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From Danube to Asia 2. Tocharian Daxia -pronunced in Chinese Dashia, Scythian Daheans, Thracians?

 

 

Yingpan Man, an European-looking 6 footer Tocharian, who wore his brown hair in a topknot, not only had a white death mask with a gold diadem-- a Mycenian and Thracian  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. Dating to the 4th or early 5th century AD,  the attire of this ancient traveler  clearly embodies all  the wealth and splendor  that flowed through the Tarim Basin after the Silk Road opened and  linked China to the Mediterranean world.

 Santa Ana Museum, California, exhibition The Secrets of the Silk Road:  The Mystery Mummies of China, from China’s  Tarim Basin. (2010)

The "Nova" program speculates that the mummy people originated in Eastern Europe, near the Black Sea. This conclusion is based partly on some striking petroglyphs found on a massive 500-foot-tall rock outcropping. The carvings - which seem to show a fertility dance, a crucial concern for ancient people with infant mortality rates of 33 percent or higher - are distinctive for their triangular torsos and 90-degree arm positions.
The only other place where similar images have been found - by Davis-Kimball and other scholars - is in Moldova, near the Black Sea.

Molcha River Rock Carvings
180km from Cherchen, collection of thousands of petroglyphs along a riverside cliff face, depict ancient life, with pastoral scenes, spiritual belief, animals, dancing and battles dating to the Bronze Age and Iron Age.
http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/jneelis/dissertation/Introduction.pdf

 

 

Table of Contents-Cuprins:  

Similar Pattern on Pazyryk Carpet and Yingpan Man Mummy pants

 Arimaspus (Scythian Dachean) Hyperborean, Thracian with Griffin, Painted on Greek Pottery

Dacheans

Tocharians

Jeannine Davis-Kimball investigates the secret of central Asia's Mummy People

 Tarim Mummies

The Silk Road and the North Branch - The Hyperborean Road (Road of Byc)

Genetic Structure of a 2,500-Year-Old Human Population in China and Its Spatiotemporal Changes


Pattern on the Pazyryk Carpet similar with the Yingpan man Mummy's pants

  

2500-year-old Pazyryk carpet, dating back to 500 B.C.

In a unique archaeological excavation in 1949, the exceptional Pazyryk pile carpet was discovered, by  Russian archeologist, Sergei Rudenko, among the ices of Pazyryk Valley, in Altai Mountains in Siberia, close to the Chinese border. The carpet was found in the grave of a Scythian (Dachean) prince. Radiocarbon testing indicated that the Pazyryk carpet was woven in the 5th century BC.[15] This carpet is 283 by 200 cm (approximately 9.3 by 6.5 ft). The Pazyryk Carpet is the oldest known surviving carpet in the world. Its decoration is rich and varied: the central field is occupied by 24 cross-shaped figures, each of which consists of 4 stylized lotus buds.(The Yingpan Man pants are decorated with similar motives. NWB ) This composition is framed by a border of griffins, followed by a border of 24 fallow deer. The widest border contains representations of work-horses and men.

The conventional wisdom in rug scholarship dictates that the Pazyryk Carpet was
made in the near East
and somehow made it's way to a burial mound in the Altai
mountains of Siberia. The Pazyryk Carpet was found with a number of other textiles mostly felts. 
The Pazyryk Carpet on the other hand shares a design motif that we see in Persian and Assyrian architecture was far to sophisticated to be local. Now everything hanges. On the basis of an article in Ghereh by Harald Bohmer we must reexamine the whole Pazyryk Carpet issue.In the Ghereh article Bohmer drops a major bombshell and it explodes virtually unheard. Bohmer released his findings that the same dye was used in the felts as was used in the Pazyryk Carpet. What this tells us is that the Pazyryk Carpet and the felts were both made in the same place. That being so now the origin of the Pazyryk Carpet must be reexamined. 

Joseph V.McMullan on the Pazyryk Carpet  

My recollections that Bohmer determined that the dye was not one found in Middle Eastern and Central Asian carpets and textiles. The dye analysis most closely matched Polish Cochineal. This however is a dye as I stated that is not seen in any similar textiles. I strongly suspect that this is a dye source found in the Tarim Basin. There is currently a dye study of the textiles found in the Tarim basin archeological digs. I suspect that this will clarify the situation considerably. One problem with this is that the tests are limited to some extent by the test samples. The Tarim Basin tests should be a considerable help in sorting things out.

http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/03/hm3_2_7d.html

http://www.thoughtequity.com/video/clip/4470349_012.do

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

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

http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/03/hm3_2_7e.html

http://rbedrosian.com/Classic/Paz/paz1.htm

 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.

Yingpan Man’s Fabulous Wealth
by Heather Pringle
March 29, 2010

 Museum in Santa Ana, California, has been grabbing headlines over the past week for a much anticipated exhibition of the European-looking mummies from China’s  Tarim Basin.  I’ve  just attended the opening and  I can say that all the brouhaha is well warranted.  The Tarim Basin mummies have never travelled outside Asia before, so the little known California museum has pulled off a major coup in bringing these ancient humans to the United States.  Moreover, these mummies and their extraordinary artifacts –nearly 150 items in all—are revealing new information daily about early contacts between East and West in Central Asia..  

The oldest of the Tarim mummies dates back to the Bronze Age some 4000 years ago—nearly 2000 years before the opening of the Silk Road.  In all likelihood, these Bronze-Age European migrants were the first humans to settle in the bleak Tarim Basin region—one of the driest and most remote places on earth.   A forthcoming issue of Archaeology will have my article on current research on these Bronze Age mummies spearheaded by Victor Mair, a 67-year-old Sinologist at the University of Pennsylvania.   But two days ago, I tagged along on a Saturday morning tour that Mair gave to the Bowers Museum docents, and I thought I’d share Mair’s comments on a lesser known highlight of the show:  Yingpan Man.   

The magnificent trappings of Yingpan Man are the first things that visitors lay eyes on in the exhibit.  The Chinese government did not send the remains of the European-looking 6 footer who wore his brown hair in a topknot. But as Mair pointed out, Yingpan Man’s “sartorial shell” alone speaks volumes.   Dating to the 4th or early 5th century AD,  the attire of this ancient traveler  clearly embodies all  the wealth and splendor  that flowed through the Tarim Basin after  the Silk Road opened and  linked China to the Mediterranean world.  

Yingpan  Man was clearly a clotheshorse.   In his grave he sported a white mask with a golden diadem, a splendid red and gold-colored woolen caftan, a pair of embroidered pants,  and some very fancy boots ornamented with gold.   “This is the most magnificent set of clothing from East Central Asia, and probably from anywhere in the ancient world,” Mair pointed out. 

The woolen caftan, for example, is a masterpiece in double-weave.   It portrays a small army of little golden Greco-Roman putti (who resemble cherubim) and sacrificial bulls on a red background.  Textile expert Elizabeth Barber,  a professor emerita from Occidental College in Los Angeles,  believes that weavers in the Eastern Roman Empire made the caftan,   then traded it eastward into the Tarim Basin.  And so much did Yingpan Man love his clothes that mourners even laid a miniature extra set on his chest, so that he could change in the next world. 

Who was Yingpan Man?   Mair has some ideas.  He died in his early to mid-thirties,  and he had clearly amassed a fortune by that point,  most likely through trade.  The town of Yingpan, after all,  was an crucial trade node on the Silk Road.  During this period,  Mair pointed out,  the richest traders along the route  were Sogdians, an Iranian-speaking people whose homeland lay near Samarkand in what is now Uzbekistan.  So Mair believes that Yingpan man was likely a Sogdian merchant who died relatively young in a place far from home. 

The Secrets of the Silk Road:  The Mystery Mummies of China will run at the Bowers Museum until July.  I can recommend it whole-heartedly.

 

 Artemis from the Francois vase, Greek pottery, 4th century BC,  Archaeological Museum, Florence,is represented wearing a similar but more stylized pattern on her clothes, as the one above.

timelessmyths.com

http://www.timelessmyths.com/classical/olympians.html#Artemis 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arimaspus (Scythian Dachean) Hyperborean, Thracian with Griffin, Painted on Greek Pottery

 

Scythian Dachean Garb

 

 

 Attic red-figure chalice-crater, ca. 375 – 350 BC.From Eretria, Eubea, Grece.
A satyr, a griffin and an Arimaspus-A Scythian Dahean man. (Please look at his costume. Any similarities with the Yingpan Man's? WMB)
Louvre Museum, Paris, France Accession number CA 491
Department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities in the Louvre, Sully, first floor, room 44

 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Satyr_griffin_Arimaspus_Louvre_CA491.jpg

 

File:Satyr griffin Arimaspus Louvre CA491.jpg

The Thracians (Scythian-Dacheans) of the Classical period were much influenced by both Persian and Greek art. They are shown wearing fox-skin caps (alopekides) and patterned cloaks (zeirai), dress which is also affected in Athens in the classical period.

 

There is evidence both from the mummies and Chinese writings that some of Tarim basin mummies had blond or red hair and blue eyes, characteristics also found in present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Central Asia, due to the populations' high genetic diversity. (The high frequency of blonds in Europe today is due to selection, with Finns having the highest; though in ancient times, it seems the Thracians were commonly regarded as the original blond race.) This suggests the possibility that they were part of an early Indo-European migration that ended in what is now the Tarim Basin in western China

 

  The "Nova" program speculates that the Tarim mummy people originated in Eastern Europe, near the Black Sea. This conclusion is based partly on some striking petroglyphs found on a massive 500-foot-tall rock outcropping. The carvings - which seem to show a fertility dance, a crucial concern for ancient people with infant mortality rates of 33 percent or higher - are distinctive for their triangular torsos and 90-degree arm positions.

The only other place where similar images have been found - by Davis-Kimball and other scholars - is in now Republic of Moldova, a region between Romania and Ukraine, near the Black Sea.

Molcha River Rock Carvings
180km from Cherchen, collection of thousands of petroglyphs along a riverside cliff face, depict ancient life, with pastoral scenes, spiritual belief, animals, dancing and battles dating to the Bronze Age and Iron Age.
http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/jneelis/dissertation/Introduction.pdf

 

 

Dacheans

   Dacheans

 Daha also referred to a dasyu tribe in Margiana. Dahistan (east of the Caspian Sea/Gorgan) derives its name from this tribe [9]. The Greek historians Q. Curtius Rufus (8,3) and Ptolemy (Geography: 6,10,2) located the region of the Dahas on the river Margos (modern Murghab) or in Margiana (Parpola 1988). The Dahas are also mentioned by Pomponius Mela (3,42)[10] and Tacitus (Ann. 11,10)[11].

