled army.

"We hope to prove the legend by digging and discovering more evidence of China's early contacts with the Roman Empire," Yuan Honggeng, the head of a newly-established Italian Studies Centre at Lanzhou University in Gansu province, told the China Daily newspaper.

The genetic tests have leant weight to the theory that Roman legionaries settled in the area in the first century BC after fleeing a disastrous battle.

The clash took place in 53BC between an army led by Marcus Crassus, a Roman general, and a larger force of Parthians, from what is now Iran, bringing to an abrupt halt the Roman Empire's eastwards expansion.

Thousands of Romans were slaughtered and Crassus himself was beheaded, but some legionaries were said to have escaped the fighting and marched east to elude the enemy.

They supposedly fought as mercenaries in a war between the Huns and the Chinese in 36BC – Chinese chroniclers refer to the capture of a "fish-scale formation" of troops, a possible reference to the "tortoise" phalanx formation perfected by legionnaries. The wandering Roman soldiers are thought to have been released and to have settled on the steppes of western China.

The theory was first put forward in the 1950s by Homer Dubs, a professor of Chinese history at Oxford University.

The Roman Empire reached its greatest territorial extent under the Emperor Trajan in the 2nd century AD, just as the Han empire was beginning to decline.

Most historians believe that the two empires had only indirect contact, as silk and spices were traded along the Silk Road through merchants in exchange for Roman goods such as glassware.

But some experts believe they could instead be descended from the armies of Huns that marauded through central Asia, which included soldiers of Caucasian origin.

Maurizio Bettini, a classicist and anthropologist from Siena University, dismissed the theory as "a fairy tale".

"For it to be indisputable, one would need to find items such as Roman money or weapons that were typical of Roman legionaries," he told La Repubblica. "Without proof of this kind, the story of the lost legions is just a legend."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... diers.html
 

Zilch5

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Nov 8, 2007
Messages
1,553
Tiny town of Liqian moves to capitalise on legend it is descended from lost Roman legion

ANCIENT ROME may have lost a legion, but modern China has found a tourism bonanza: a desert town full of blond haired, blue-eyed Chinese residents claiming to be descended from an historic military disaster.

The remote village of Liqian in Gansu Province has an odd present which may reflect on its unusual past.

Researches from as long ago as the 1950s have noted the areas Chinese inhabitants have some unusual physical features: Most notably lighter-coloured eyes and hair.

In the 1950s an Oxford University professor, Homer Dubs, proposed the theory that this may be a lingering trace of a Roman legionaries fighting with the Hun tribes in 36BC. It is argued that the captives were marched east to China, then under the rule of the Han Dynasty.

Recently extensive DNA samples were collected from the region's inhabitants in an effort to establish if the tale has any truth in it.

In November 2010, China and Italy jointly set up a research centre on Italian culture in Lanzhou University. The project aims to track the descendants and evidence of Roman legionaries in the region.

While the results are not yet in, the town of Liqian - sitting on the edge of the Gobi desert some 300km from the nearest city - is not waiting for the results.

China's Global Times reports a tall pillar has been set up at the town's entrance as a tourist attraction. And the residents have found the Roman spirit still stirs in their veins - donning replica armour and the legionaries distinctive red capes in renactments of Roman military manoeuvres.

"In such a remote place, two great civilisations have merged. We are really surprised," Italian visitor Pamela McCourt Francescone told the Xinhua News Agency.

With a tall stature, deep-set green eyes and an aquiline nose, the villager Luo Ying bears the nickname "Prince of Rome" . "I believe I'm connected to ancient Romans," Luo told Xinhua.

Tourism opportunists are tapping the Roman craze. There is a Roman hotel and a Roman plaza. The nearby highway has been lined with Roman-like statues.

No actual Roman artefacts have yet been discovered, however.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/travel/holiday-i ... z2b3xDnA3C
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
34,184
Location
East of Suez
Fascinating story here about the Tarim Basin Mummies:

Since their discovery, the ancestry of hundreds of mummified bodies buried in boats in an inhospitable desert region of northwest China has puzzled and divided archaeologists.

Found in the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang mostly in the 1990s, the mummies' bodies and clothes are strikingly intact despite being up to 4,000 years old. Naturally preserved by the dry desert air, their facial features and hair color can clearly be seen.
Their Western looks; felted and woven wool clothing; and the cheese, wheat and millet found in their unusual graves suggested they were long-distance herders from the West Asia steppe or migrating farmers from the mountains and desert oases of Central Asia.

However, a new study by Chinese, European and American researchers that analyzed the DNA of these 13 mummies, sequencing their genomes for the first time, has painted a different picture. Their analysis suggested that the remains did not belong to newcomers but a local group descended from an ancient Ice Age Asian population.



A picture paints a thousand words:

211027075913-06-mummies-tarim-basin-china-exlarge-169.jpg


211027075353-03-mummies-tarim-basin-china-exlarge-169.jpg


Full Story:
https://edition.cnn.com/2021/10/27/asia/mummies-tarim-basin-china-scn/index.html

Alternative Source:
https://www.sciencealert.com/bronze...SlYqtzjgtYhImA_xvRjhxv3UibIzqOXcoeKLbaMdjGyLU
 
Top