Strabo wrote about the Dahae the following: 

 "Most of the Scythians, beginning from the Caspian Sea, are called Scythian Daheans, and those situated more towards the east Massageteans and Saceans; the rest have the common appellation of Scythians, but each separate tribe has its peculiar name. All, or the greatest part of them, are nomads. The best known tribes are those who deprived the Greeks of Bactriana, the Asians, Pasians, Tocharians, and Sacarauls, who came from the country on the other side of the Jaxartes, opposite the Sacean and Sogdians."; (Strabo, 11-8-1)

The geographical term Tokharistan usually refers to 1st millennium Bactria (Chinese Daxia 大夏).

Tocharians

Tocharians

For the Indian Epic Kingdom identified with Tocharians, see Tushara Kingdom.

Tocharians
Total population
Extinct. Possibly among the ancestors of the Tajiks, Pashtuns, and/or Uighurs
Regions with significant populations
The Tarim Basin in Xinjiang  
Languages

Tocharian languages

Religion

Buddhism and Manicheism

Related ethnic groups

Other Indo-European peoples, other Indo-Iranian peoples, Yuezhi, Kushans, genes found in Tarim mummies supports evidence of relations between the DNA found in western Eurasia (in or around Ukraine), South Asians(desi) and East Asians.

Indo-European topics

Indo-European languages (list)
Albanian · Armenian · Baltic
Celtic · Germanic · Greek
Indo-Iranian (Indo-Aryan, Iranian)
Italic · Slavic  

extinct: Anatolian · Paleo-Balkan (Dacian,
Phrygian, Thracian) · Tocharian

Indo-European language-speaking peoples
Europe: Balts · Slavs · Albanians · Italics · Celts · Germanic peoples · Greeks · Paleo-Balkans (Illyrians · Thracians · Dacians) ·

Asia: Anatolians (Hittites, Luwians)  · Armenians  · Indo-Iranians (Iranians · Indo-Aryans)  · Tocharians  

Proto-Indo-Europeans
Language · Society · Religion
 
Urheimat hypotheses
Kurgan hypothesis
Anatolia · Armenia · India · PCT
 
Indo-European studies

The Tocharians were the Tocharian-speaking inhabitants of the Tarim Basin, making them the easternmost speakers of Indo-European languages in antiquity.

Name

The term Tocharian or Tokharian has a complex history. It is based on the ethnonym Tokharoi (Greek Τόχαροι) used by Greek historians (e.g. Ptolemy VI, 11, 6). The first Greek mention of the Tocharians appeared in the 1st century BC, when Strabo presented them as a Scythian tribe, and explained that the Tocharians — together with the Assianis, Passianis and Sakaraulis — took part in the destruction of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom in the second half of the 2nd century BC.[1]

These Tocharians have frequently been identified with the Yuezhi and the later (and probably related) Kushan peoples. Many scholars believe the Yuezhi originally spoke a Tocharian language. However, the debate about the origins and original language(s) of the Yuezhi and the Kushan continues, and there is no general consensus.[2] The geographical term Tokharistan usually refers to 1st millennium Bactria (Chinese Daxia 大夏).

Today, the term is associated with those Indo-European languages known as "Tocharian". Tocharian A is also known as East Tocharian, or Turfanian (of the city of Turpan), and Tocharian B is also known as West Tocharian, or Kuchean (of the city of Kucha)[citation needed]

Based on a Turkic reference to Tocharian A as twqry, these languages were associated with the Kushan ruling class, but the exact relation of the speakers of these languages and the Kushan Tokharoi is uncertain, and some consider "Tocharian languages" a misnomer. The term is so widely used, however, that this question is somewhat academic. Tocharians in the modern sense are, then, defined as the speakers of the Tocharian languages. These were originally nomads[citation needed], and lived in today's Xinjiang (Tarim basin).

The native name of the historical Tocharians of the 6th to 8th centuries was, according to J. P. Mallory, possibly kuśiññe "Kuchean" (Tocharian B), "of the kingdom of Kucha and Agni", and ārśi (Tocharian A); one of the Tocharian A texts has ārśi-käntwā, "In the tongue of Arsi" (ārśi is probably cognate to argenteus, i.e. "shining, brilliant"). According to Douglas Q. Adams, the Tocharians may have called themselves ākñi, meaning "borderers, marchers".

Archaeology

File:QizilDonors.jpg

 
"Tocharian donors", possibly the "Knights with Long Swords" of Chinese accounts, depicted with light hair and light eye color and dressed in Sassanian style. 6th century AD fresco, Qizil, Tarim Basin. Graphical analysis reveals that the third donor from left is performing a Buddhist Vitarka Mudra gesture. These frescoes are associated with annotations in Tocharian and Sanskrit made by their painters.

 The Vitarka mudrā ("mudrā of discussion") is the gesture of discussion and transmission of Buddhist teaching. It is done by joining the tips of the thumb and the index together, and keeping the other fingers straight. This mudrā has a great number of variants in Mahāyāna Buddhism in East Asia. In Tibet it is the mystic gesture of Tārās and Bodhisattvas with some differences by the deities in Yab-yum. (Vitarka mudrā is also known as Prajñāliṅganabhinaya, Vyākhyāna mudrā ("mudrā of explanation"); Japanese: Seppō-in, An-i-in; Chinese: Anwei Yin.)

 

The Tarim mummies suggest that precursors of these easternmost speakers of an Indo-European language may have lived in the region of the Tarim Basin from around 1800 BC until finally being assimilated by Uyghur Turks in the 9th century AD.[citation needed] This is evidenced by both the mummies[3] and Chinese writings.[4]

A later group of Tocharians were the Kushans and maybe some Iranian tribes of the Hephthalites whose Iranian population also settled in modern Afghanistan, North-Eastern Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkestan, whereas the nomadic Turkic tribes were defeated by Bahram Gur and the Gokturks, who pushed them over the Hindukush mountains to Sindh (Pakistan) and North-West India.

The Tarim Basin mummies (1800 BC) and the Tocharian texts and frescoes from the Tarim Basin (AD 800) have been found in the same general geographical area, and are both connected to an Indo-European origin. The mummies and the frescoes both point to White types with light eyes and hair color. However it is unknown if the frescoes and mummies are directly connected.

Mallory & Mair (2000:294–296, 314–318) argue that the Tocharian languages were introduced to the Tarim and Turpan basins from the Afanasevo culture to their immediate north. The Afanasevo culture (c. 3500–2500 BC) displays cultural and genetic connections with the Indo-European-associated cultures of the European steppe yet predates the specifically Indo-Iranian-associated Andronovo culture (c. 2000–900 BC) enough to isolate the Tocharian languages from Indo-Iranian linguistic innovations like satemization.[5]:260, 294–296, 314–318[citation needed]

In 2008, the remains of another male were discovered near Turpan, China. Thought by researchers to be a member of the Gushi culture, the man was buried with a number of practical and ceremonial objects, including archery equipment and a harp, and 789 grams of marijuana. Through genetic analysis and carbon dating, the burial has been dated to roughly 700 B.C. Only two of the 500 graves at the site contain marijuana, leading researchers to suggest shamanic roles for the two individuals.

In 2009, the remains of individuals found at a site in Xiaohe were analyzed for Y-DNA and mtDNA markers. They suggest that an admixed population of both west and east origin lived in the Tarim basin since the early Bronze Age. The maternal lineages were predominantly East Asian haplogroup C with smaller numbers of H and K, while the paternal lines were all West Eurasian R1a1a. The geographic location of where this admixing took place is unknown, although south Siberia is likely.[6]

Language

Wooden plate with inscriptions in the Tocharian language. Kucha, China, 5th-8th century. Tokyo National Museum.

The Tocharians appear to have originally spoken two distinct languages of the Indo-European Tocharian family, an Eastern ("A") form and a Western ("B") form. According to some, only the Eastern ("A") form can be properly called "Tocharian", as the native name for the Western form is referred to as Kuchean (see below). Commonalities between the Tocharian languages and various other Indo-European language families (as with Celtic, Germanic, Balto-Slavic, even Italic or Greek) have been suggested, but the evidence does not support any close relationship with any other family. The only consensus is that Tocharian was already far enough removed, at an early date, from the other eastern Indo-European proto-languages (Proto-Balto-Slavic and Proto-Indo-Iranian), not to share some of the common changes that PBS and PII share, such as early palatalization of velars.

Tocharian A of the eastern regions seems to have declined in use as a popular language or mother tongue faster than did Tocharian B of the west. Tocharian A speakers probably yielded their original language to Turkic languages of immigrating Turkic peoples, while Tocharian B speakers were more insulated from outside linguistic influences.[citation needed] It appears that Tocharian A ultimately became a liturgical language, no longer a living one, at the same time that Tocharian B was still widely spoken in daily life. Among the monasteries of the lands inhabited by Tocharian B speakers, Tocharian A seems to have been used in ritual alongside the Tocharian B of daily life.[citation needed]

Besides the religious Tocharian texts, the texts include monastery correspondence and accounts, commercial documents, caravan permits, medical and magical texts, and a love poem. Their manuscript fragments, of the 8th centuries, suggest that they were no longer either nomadic[citation needed] or "barbarian (hu)" as the Chinese had considered them.[citation needed]

Historic role

File:Asia 001ad.jpg

 
Asia in AD 1, showing the location of the Tocharian/Yue-Chi tribes and their neighbors.
Blue-eyed Central Asian (Tocharian?) and East-Asian Buddhist monks, Bezeklik, Eastern Tarim Basin, 9th-10th century.

 The  donor from left is performing a Buddhist Vitarka Mudra gesture

 

 

The Tocharians, living along the Silk Road, had contacts with the Chinese, Persians, Indian and Turkic tribes. They might be the same as, or were related to, the Indo-European Yuezhi who fled from their settlements in the eastern Tarim Basin after attacks by the Xiongnu in the 2nd century BC (Shiji Chinese historical Chronicles, Chap. 123) and expanded south to Bactria and northern India to form the Kushan Empire.

The Tocharians who remained in the Tarim Basin adopted Buddhism, which, like their alphabet, came from northern India in the first century of the 1st millennium, through the proselytism of Kushan monks. The Kushans and the Tocharians seem to have played a part in the Silk Road transmission of Buddhism to China.[citation needed] Many apparently also practiced some variant of Manichaeanism.[citation needed]

Protected by the Taklamakan Desert from steppe nomads, the Tocharian culture survived past the 7th century.

The northern Silk Road route started at Chang'an (now called Xi'an), the capital of the ancient Chinese Kingdom, which, in the Later Han, was moved further east to Luoyang. The route was defined about the 1st Century BCE as Han Wudi put an end to harassment by nomadic tribes.[citation needed]

The route travels northwest through the Chinese province of Gansu from Shaanxi Province, and splits into three further routes, two of them following the mountain ranges to the north and south of the Taklimakan Desert to rejoin at Kashgar; and the other going north of the Tian Shan mountains through Turpan, Talgar and Almaty (in what is now southeast Kazakhstan). The routes split west of Kashgar with one branch heading down the Alai Valley towards Termez and Balkh, while the other traveled through Kokand in the Fergana Valley, and then west across the Karakum Desert towards Merv, joining the southern route briefly.

One of the branch routes turned northwest to the north of the Aral and Caspian seas then and on to the Black Sea by the Road of Byk (NWM).

 Yet another route started at Xi'an, passed through the Western corridor beyond the Yellow Rivers, Xinjiang, Fergana (in present-day eastern Uzbekistan), Persia and Iraq before joining the western boundary of the Roman Empire. A route for caravans, the northern Silk Road brought to China many goods such as "dates, saffron powder and pistachio nuts from Persia; frankincense, aloes and myrrh from Somalia; sandalwood from India; glass bottles from Egypt, and other expensive and desirable goods from other parts of the world." In exchange, the caravans sent back bolts of silk brocade, lacquer ware and porcelain

 

 

 

File:Transasia trade routes 1stC CE gr2.png

 

 

In Sanskrit literature

Sanskrit literature in numerous instances refers to the Tocharians as Tukhāra (also Tuṣāra, Tuḥkhāra, Tukkhāra).

The Atharavaveda-Parishishta[7] associates them with the Sakas, Greeks and Bactrians.[8] It also juxtaposes the Kambojas with the Bactrians.[9] This shows they probably were neighbors in the Transoxian region. The Rishikas are said to be same people as the Yuezhi.[10] The Kushanas or Kanishkas are also the same people.[11]

M. A. Stein proposed that the Tukharas were the same as the Yuezhi.[12] P. C. Bagchi holds that the Yuezhi, Tocharioi and Tushara were identical.[13].

The Parama Kambojas of the Trans-Pamirs, mentioned in the Mahabharata are said to be related to the Rishikas [14] who are placed in Sakadvipa (or Scythia).[15] B. N. Puri takes the Kambojas to be a branch of the Tukharas.[16] Some scholars state that the Kambojas were a branch of the Yuezhi.[17]

Sabha Parva of Mahabharata states that the Parama Kambojas, Lohas and the Rishikas were allied tribes.[18] Like the "Parama Kambojas" ("most distant Kambojas"), the Rishikas of the Transoxian region are similarly styled as "most distant" or "Parama Rishikas"[19]. Based on the syntactical construction of the Mahabharata verses 5.5.15 and 2.27.25, Ishwa Mishra believes [20] that the Rishikas were a section of the Kambojas, i.e. Parama Kambojas.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Most of the Scythians, beginning from the Caspian Sea, are called Scythian Daheans, and those situated more towards the east Massageteans and Saceans; the rest have the common appellation of Scythians, but each separate tribe has its peculiar name. All, or the greatest part of them, are nomads. The best known tribes are those who deprived the Greeks of Bactriana, the Asians, Pasians, Tocharians, and Sacarauls, who came from the country on the other side of the Jaxartes, opposite the Sacean and Sogdians."; (Strabo, 11-8-1)
  2. ^ Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, 1st to 2nd Centuries CE, pp. 310-312. (2009). John E. Hill. BookSurge, Charleston, South Carolina. ISBN 978-1-4392-2134-1.
  3. ^ "The Takla Makan Mummies". PBS. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/chinamum/taklamakan.html. Retrieved 17 January 2008. 
  4. ^ Xuanzang is said to have reported upon this The Oases of the Northern Tarim Basin at http://depts.washington.edu
  5. ^ Mallory & Mair (2000)
  6. ^ Li, Chunxiang. "Evidence that a West-East admixed population lived in the Tarim Basin as early as the early Bronze Age". BMC Biology. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/8/15#IDAH0OBH. Retrieved 17 February 2010. 
  7. ^ Ed Bolling & Negelein, 41.3.3
  8. ^ Saka. Yavana.Tushara.Bahlikashcha.
  9. ^ Kamboja-Bahlika......AV-Par, 57.2.5; cf Persica-9, 1980, p 106, Michael Witzel.
  10. ^ (India as Known to Panini, p 64, V. S. Aggarwala, V. S. Aggarwala.
  11. ^ Bhartya Itihaas ki Ruprekha, 1941, J. C. Vidyalnkara
  12. ^ Rajatarangini of Kalhana, I, p 6, trans. M. A. Stein (1900).
  13. ^ India and Central Asia, 1955, p 24.
  14. ^ The Deeds of Harsha: Being a Cultural Study of Bāṇa's Harshacharita, 1969, p 199, Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala.
  15. ^ India as Known to Pāṇini: A Study of the Cultural Material in the Ashṭādhyāyī, 1953, p 64, Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala - India; A Grammatical Dictionary of Sanskrit (Vedic): 700 Complete Reviews of the ..., 1953, p 62, Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala, Surya Kanta, Jacob Wackernagel, Arthur Anthony Macdonell, Peggy Melcher - India.
  16. ^ Puri, B. N. Buddhism in Central Asia, p. 90.
  17. ^ Journal of Tamil Studies, 1969, pp. 86, 87, International Institute of Tamil Studies - Tamil philology.
  18. ^ Mahabharata 2.26.25: See: trans. by Kisari Mohan Ganguli [1].
  19. ^ Mahabharata 2.26.26.
  20. ^ See: Indiancivilization Forum, messages No 64552 dated Sept 27, 2004; Message 64654, dated September 29, 2004 , Adhin88 (alias Ishwa Misra); Jathistory Forum, Message 454, Dated April 15, 2003, Ishwa Misra.

Books and magazines

Note: Recent discoveries have rendered obsolete some of René Grousset's classic The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia, published in 1939, which, however, still provides a broad background against which to assess more modern detailed studies.

  • Baldi, Philip. 1983. An Introduction to the Indo-European Languages. Carbondale. Southern Illinois University Press.
  • Barber, Elizabeth Wayland. 1999. The Mummies of Ürümchi. London. Pan Books.
  • Beekes, Robert. 1995. Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An Introduction. Philadelphia. John Benjamins.
  • Hemphill, Brian E. and J.P. Mallory. 2004. "Horse-mounted invaders from the Russo-Kazakh steppe or agricultural colonists from Western Central Asia? A craniometric investigation of the Bronze Age settlement of Xinjiang" in American Journal of Physical Anthropology vol. 125 pp 199ff.
  • Lane, George S. 1966. "On the Interrelationship of the Tocharian Dialects," in Ancient Indo-European Dialects, eds. Henrik Birnbaum and Jaan Puhvel. Berkeley. University of California Press.
  • Mallory, J. P.; Mair, Victor H. (2000). The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West. London: Thames & Hudson .
  • Walter, Mariko Namba 1998 Tocharian Buddhism in Kucha: Buddhism of Indo-European Centum Speakers in Chinese Turkestan before the 10th Century C.E. Sino-Platonic Papers No. 85. October, 1998.
  • Xu, Wenkan 1995 "The Discovery of the Xinjiang Mummies and Studies of the Origin of the Tocharians" The Journal of Indo-European Studies, Vol. 23, Number 3 & 4, Fall/Winter 1995, pp. 357-369.
  • Xu, Wenkan 1996 "The Tokharians and Buddhism" In: Studies in Central and East Asian Religions 9, pp. 1-17.[2]
  • Zuev, Ü.A. 2002, Early Türks: Outline of history and ideology, Almaty, "Daik-Press" ISBN 9985-441-52-9 (In Russian)

 External links

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tocharians"

 

Jeannine Davis-Kimball investigates the secret of central Asia's Mummy People

 

Ancient Mystery - Jeannine Davis-Kimball investigate the secret of central Asia's Mummy People

by Ed Frauenheim

This article was originally published at The East Bay Monthly, VOL. XXIX,
NO. 3, December 1998 Issue
 

Once in a while, however, there truly is a dash of Hollywood-style adventure, as Berkeley archaeologist Jeannine Davis-Kimball discovered during the summer of 1997. On a research expedition to western China, Davis-Kimball and two colleagues found themselves wrapped up in a remarkable ancient mystery spiked with modern day political intrigue.

They were investigating the mummies of the Takla Makan Desert, corpses so well preserved under the arid sands that the trace of a tear still can be seen streaking the face of a child buried 4,000 years ago.

 

The condition of the mummies, excavated at various sites since the early 1900s, surprised the scientists who first found them. But far more startling was the realization that these bodies, buried millennia ago in western China, are Caucasian.

They have blond, brown and red hair, prominent noses and deep- set eyes. Some are nearly six feet tall. Buried along with them were textiles woven in plaid patterns strikingly similar to those of ancient European fabrics. Tests on one mummy linked it to a European genetic group

 

This caused a clamor in scientific circles. Conventional wisdom has long been that Western people didn't arrive in China until the establishment of the Silk Road, about 2,000 years ago. Chinese scholars have claimed, and Western scholars have agreed, that Chinese culture evolved in isolation, apart from the influence of Europe

The Caucasian mummies of the Takla Makan proved otherwise, indicating that Europeans forged eastward thousands of years before anyone thought and built a thriving agricultural society in what's now China's Xinjiang Province

Davis-Kimball and her team, with support from the PBS program "Nova," went to Xinjiang to find out just who the mummy people were, and what became of them.

Tatooed face

 

But they soon discovered that not everyone wants that information made known. Proof that Caucasians were living in the region 4,000 years ago clearly refutes China's claim of historical sovereignty there -- and, more important, challenges its hold on the oil-rich province of Xinjiang.

"There's oil down there," Davis-Kimball says. "That's the reason it has to be part of China."

The people native to this area of central Asia are a Turkic ethnic group called Uighurs (WE-gurs). They trace their ties to the region back to around 800 A.D., when their Turkic ancestors moved there and, anthropologists believe, mixed with a people known as the Tocharians.

The Tocharians, who were Buddhists, are thought to have built and ruled a string of cities along the central Asian stretch of the Silk Road. Study of Tocharian manuscripts has revealed that they used a language closely related to Celtic and Germanic tongues; their paintings reveal them to have been a fair-haired, blue-eyed people.

These distinctive characteristics have caused many scholars to link them with the mummy people, who predated them.

Here's where the story gets political. The Uighur majority in Xinjiang now chafes under Chinese rule. There were Uighur uprisings in 1990 and '97, which were summarily crushed by the Chinese Army. To strengthen its hand in the region, the Chinese government has flooded Xinjiang with some 6 million ethnic Han Chinese.

Though the region contains one-third of China's oil reserves, 95 percent of the Uighur population lives in poverty. The Uighurs protest that China has polluted their homeland with industrial toxics and radiation (this is where China couducts its nuclear tests).

China has responded harshly to the dissent. Amnesty International reports that "a pattern of human rights violations has emerged in Xinjiang since 1989."

Click and photo to resize. drag

China supports it claim to Xinjiang with a myth promulgated since Mao took control of the region in the '40s: that China developed in isolation and that this area has always been part of China -- even though the name Xinjiang means "new territory."

Uighurs have seized upon the mummy pople as proof that their homeland is historically distinct from China. When Davis-Kimball went to Xinjiang she stepped into what is lterally a battle over the area's history, with a mummies at the center.

"They were Caucasoid," David-Kimball says. "This is a no-no for Beijing."

Such a "no-no" that the government has long been loath to allow foreign researchers into the region. Though the mummies were discovered at the beginning of this century, it has been hard to get access to them for the past few decades. More than 30 camera crews had applied to document the story of the mummies and were rejeced before the Chinese government gave the go-ahead to a joint project of "Nova" and England's Channel 4.

Throughout their stay, the team of Davis-Kimball, China historian Victor Mair and forensic anthropologist Charlotte Roberts were closely monitored by Chinese officials. The officials even went so far as to plan an elaborate hoax to mislead them, Davis-Kimball says.

On a grave dig supervised by government chaperones, the team was led to an obviously disturbed tomb that comtained a mummy that had been neatly decapitated. Davis-Kimball and the others concluded that the government had cut the mummy's head off to prevent the team from capturing a Caucasian face on film.

"They had taken the head off so that we would not photograph the Indo- European head, "Davis-Kimball says.

The team had seen the same mummy, intact, along with several others in the back room of a small local museum a short time before the sham excavation.

Inn the Nova program -- entitled "Mysterious Mummies of China" -- Mair says he noticed fungal growth on the corpse that indicated the body had been recently moved. (The office of the Chineses Consulate did not respond to requests for a response to these charges.)

The team also had trouble getting into some of the regional museums, where many of the hundreds of mummies that have been unearthed are stored. Often, Chinese officials would give them permission to visit, only to change their minds soon after. "We were on this yo-yo all the time," Davis-Kimball says. "We never knew what was going to happen next."

So Davis-Kimball and colleagues resorted to a little Indiana Jones-style subterfuge of their own. With the help of a sympathetic local scholar, they snuck into one key museum at midnight, avoiding the scrutiny of wary Chinese officials.

"I kept thinking, how terrible that we had to stay up all night just to photograph something that scientists should be able to study," she says.

Davis-Kimall has made her mark in the field of archaeology with a bold, no-nonsense approach. A silver-haired woman who's comfortable in jeans and a sweatshirt (but would rather not discuss her age), she entered the scholarly world late in life, after raising six children and working as a nurse and a convalescent-hospital administrator.

......Since the 1960s the concept of cultural diffusion has been downplayed as an explanation for similarities shared by distantly separated societies. The politically correct philosophy has been that far-flung societies must have evolved independent of one another.

Finds such as the Takla Makan mummies are now forcing a reexamination of diffusionism. Archaeologists have discovered evidence that whelled wagons were first brought to China from the West thousands of years ago. Among the colorful woven clothing found in the mummies' graves are hats identical to ancient hats found in Austria and southern China.

The "Nova" program speculates that the mummy people originated in Eastern Europe, near the Black Sea. This conclusion is based partly on some striking petroglyphs found on a massive 500-foot-tall rock outcropping. The carvings - which seem to show a fertility dance, a crucial concern for ancient people with infant mortality rates of 33 percent or higher - are distinctive for their triangular torsos and 90-degree arm positions.

The only other place where similar images have been found - by Davis-Kimball and other shcolars - is in Moldova, a region between Romania and Ukraine, near the Black Sea.

Ancient artworks also helped strengthen the link between the mummy people and the later Tocharians. At the top of a sheer cliff, deep in a complex of caves filled with Tocharian script, Mair found ancient paintings of fair-haired, blue-eyed people that closely resemble the mummies.

Altogether, the findings from the expedition indicate that what's now western China was in fact occupied by non-ethnically Chinese people well before theh Silk Road was established, and that those people later built cities along the trade route - cities that fostered much of the important cultural exchange between East and West. 

http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Tocharian

 

There is evidence both from the mummies and Chinese writings that some of them had blond or red hair and blue eyes, characteristics also found in present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Central Asia, due to the populations' high genetic diversity. (The high frequency of blonds in Europe today is due to selection, with Finns having the highest; though in ancient times, it seems the Thracians were commonly regarded as the original blonde race.) This suggests the possibility that they were part of an early Indo-European migration that ended in what is now the Tarim Basin in western China. According to a controversial theory, early invasions by Turkic speakers may have pushed Tocharian speakers out of the Tarim Basin and into modern Afghanistan, India, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

The Tarim Basin mummies (1800 BCE) and the Tocharian texts and frescoes from the Tarim Basin (800 CE) have been found in the same general geographical area, and are both connected to an Indo-European origin. The mummies and the frescoes both point to Caucasian types with light eyes and hair color. There is no evidence that directly connects them however, as no texts were recovered from the grave sites.

A recent article (Hemphill and Mallory, 2004) reaches the following conclusions.

"This study confirms the assertion of Han ([1998]) that the occupants of Alwighul and Kror�n are not derived from proto-European steppe populations, but share closest affinities with Eastern Mediterranean populations. Further, the results demonstrate that such Eastern Mediterraneans may also be found at the urban centers of the Oxus civilization located in the north Bactrian oasis to the west. Affinities are especially close between Kror�n, the latest of the Xinjiang samples, and Sapalli, the earliest of the Bactrian samples, while Alwighul and later samples from Bactria exhibit more distant phenetic affinities. This pattern may reflect a possible major shift in interregional contacts in Central Asia in the early centuries of the second millennium B.C."

However, another theory states that the earliest Bronze Age settlers of the Tarim and Turpan basins originated from the steppelands and highlands immediately north of East Central Asia. These colonists were related to the Afanasievo culture which exploited both open steppelands and upland environments employing a mixed agricultural economy. The Afanasievo culture formed the eastern linguistic periphery of the Indo-European continuum of languages whose centre of expansion lay much farther to the west, north of the Black and Caspian seas. This periphery was ancestral to the historical Tocharian languages. See: (J. P. Mallory and Victor H. Mair, The Tarim Mummies - 2000 Thames and Hudson Ltd ISBN 0-500-05101-1)

Textile analysis has shown some similarities to the Iron Age civilizations of Europe dating from 800BC, including woven twill and tartan patterns strikingly similar to Celtic tartans from Northwest Europe. One of the unusual finds with one of the mummies was a classical "witch's hat", worn by the witches of European myth, suggesting very ancient Indo-European roots for this tradition. Similar hats were traditionally worn by women of Lapland, and perhaps coincidentally, the Mi'kmaw people of Atlantic Canada. Tocharian women also wore the same kind of skirts as have been found preserved in graves from the Nordic Bronze Age. Pointed hats were also worn in ancient times by Saka (Scythians),and shown on Hindu temples and Hittite reliefs.

 

Tarim Mummies

 

Tarim mummies

A Tarim Basin mummy photographed by Aurel Stein circa 1910.

The Tarim mummies are a series of mummies discovered in the Tarim Basin in present-day Xinjiang, China, which date from 1800 BCE to 200 CE. Some of the mummies are frequently associated with the presence of the Indo-European Tocharian languages in the Tarim Basin[1] although the evidence is not totally conclusive.

 

Archeological record

At the beginning of the 20th century European explorers such as Sven Hedin, Albert von Le Coq and Sir Aurel Stein all recounted their discoveries of dessicated bodies in their search for antiquities in Central Asia.[2] Since then, many other mummies have been found and analysed, most of them now displayed in the museums of Xinjiang. Most of these mummies were found on the eastern (around the area of Lopnur, Subeshi near Turpan, Kroran, Kumul) and southern (Khotan, Niya, Qiemo) edge of the Tarim Basin.

The earliest Tarim mummies, found at Qäwrighul and dated to 1800 BCE, are of a Caucasoid physical type whose closest affiliation is to the Bronze Age populations of southern Siberia, Kazakhstan, Central Asia, and the Lower Volga.[3]

The cemetery at Yanbulaq contained 29 mummies which date from 1100–500 BCE, 21 of which are Mongoloid—the earliest Mongoloid mummies found in the Tarim Basin—and 8 of which are of the same Caucasoid physical type found at Qäwrighul.[4]

Notable mummies are the tall, red-haired "Chärchän man" or the "Ur-David" (1000 BCE); his son (1000 BCE), a small 1-year-old baby with brown hair protruding from under a red and blue felt cap, with two stones positioned over its eyes; the "Hami Mummy" (c. 1400–800 BCE), a "red-headed beauty" found in Qizilchoqa; and the "Witches of Subeshi" (4th or 3rd century BCE), who wore two foot long black felt conical hats with a flat brim.[5] Also found at Subeshi was a man with traces of a surgical operation on his neck; the incision is sewn up with sutures made of horsehair.[6]

Many of the mummies have been found in very good condition, owing to the dryness of the desert and the dessication it produced in the corpses. The mummies share many typical Caucasoid body features (elongated bodies, angular faces, recessed eyes), and many of them have their hair physically intact, ranging in color from blond to red to deep brown, and generally long, curly and braided. It is not known whether their hair has been bleached by internment in salt. Their costumes, and especially textiles, may indicate a common origin with Indo-European neolithic clothing techniques or a common low-level textile technology. Chärchän man wore a red twill tunic and tartan leggings. Textile expert Elizabeth Wayland Barber, who examined the tartan-style cloth, discusses similarities between it and fragments recovered from salt mines associated with the Hallstatt culture.[7]

Genetic links

DNA sequence data[8] shows that the mummies had a Haplogroup R1a (Y-DNA) characteristic of western Eurasia in the area of East-Central Europe, Central Asia and Indus Valley.[9]

A team of Chinese and American researchers working in Sweden tested DNA from 52 separate mummies, including the mummy denoted "Beauty of Loulan." By genetically mapping the mummies' origins, the researchers confirmed the theory that these mummies were of West Eurasian descent. Victor Mair, a University of Pennsylvania professor and project leader for the team that did the genetic mapping, commented that these studies were:

...extremely important because they link up eastern and western Eurasia at a formative stage of civilization (Bronze Age and early Iron Age) in a much closer way than has ever been done before.[10]

An earlier study by Jilin University had found an mtDNA haplotype characteristic of Western Eurasian populations with Europoid genes.[11]

In 2007 the Chinese government allowed a National Geographic team headed by Spencer Wells to examine the mummies' DNA. Wells was able to extract undegraded DNA from the internal tissues. The scientists extracted enough material to suggest the Tarim Basin was continually inhabited from 2000 BCE to 300 BCE and preliminary results indicate the people, rather than having a single origin, originated from Europe, Mesopotamia, India and other regions yet to be determined.[12]

It has been asserted that the textiles found with the mummies are of an early European textile type based on close similarities to fragmentary textiles found in salt mines in Austria, dating from the second millennium BCE. Anthropologist Irene Good, a specialist in early Eurasian textiles, noted the woven diagonal twill pattern indicated the use of a rather sophisticated loom and, she says, the textile is "the easternmost known example of this kind of weaving technique."

Mair states that "the earliest mummies in the Tarim Basin were exclusively Caucasoid, or Europoid" with east Asian migrants arriving in the eastern portions of the Tarim Basin around 3,000 years ago while the Uyghur peoples arrived around the year 842.[13] In trying to trace the origins of these populations, Victor Mair's team suggested that they may have arrived in the region by way of the Pamir Mountains about 5,000 years ago.

This evidence remains controversial. It refutes the contemporary nationalist claims of the present-day Uyghur peoples who claim that they are the indigenous people of Xinjiang, rather than the Han Chinese. In comparing the DNA of the mummies to that of modern day Uyghur peoples, Mair's team found some genetic similarities with the mummies, but "no direct links".

About the controversy Mair has stated that:

The new finds are also forcing a reexamination of old Chinese books that describe historical or legendary figures of great height, with deep-set blue or green eyes, long noses, full beards, and red or blond hair. Scholars have traditionally scoffed at these accounts, but it now seems that they may be accurate.[14]

Chinese scientists were initially hesitant to provide access to DNA samples because they were sensitive about the claims of the nationalist Uyghur who claim the Loulan Beauty as their symbol, and to prevent a pillaging of national monuments by foreigners.

Chinese historian Ji Xianlin says China "supported and admired" research by foreign experts into the mummies. "However, within China a small group of ethnic separatists have styled themselves the descendants of these ancient people". Due to the "fear of fuelling separatist currents" the Xinjiang museum, regardless of dating, displays all their mummies both Tarim and Han, together. [13]

Posited origins

Physical anthropologists propose the movement of at least two Caucasoid physical types into the Tarim basin. Mallory and Mair associate these types with the Tocharian and Iranian (Saka) branches of the Indo-European language family, respectively.[15]

B. E. Hemphill's biodistance analysis of cranial metrics (as cited in Larsen 2002 and Schurr 2001) has questioned the identification of the Tarim Basin population as European, noting that the earlier population has close affinities to the Indus Valley population, and the later population with the Oxus River valley population. Because craniometry can produce results which make no sense at all (e.g. the close relationship between Neolithic populations in Ukraine and Portugal) and therefore lack any historical meaning, any putative genetic relationship must be consistent with geographical plausibility and have the support of other evidence.[16]

Han Kangxin, who examined the skulls of 302 mummies, found the closest relatives of the earlier Tarim Basin population in the populations of the Afanasevo culture situated immediately north of the Tarim Basin and the Andronovo culture that spanned Kazakhstan and reached southwards into West Central Asia and the Altai.[17]

It is the Afanasevo culture to which Mallory & Mair (2000:294–296, 314–318) trace the earliest Bronze Age settlers of the Tarim and Turpan basins. The Afanasevo culture (c. 3500–2500 BCE) displays cultural and genetic connections with the Indo-European-associated cultures of the Eurasian Steppe yet predates the specifically Indo-Iranian-associated Andronovo culture (c. 2000–900 BCE) enough to isolate the Tocharian languages from Indo-Iranian linguistic innovations like satemization.[18]

Hemphill & Mallory (2004) confirm a second Caucasoid physical type at Alwighul (700–1 BCE) and Krorän (200 CE) different from the earlier one found at Qäwrighul (1800 BCE) and Yanbulaq (1100–500 BCE):

This study confirms the assertion of Han [1998] that the occupants of Alwighul and Krorän are not derived from proto-European steppe populations, but share closest affinities with Eastern Mediterranean populations. Further, the results demonstrate that such Eastern Mediterraneans may also be found at the urban centers of the Oxus civilization located in the north Bactrian oasis to the west. Affinities are especially close between Krorän, the latest of the Xinjiang samples, and Sapalli, the earliest of the Bactrian samples, while Alwighul and later samples from Bactria exhibit more distant phenetic affinities. This pattern may reflect a possible major shift in interregional contacts in Central Asia in the early centuries of the second millennium BCE.

 

Mallory and Mair associate this later (700 BCE–200 CE) Caucasoid physical type with the populations who introduced the Iranian Saka language to the western part of the Tarim basin.[19]

Mair concluded:

"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."[13]

Historical records and associated texts

Tocharians

The Indo-European Tocharian languages also have been attested in the same geographical area, and although the first known epigraphic evidence dates to the 6th century CE, the degree of differentiation between Tocharian A and Tocharian B, and the absence of Tocharian language remains beyond that area, tends to indicate that a common Tocharian language existed in the same area during the second half of the 1st millennium BCE. Although Tocharian texts have never been found in direct relation with the mummies, their identical geographical location and common non-Chinese origin suggest that the mummies were related to the Tocharians and spoke a similar Indo-European language.

The Tocharian were described as having full beards, deep-set eyes and high noses and with no sign of decline as attestation in the Chinese sources for the past 1,000 years. This was first noted after the Tocharian had come under the steppe nomads and Chinese subjugation. During the 3rd to 4th century CE, the Tocharian reached their height by incorporating adjoining states.[20]

Yuezhi

In the much easterly geographical area, reference to the Yuezhi name in Guanzi was made around 7th century BCE by the Chinese economist Guan Zhong, though the book is generally considered to be a forgery of later generations.[21]:115-127 The attributed author, Guan Zhong described the Yuzhi 禺氏, or Niuzhi 牛氏, as a people from the north-west who supplied jade to the Chinese from the nearby mountains of Yuzhi 禺氏 at Gansu. A large part of the Yuezhi, vanquished by the Xiongnu, were to migrate to southern Asia in the 2nd century BCE, and later establish the Kushan Empire.

Roman accounts

Pliny the Elder (, Chap XXIV "Taprobane") reports a curious description of the Seres (in the territories of northwestern China) made by an embassy from Taprobane (Ceylon) to Emperor Claudius, saying that they "exceeded the ordinary human height, had flaxen hair, and blue eyes, and made an uncouth sort of noise by way of talking", suggesting they may be referring to the ancient Caucasian populations of the Tarim Basin:

"They also informed us that the side of their island (Taprobane) which lies opposite to India is ten thousand stadia in length, and runs in a south-easterly direction--that beyond the Emodian Mountains (Himalayas) they look towards the Serve (Seres), whose acquaintance they had also made in the pursuits of commerce; that the father of Rachias (the ambassador) had frequently visited their country, and that the Seræ always came to meet them on their arrival. These people, they said, exceeded the ordinary human height, had flaxen hair, and blue eyes, and made an uncouth sort of noise by way of talking, having no language of their own for the purpose of communicating their thoughts. The rest of their information (on the Serae) was of a similar nature to that communicated by our merchants. It was to the effect that the merchandise on sale was left by them upon the opposite bank of a river on their coast, and it was then removed by the natives, if they thought proper to deal on terms of exchange. On no grounds ought luxury with greater reason to be detested by us, than if we only transport our thoughts to these scenes, and then reflect, what are its demands, to what distant spots it sends in order to satisfy them, and for how mean and how unworthy an end!"

Arguments for the occurrence of cultural transmission from West to East

The presence of speakers of Indo-European languages in the Tarim Basin in the third or early second millennium BCE has been interpreted as evidence that cultural exchanges occurred among Indo-European and Chinese populations at a very early date, but the culture and technology in the northwest region was less advanced than that in the Yellow River-Erlitou (2070BCE~1600BCE) or Majiayao culture (3100BCE~2600BCE), which is earliest bronze using culture in China, shows on the region of northwest didn't use copper or any metal until the technology of bronze making was introduced by Shang Dynasty in China about 1600BC to this region.

The Chinese official Zhang Qian, who visited Bactria and Sogdiana in 126 BCE, made the first known Chinese report on many regions to the west of China. He believed he discerned Greek influences in some of these kingdoms. He names Parthia "Ānxī" (Chinese: 安息), a transliteration of "Arsacid", the name of the Parthian dynasty. Zhang Qian clearly identifies Parthia as an advanced urban civilization that farmed grain and grapes, and manufactured silver coins and leather goods.[22] Zhang Qian equated Parthia's level of advancement to the cultures of Dayuan in Ferghana and Daxia in Bactria.

The supplying of Tarim Basin jade to China from ancient times is well established, according to Liu (2001): "It is well known that ancient Chinese rulers had a strong attachment to jade. All of the jade items excavated from the tomb of Fuhao of the Shang dynasty, more than 750 pieces, were from Khotan in modern Xinjiang. As early as the mid-first millennium BCE the Yuezhi engaged in the jade trade, of which the major consumers were the rulers of agricultural China."

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Baumer (2000), p. 28.
  2. ^ Mallory & Mair (2000), p. 10.
  3. ^ Mallory & Mair (2000), p. 237.
  4. ^ Mallory & Mair (2000), p. 237.
  5. ^ Though modern Westerners tend to identify this type of hat as the headgear of a witch, there is evidence that these pointed hats were widely worn by both women and men in some Central Asian tribes. For instance, the Persian king Darius recorded a victory over the "Sakas of the pointed hats". The Subeshi headgear is likely an ethnic badge or a symbol of position in the society.
  6. ^ "The Mummies of Xinjiang" Discover April 1, 1994
  7. ^ Christopher P. Thornton and Theodore G. Schurr, "Genes, language, and culture: an example from the tarim basin", in: Oxford Journal of Archaeology, Volume 23 Issue 1, pp 83-106, 2004
  8. ^ Saiget, Robert J. (2005-04-19). "Caucasians preceded East Asians in basin" (in English). The Washington Times (News World Communications). Archived from the original on 2005-04-20. http://web.archive.org/web/20050420224622/http:/washingtontimes.com/world/20050419-101056-2135r.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-20. "A study last year by Jilin University also found that the mummies' DNA had Europoid genes." 
  9. ^ Evidence that a West-East admixed population lived in the Tarim Basin as early as the Bronze Age, Chunxiang Li et al., BMC Biology, 17 February 2010
  10. ^ Robertson, Benjamin (2006-05-14). "China history unravelled by mummies" (in English). Al Jazeera English (Aljazeera.net). http://english.aljazeera.net/English/archive/archive?ArchiveId=22772. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  11. ^ Mitochondrial DNA analysis of human remains from the Yuansha site in Xinjiang Science in China Series C: Life Sciences Volume 51, Number 3 / March, 2008
  12. ^ DNA Profiles Amanda Huang
  13. ^ a b c "The mystery of China's celtic mummies". The Independent. August 28, 2006. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/a-meeting-of-civilisations-the-mystery-of-chinas-celtic-mummies-413638.html. Retrieved 2008-06-28. 
  14. ^ Mair, Victor H., "Mummies of the Tarim Basin," Archaeology, vol. 48, no. 2, pages 28-35 (March/April 1995); the quote appears on page 30 of this article.
  15. ^ Mallory & Mair (2000), pp. 317-318.
  16. ^ Mallory & Mair (2000), p. 236.
  17. ^ Mallory & Mair (2000), pp. 236-237.
  18. ^ Mallory & Mair (2000), pp. 260, 294–296, 314–318.
  19. ^ Mallory & Mair (2000), p. 318.
  20. ^ Yu (2003), pp. 34-57, 77-88, 96-103.
  21. ^ Liu, Jianguo (2004), Distinguishing and Correcting the pre-Qin Forged Classics, Xi'an: Shaanxi People's Press, ISBN 7-224-05725-8 
  22. ^ Silk Road, North China, C. Michael Hogan, The Megalithic Portal, ed. A. Burnham (2007)

References

  • Barber, Elizabeth Wayland (1999). The Mummies of Ürümchi. London. Pan Books. ISBN 0-330-36897-4.
  • Baumer, Christoph. (2000). Southern Silk Road: In the Footsteps of Sir Aurel Stein and Sven Hedin. White Orchid Books. Bangkok. ISBN 974-8304-38-8 (HC); ISBN 974-8304-39-6 (TP).
  • Davis-Kimball, Jeannine, with Mona Behan (2002). Warrior Women: An Archaeologist’s Search for History’s Hidden Heroines. Warner Books, New York. First Trade Edition 2003. ISBN 0-446-67983-6 (pbk)
  • Hemphill, Brian E.; Mallory, J.P. (2004), "Horse-mounted invaders from the Russo-Kazakh steppe or agricultural colonists from Western Central Asia? A craniometric investigation of the Bronze Age settlement of Xinjiang", American Journal of Physical Anthropology 125: 199ff .
  • Larsen, Clark Spencer (2002), "Bioarchaeology: The Lives and Lifestyles of Past People", Journal of Archaeological Research 10 (2): 119–166, June 2002, doi:10.1023/A:1015267705803 .
  • Li, Shuicheng (1999), "A Discussion of Sino-Western Cultural Contact and Exchange in the Second Millennium BC Based on Recent Archeological Discoveries", Sino-Platonic Papers (97), December 1999, http://sino-platonic.org/abstracts/spp097_sino_western.html .
  • Light, Nathan (1999a), "Hidden Discourses of Race: Imagining Europeans in China", presented at the Association for Asian Studies conference, Boston, http://homepages.utoledo.edu/nlight/uyghhst.htm, retrieved 2007-08-20 .
  • Light, Nathan (1999b), "Tabloid Archaeology: Is Television Trivializing Science?", Discovering Archaeology: 98–101, March-April 1999, http://homepages.utoledo.edu/nlight/discarch.txt .
  • Liu, Xinru (2001), "Migration and Settlement of the Yuezhi-Kushan. Interaction and Interdependence of Nomadic and Sedentary Societies", Journal of World History 12 (2): 261–292, doi:10.1353/jwh.2001.0034 .
  • Mallory, J. P.; Mair, Victor H. (2000), The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West, London: Thames & Hudson .
  • Pliny the Elder, The Natural History .
  • Schurr, Theodore G. (2001), "Tracking Genes Across the Globe: A review of Genes, Peoples, and Languages, by Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza.", American Scientist 89 (1), January-February 2001, http://www.americanscientist.org/bookshelf/pub/tracking-genes-across-the-globe .
  • Xie Chengzhi; Li Chunxiang; Cui Yinqiu; Cai Dawei; Wang Haijing; Zhu Hong; Zhou Hui (2007) Mitochondrial DNA analysis of ancient Sampula population in Xinjiang. Progress in Natural Science, 17(8): 927-933.
  • Yu, Taishan (2003), A Comprehensive History of Western Regions (2nd ed.), Zhengzhou: Zhongzhou Guji Press, ISBN 7-5348-1266-6 

External links

  • Downloadable article: "Evidence that a West-East admixed population lived in the Tarim Basin as early as the early Bronze Age" Li et al. BMC Biology 2010, 8:15. [1]
  • Stratification in the peopling of China: how far does the linguistic evidence match genetics and archaeology? pdf
  • Images of the Tocharian mummies Includes the face of the "Beauty of Loulan" as reconstructed by an artist.
  • Genetic testing reveals awkward truth about Xinjiang’s famous mummies (AFP) Khaleej Times Online, 19 April 2005
  • The Dead Tell a Tale China Doesn’t Care to Listen To The New York Times, 18 November 2008
  • "A Host of Mummies, A Forest of Secrets". Nicholas Wade. New York Times 15 March, 2010. [2]

Coordinates: 40°20′11″N 88°40′21″E / 40.336453°N 88.672422°E / 40.336453; 88.672422

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarim_mummies"

Categories: Archaeology of China | Mummies | Human remains (archaeological) | Central Asian studies | Tocharians

This page was last modified on 15 July 2010 at 00:08.

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 New findings and discoveries


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.

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

Yingpan Man’s Fabulous Wealth
by Heather Pringle
March 29, 2010

 Museum in Santa Ana, California, has been grabbing headlines over the past week for a much anticipated exhibition of the European-looking mummies from China’s  Tarim Basin.  I’ve  just attended the opening and  I can say that all the brouhaha is well warranted.  The Tarim Basin mummies have never travelled outside Asia before, so the little known California museum has pulled off a major coup in bringing these ancient humans to the United States.  Moreover, these mummies and their extraordinary artifacts –nearly 150 items in all—are revealing new information daily about early contacts between East and West in Central Asia..  

The oldest of the Tarim mummies dates back to the Bronze Age some 4000 years ago—nearly 2000 years before the opening of the Silk Road.  In all likelihood, these Bronze-Age European migrants were the first humans to settle in the bleak Tarim Basin region—one of the driest and most remote places on earth.   A forthcoming issue of Archaeology will have my article on current research on these Bronze Age mummies spearheaded by Victor Mair, a 67-year-old Sinologist at the University of Pennsylvania.   But two days ago, I tagged along on a Saturday morning tour that Mair gave to the Bowers Museum docents, and I thought I’d share Mair’s comments on a lesser known highlight of the show:  Yingpan Man.   

The magnificent trappings of Yingpan Man are the first things that visitors lay eyes on in the exhibit.  The Chinese government did not send the remains of the European-looking 6 footer who wore his brown hair in a topknot. But as Mair pointed out, Yingpan Man’s “sartorial shell” alone speaks volumes.   Dating to the 4th or early 5th century AD,  the attire of this ancient traveler  clearly embodies all  the wealth and splendor  that flowed through the Tarim Basin after  the Silk Road opened and  linked China to the Mediterranean world.  

Yingpan  Man was clearly a clotheshorse.   In his grave he sported a white mask with a golden diadem, a splendid red and gold-colored woolen caftan, a pair of embroidered pants,  and some very fancy boots ornamented with gold.   “This is the most magnificent set of clothing from East Central Asia, and probably from anywhere in the ancient world,” Mair pointed out. 

The woolen caftan, for example, is a masterpiece in double-weave.   It portrays a small army of little golden Greco-Roman putti (who resemble cherubim) and sacrificial bulls on a red background.  Textile expert Elizabeth Barber,  a professor emerita from Occidental College in Los Angeles,  believes that weavers in the Eastern Roman Empire made the caftan,   then traded it eastward into the Tarim Basin.  And so much did Yingpan Man love his clothes that mourners even laid a miniature extra set on his chest, so that he could change in the next world. 

Who was Yingpan Man?   Mair has some ideas.  He died in his early to mid-thirties,  and he had clearly amassed a fortune by that point,  most likely through trade.  The town of Yingpan, after all,  was an crucial trade node on the Silk Road.  During this period,  Mair pointed out,  the richest traders along the route  were Sogdians, an Iranian-speaking people whose homeland lay near Samarkand in what is now Uzbekistan.  So Mair believes that Yingpan man was likely a Sogdian merchant who died relatively young in a place far from home. 

The Secrets of the Silk Road:  The Mystery Mummies of China will run at the Bowers Museum until July.  I can recommend it whole-heartedly.

 

XINJIANG UYGUR AUTONOMUS REGION MUSEUM

 

If you are interested in learning about Xinjiang and its history, one of the highlights of Urumqi is the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Museum (Qu Bowuguan, 新疆维吾尔自治区博物馆). It is one of Urumqi’s three main historical museums. There is also a geological and paleontological museum in the city. The Autonomous Region Museum is famous for having the artifacts and mummies of Caucasians who lived in the region between 1,500 and 4,000 years ago. There is also a collection of silk articles and other artifacts from various eras of history, as well as written materials in different languages. The museum also instructs on the customs of the ethnic groups in the region. What most tourists want to see are the mummies and their artifacts. They are unusually well preserved. Until two decades ago, this culture was hardly known to historians and archeologists, and their history and origins are still mysterious. The Xinjiang Autonomous Regional Museum houses the mummies and their artifacts that are some of the most significant archeological discoveries in a hundred years, and it is a place to learn about the region.

The many Caucasian graves and bodies that have been found around the region are mysterious because little is known about them, and it isn’t clear whether they were all descended from the same groups or tribes. The bodies and artifacts of Caucasians date from the Bronze Age 4,000 years ago to the Silk Road era 1,500 years ago. Maybe some of the later mummies were simply travelers or traders in the area. It is clear that there were settlements of Caucasians about 3,000 and 4,000 years ago that predate by about 1,000 years any evidence of Mongoloid people. This suggests that the original settlers in the region were Caucasians. The earliest inhabitants had a culture like a European culture. The Caucasian people who lived during the Silk Road era from about 1 AD to 1,000 AD wrote in an Indo-European language called Tocharian. Some texts and inscriptions have been found as well as paintings of Caucasian people.

The three or four mummies and the artifacts that are displayed are thought to be part of one of the biggest archeological discoveries of the past hundred years. They shed new light on the ancient history of Eurasia. It wasn’t known that this culture existed until about twenty years ago. It was thought that Caucasians mainly lived in Europe. DNA testing on certain mummies showed that they were related to Scandinavians, and their woolen clothing was found to be similar in make and style to clothing from the same period in Europe. The blond mummies look Scandinavian. There are also many red and brown haired mummies. Red hair was thought to be typical of Celts but not Scandinavians. The clothing and artifacts that have been studied in the last few years show that their technology was more advanced than thought possible for Asia at that time. So in the last few years, historians have had to rewrite the history of Eurasia. It is obvious that Central Asia was linked culturally to Europe.

Perhaps it was Caucasian people who supplied jade to the Shang Dynasty, since the jade found in a Shang Dynasty (1766-1122 B.C.) tomb is known to be from an area of Xinjiang near Tibet. It is known that Chinese highly valued jade. Jade was considered even more valuable than gold or other gemstones, but Europeans and other people to the west didn’t regard the mineral so highly. Perhaps before there was a “Silk Road” trade for Chinese silks there was a “Jade Road.” However, not much is known about these Bronze Age people. The government has been reluctant to allow archeological or DNA information be known about them. It is said that many tombs that have been found remained unopened and that sites and very ancient cities that were open in the 1990s are now closed off to tourists.

More is known about the later Caucasians in Xinjiang who are often called Tocharians. It is known that Caucasian Tocharians lived along Silk Road routes and played a role in converting China to Buddhism. They built Buddhist temples and cities in Turpan and along the Silk Road. They apparently left behind documents and samples of writing that shows that there were two similar Indo-European languages used in the area.

One thing that is interesting about the mummies is how well dressed they are. The clothing is more colorful and looks more comfortable than what people wear nowadays. You may see a mummy called the Yingpan Man who was 1.8 meters tall (6 feet tall) and died around 400 or 500 AD. He had light brown hair. At the time he died, the Silk Road was still used. He has a robe that is said to be from the Eastern Roman Empire. His clothing is said to be about the most expensive and best preserved clothing that has been found from his time anywhere in the world. People suspect that he was rich. The clothing that has been found so far on the Caucasian mummies of various eras is beautiful and very well made, and their artifacts are decorated intricately. Perhaps they were buried in their best clothing and some of their best personal objects were put in their tombs. There are gold objects on display, and gold foil is on the Yingpan Man’s facemask.

 

Another gold mask.  In Europe this kind was used by the Mycenians and Thracians.

History

It is said that the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Museum was opened in 1953 in People’s Park. In 1962, a Russian-Stalinist style building was built that had a dome like that on a mosque. Originally, the main attraction was various Silk Road-related artifacts such as silk articles from various areas and eras. But then in 1988, Victor Mair who is now a professor of Chinese language and literature led a tour of the museum for the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian Institution is an American academic and historical society. During the tour, he found a room full of mummies he had never seen before.

He said, “I had been to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Museum in western China many times before. But that time, they had a new exhibition hall. It was behind some curtains. It was very dark. When I went through with my group, there was a whole room full of mummies that had not been there before, and I was stunned because I was not expecting them and also because these mummies were all Europoid, looking like Europeans. They were Caucasoid. They also had very wonderful textiles they were wearing and hats and all kinds of tools that made me think they were a lot more advanced for the years they were saying. They (museum) said these mummies were Bronze Age, 3,000 to nearly 4,000 years ago. And I thought, ‘This can’t be!’ They have all of this wonderful technology, and they are so well-preserved.” He said that he at first thought that the mummies were fake mannequins or wax-work figures.

 

 

This is how an intriguing archeological discovery started. It was known that European-looking mummies and artifacts had been found in the region much earlier, even in the 19th century, and explorers and archeologists had taken pictures of them. But Mair was able with some difficulty to study some of the material and corpses and get a few DNA samples that tested to show a genetic relationship to Scandinavians. Some people said that the light colored hair and white skin of the mummies might have been due to chemical bleaching as the corpses mummified. But this can’t be true because if there was such a bleaching process, their clothing and the materials buried with them would have been bleached or destroyed as well, but the clothing is well preserved and brightly colored. The intricate patterns are clear. Their technology was more advanced than was thought to be possible for Eastern and Central Asia at the time, and this is mysterious also.

Even the size of the Caucasians is mysterious. Yingpan man who dates to about the 5th century AD is about 1.8 meters tall (a little more than 6 feet). This is unusually tall because it is thought that ancient people were generally short. The other Caucasian corpses such as more ancient Cherchen Man are also unusually big. Why were they so big? Did they have an unusually good diet? There is an ancient Chinese document that described “giants” living in the area of Xinjiang.

An older corpse dating to about 1,200 BC had fabric that experts on Bronze-age clothing say is similar to the clothing in Western Europe from about the same time. The fabric looked like Celtic plaid. The weave exactly matched cloth found with the bodies of thirteenth-century-BC salt miners in Austria. Researchers have found similar patterns used for decorations, similar clothing style, and apparently the same method of manufacture of garment using the same type of loom. The dyes and fabrics are very well preserved so that the clothing is very brightly colored and the intricate designs in the clothing are clear. This shows that Bronze-age Europoid people had methods of dying and weaving very brightly decorated clothing in a rainbow of colors. People didn’t know that. They apparently dressed very well and fashionably and put a lot of emphasis on style and being brightly and beautifully dressed. Perhaps if more corpses are brought to light and their DNA information is revealed, the origins and way of life of the people could be discovered.

 

 

A new building has recently opened on the same site. The building is beautiful and has a blue glass front with what look like white cages or huts on the sides. The renovation is said to have cost 13 million USD, and ten new halls were built. However, the museum sometimes closes unexpectedly, and the exhibits move. The three or four mummies that are shown in the museum travel around the world and are a popular attraction wherever they go, and they often get in the news. So if you go to the museum, you might not be able to see them.

http://search.freecause.com/search?p=Xinjiang+Museum&m=images&toolid=61495&userid=23058433&page=3

 

This classical picture of ancient China will have to be modified after the recent unearthing of mummified Caucasians up to 4,000 years old in China's northwestern province of Xinjiang.

 

http://heatherpringle.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/52-in-situ_reversedimorphicgravemarkers.jpg

These dried corpses have the long noses, deep-set eyes, and long skulls typical of Caucasians. Some even have blonde hair! Some 113 such corpses have already been excavated at Qizilchoqa, one of four sites discovered so far. It is clear that we are dealing with permanent settlements and not merely a few lost Europeans.

"Besides the riddle of their identity, there is also the question of what these fair-haired people were doing in a remote desert oasis. Probably never wealthy enough to own chariots, they nevertheless had wagons and well-tailored clothes.

Were they mere goat and sheep farmers? Or did they profit from or even control prehistoric trade along the route that later became the Silk Road? If so, they probably helped spread the first wheels and certain metal-working skills into China."

V. Mair, a professor of Chinese at the University of Pennsylvania, has been spearheading the research on these mummies for the U.S. He asserts that, contrary to the general belief, there was a substantial two-way, east-west flow of ideas and inventions beginning at least 3,000-4,000 years ago.

(Hadingham, Ivan; "The Mummies of Xinjiang," Discover, 15:68, April 1994.)

 CAUCASIANS IN CHINA

 

"A Connection should be made here soon regarding the Takla Makan Desert highway from India through China. The timing is in accord with the dispersion from Shinar.

This young girl (and 113 other mummies) has been found along the route. Her mummy is carbon dated to 2000 BC....somewhat accurate. Today this highway is termed the Silk Road. Well…this “silk road” came along much later…around 1260 AD.

 

The Silk Road

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

The Silk Road

The Silk Road refers to a complex of ancient trade routes extending roughly from eastern Europe to the heart of China. The term itself dates only to the 19th century and refers to what was merely one of the many goods transported over land via this web of mercantile passages. Though many of our ancient sources concerning these trade routes contain information either difficult to correlate with specific modern-day geographic and ethnographic knowledge or simply difficult to believe precisely because of modern-day knowledge, we nevertheless are certain of the important place in history the Silk Road holds, as a medium not only for the exchange of goods but also for the exchange of information and technology.

 

 

File:Transasia trade routes 1stC CE gr2.png

The route cuts through the heart of Central Asia, through the so-called "Stans" --- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, as well as the northernmost reaches of Afghanistan and Pakistan --- a region known from time immemorial to be home to a wide variety of peoples from varied linguistic, ethnic and religious backgrounds. It is precisely where this trade route hits the westernmost extent of present-day China that we find the archaeological sites that provide us with Tocharian documents. To properly put the Tocharian documents and the people who wrote them in their cultural context, an admittedly cursory overview of some of the major ancient settlements and peoples of the region merits our attention.

Geography

The geographic setting is a striking mix of extremes. In the land surrounding the Aral Sea we find the southernmost extension of the great Siberian steppes. Into the western shore of the Aral Sea flows the Syr Darya, while into the southern shore flows the Amu Darya, feeding into the sea via a fertile delta suitable for cultivation. The plains continue to sweep south and east into the foothills of the so-called "Roof of the World." Here rise the Pamirs, sweeping southeast into the Hindu Kush. As one pushes farther east there loom the Qurum Mountains, to their east the Qaraqurum, and to the northeast of these the Altun. This provides the northern extent of Tibet, and if we return to the Pamirs and instead follow the southerly line to the east, we encounter the familiar and majestic Himalayas. If we backtrack once again to the Pamirs, we may this time push northeast and follow the line of the Tian Shan mountains, which provide the natural border between China's Xinjiang province to the south and Kyrgyzstan to the north.

The Tian Shan to the north and the Qurum, Qaraqurum and Altun to the south bracket with their claw the basin into which the Tarim river carries mountain waters until they finally dissipate into the sand. In the middle of all this is a forbidding, impassable desert called the Taklamakan (Turkic T�klimakan), all contained within the present borders of China. Such settlements as we find all line the rim of the desert, hovering close to the foothills of the looming mountain ranges.

Prehistory

Archaeological excavations show signs of habitation in Central Asia dating back at least to paleolithic times. This is evidenced by stone tools as well as cave dwellings that seem to have been seasonally inhabited along migration routes. We find a shift, some 10,000 years ago, from a typical hunter-gatherer lifestyle to one centered around agriculture and livestock. With this came a change to more permanent settlements, with roughly 30 houses built from clay grouped together in a community.

Agriculture was greatly facilitated in the sixth millenium BC by the advent of irrigation, at this early date mostly in the form of heaped up mounds of earth designed to divert flood water from the rivers. Naturally the fertile deltas of rivers such as the Amu Darya (historically known also as the Oxus), where it empties into the Aral Sea, were among the earliest sites of agriculture. Through the use of irrigation, agriculture was able to move to the upper banks of the river and then farther into the countryside in a region occasionally referred to as Transoxonia. Constructing such irrigation systems was of course a labor-intensive activity, and therefore required larger permanent populations (Frye, 1996; Roudik, 2007).

Not all inhabitants of the region chose to remain tied to a permanent settlement. In the third millenium BC we encounter evidence of northern tribes from parts of modern Kazakhstan that maintained a nomadic lifestyle while shifting from hunting to more pastoral pursuits of grazing livestock. At roughly the same time we find the appearance of copper and bronze tools, and only in the first millenium do we finally see the emergence of iron tools. Herdsmen seem early to have domesticated sheep and goats, but in the third and second millenia we also find domestication of camels and horses for pulling carts (Roudik, 2007; Kuzmina, 2008).

In connection with this southward expansion, certain specific archaeological sites are worth mentioning. In particular, archaeological finds identify three groups known as Afanasievo, Andronovo and Karasuk, which range over southern Siberia and Kazakhstan and appear to display a continuity supporting the notion of a spreading population characterized by warriors on chariots. The material finds of the Karasuk culture ultimately find their way to the Ferghana valley by roughly 1500 BC, and further evidence points to possible expansion beyond into Xinjiang (Frye, 1996; Roudik, 2007; Kuzmina, 2008).

As prehistory gives way to history at the beginning of the first millenium BC, we find the area in question encompassed by Parthia. By this time stable settlements had arisen in the river deltas near the Aral Sea, for example Khwarazm (or Khorezm, Gk. Chorasmia) at the mouth of the Amu Darya, and a Sogdian settlement along the Syr Darya. The Sogdians also appear to have established an oasis in Ferghana. We still however find a coexisting nomadic population, and by the middle of the first millenium BC we encounter the nomadic Massegetae inhabiting the region between the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya. Persian and Greek accounts typically find little by which to distinguish the various populations and seem to consider them as a group, in particular with a generally similar mode of dress including a short tunic, wide belt, and trousers, with the same customs among nomadic and settled peoples alike (Roudik, 2007).

State formation in the region appears to have proceeded by way of tribal confederation. In this way the city of Khwarazm rose to prominence and extended its sway from the Aral Sea to the mountainous region to the south. Khwarazm maintained close ties with Bactria, a neighboring state centered upon the modern city of Balkh. Their political ties mirrored the many cultural and linguistic similarities the two states already shared. We also find the state of Margiana, centered at Merv, and the long-lived Sogdian state taking foothold in the region. These four major states occupied the areas of what is now Turkmenistan, northern Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.

Early Empires

The Persian king Cyrus, with a victory against the Medes to the east of Parthia in the mid-first millenium BC, finally managed to bring these areas under the dominion of what became the Achaemenid Empire. The Iranian-speaking influence that had entered Central Asia with the rise of Parthia now strengthened its hold, along with a more palpable presence of the Zoroastrian religion (Frye, 1996). Thus Khwarazm, Bactria, and Sogdiana all found new identities as satrapies within the new empire, under the purview of a central governor seated at Samarkand.

The loss of independence was not without its benefits. To be sure, taxes were now levied for the simple right to open irrigation canals feeding from the rivers which were now the emperor's property. But the imperial infrastructure also provided for construction of new irrigation canals. Moreover, the bureaucratic tendencies of the empire demanded skilled bookkeepers, and this in turn resulted in a generally higher level of education. And, finally, inclusion within the empire now brought a vast military might to bear when border provinces like Sogdiana felt the pressures of skirmishes along the trade routes leading out of the empire (Roudik, 2007).

In 334 BC, Alexander the Great turned his gaze toward Central Asia and launched a campaign with such force that it caused Darius III, the Persian emperor at the time, to flee to Bactria. There he was killed in an internal plot, and shortly thereafter Alexander took Samarkand, the principal city in Central Asia. Perhaps in any other region this would have ended Alexander's need for further campaigning; but as luck would have it, this only spurred the Sogdians to revolt, thereby extending Alexander's foray and fanning the flames of military ferocity. Another year of military operations finally brought an end to the resistance, but at the price of hundreds of thousands of Sogdian casualties and diminishing the prosperity of Sogdiana and Bactria. Nor could Alexander accomplish this victory by sheer military might, but rather through a strategy of winning over local leaders and accepting the Zoroastrian religion so pervasive in the region.

The consolidation of Alexander's rule in the region added to the religious diversity. Not only did the Iranian peoples maintain their Zoroastrian beliefs, but large numbers of Greek settlers imported their own religious practices to Bactria. At roughly this time we also see the first Buddhist monks entering the region from India.

Within a relatively short time after Alexander's death, his empire began to disintegrate. The governance of the Central Asian provinces fell to the Seleucids. In the middle of the third century BC, Bactria and Parthia again began a rise to prominence. These states maintained their hold through confederation until roughly the middle of the second century BC. At this time nomads from the region surrounding Syr Darya began to mint coins and construct fortifications (Roudik, 2007). China was of course ever watchful of the nomadic tribes along its borders, and at the beginning of the second century we find it extending its commercial contacts into the region of Sogdiana. From this time onward China maintained a presence in the region, a presence either greater or lesser depending on the degree to which conflicts with the nomadic tribes allowed them access to the major commercial centers. This opened the doors to the Far East and the regions that produced silk, which the Chinese often used as a means of payment in commerce. This era marks the rise of what we know as the Silk Road.

  Major Settlements

As trade along the Silk Road increased, the ensuing prosperity fueled the growth of several settlements in the area of the Tarim Basin. These stations provided a staging ground for the interaction of various empires with interests in the region. Moreover the harsh terrain meant that, as these centers fell into the hands of one power or another, contact between Central Asia and China could effectively be cut off. Their strategic and commercial value therefore converted them into focal points for imperial aspirations in the surrounding regions.

Many of the most detailed reports about the size and makeup of these settlements come from Chinese sources. Mallory and Mair (2000) have provided an insightful and engaging study of the sources, and our discussion here will mainly review some of the highlights of their work.

Kašghar (Qäshqär, Chinese Shule) forms the gate between Bactria and Ferghana to the west and the Tarim Basin to the east. It is at this outpost that a traveller from the west must make a decision to follow a northerly or southerly route as the Silk Road forks and passes to either side of the Taklamakan desert. Chinese accounts recorded during the Han dynasty list Kašghar as containing 1,510 households, comprising 18,647 individuals, of which 2,000 could bear arms. From roughly the beginning of the second century BC to the beginning of the first century AD Kašghar formed an important garrison town in the Western Han dynasty, but subsequently fell under the control of Khotan to the south. General Ban Chao later retook the city and it remained intermittently thereafter part of the Chinese empire. Around the 7th century AD Kašghar pertained to the Tibetan empire, and in the 9th the encroaching Uyghurs took control.

But during the early part of the first century Kašghar formed part of the Kushan empire, rising to prominence for a time in the area. Evidently it was during this period that Buddhism came to Kašghar, and accounts mention that the city retained the Buddha's stone spittoon (though it was not the only city to make this claim). References to sacrifices to the sky god suggest that Buddhism by no means took hold in all pockets within the region, but rather that Zoroastrianism and perhaps other religions managed to coexist in Kašghar. By the 10th century Islam had mostly driven out opposing religions. There was little land suitable for cultivation, but the city was a primary source of wool, or felt, and carpets.

Kučā (Kucha, Chinese Qiuci) lies along the northern rim of the Tarim Basin, perched along the northern route of the Silk Road that skirts the Tängri Tagh (Chinese Tian Shan) mountain range. As mentioned above the northerly and southerly routes of the Silk Road divide at Kašghar to pass on either side of the Taklamakan desert. They rejoin again at Lopnur, to the east of the desert. The oasis of Kučā lies roughly at the midpoint of the northerly route. The northerly route itself divided at Kučā, one direction taking the traveler on to Lopnur, the other passing farther to the north over the Tängri Tagh themselves. In the middle of the first century BC Kučā was already under Chinese control, and in fact it was the seat of the governor of the Han dynasty's protectorate, a region that included all the outposts of the Tarim Basin. That status and the strategic location provided Kučā with a pivotal role in Chinese efforts to stave off the Xiongnu bands that constantly threatened attack from the north. At the same time, it appears that Kučā felt no particular allegiance to China, and its constant efforts to free itself from the empire's grip proved a thorn in China's side. In the 9th century, Kučā like Kašghar fell under the sway of the Uyghurs.

Chinese sources for the first few centuries BC comment on how the population was essentially tied to a settled way of life and not given to the nomadic wanderings of the Xiongnu. The settlement contained 6,970 households comprising 81,317 people, and apparently another 21,076 able to bear arms. Kučā was therefore largest among the cities of eastern Central Asia and simply dwarfed the nearest arm of Chinese authority in Wulei. Later descriptions from the Jin dynasty (AD 265-419) describe a city with a walled inner citadel and a thousand Buddhist shrines and cloisters. The city's dimensions evidently rivaled those of the Chinese capital at Chang'an. Chinese sources record that the agricultural resources of Kučā comprised millet, wheat, rice, legumes, hemp, grapevines and pomegranates, as well as horses, cattle, sheep and camels. Kučā's proximity to the mountains also implied a wealth of mineral goods: copper, iron, lead, gold, and tin among others. Kučā produced felt and rugs, and it remained a central point for trading silk. Commerce was facilitated by the exchange of cotton goods or copper, silver, or gold coins.

It should be mentioned that accounts record a custom in both Kašghar and Kučā whereby the native population used boards to flatten the backs of children's skulls, much like what is found among native populations in North and Central America. In Kučā men and women wore hair down to the nape of their neck, and they employed wool garments and caps. From what can be ascertained from the historical accounts, Buddhism was the primary religion in Kučā in the earliest centuries AD and likely even earlier. In line with Buddhist practice, inhabitants of Kučā typically cremated the dead.

Khotan (Chinese Yutian) was a settlement along the southerly route of the Silk Road around the Tarim Basin. Contrary to some of the other large commercial centers in the region, Khotan enjoyed a wealth of natural resources. Chief among these fortuitous natural circumstances was its location between the Yurung-kāsh and the Qara-qāsh rivers, which stem from the Qurum (Chinese Kunlun) mountains and actually extend all the way to the Tarim river itself. With these two sources to draw from, Khotan possessed ample resources for agriculture through irrigation. Moreover, the mulberry tree was native to the area, so that with silkworms and Chinese know-how Khotan was able to turn itself into the center of silk production for the region. An added benefit was that the Chinese had also invented a process for turning the mulberry into pulp for paper, and so from Khotan the first paper found its way into the region. Khotan, in addition to cotton and wool, sent from its vast supplies large quantities of jade to China. Accounts from the Han dynasty report that the city contained 3,300 households, comprising 19,300 people, of which 2,400 could bear arms.

Several legends surround Khotan. One concerns the dual personalities that factor into its legendary founding. In particular a few documents suggest that Khotan was originally founded as two separate colonies. One came from northwest India and was supposedly led by the son of king Aśoka himself; the other came from the east, led by an exiled Chinese king. After a decisive battle between the two settlements, they eventually coalesced under the rule of one of the founders (stories disagree as to which one). If nothing else the story perhaps derives from a desire to reflect the coexistence of Prakrit-speaking Buddhists alongside Chinese speakers: we in fact find Chinese coins in the area that have Prakrit writing on the reverse side. Chinese accounts testify to a hundred Buddhist monasteries in Khotan, with some 5,000 monks; but here too we find references to a 'celestial god' that suggests the persistence of Zoroastrianism.

Further accounts show an expansion of Khotan's power in the early first century AD. Evidently with the assistance of the Xiongnu nomads, Khotan was able to extend its influence as far as Kašghar to its northwest. Thus control of the southerly route of the Silk Road fell under control of Khotan and Krorän. This situation did not appeal to the Chinese, and so the general Ban Chao likewise came and annexed Khotan to the empire. Not without efforts to the contrary, Khotan nevertheless remained under Chinese control for the succeeding several centuries. At times the Turks threatened to wrest Khotan from the grip of the Chinese, but in the 8th century it was actually Tibet that managed to annex Khotan and much of the Tarim region.

Krorän (Chinese Loulan) provides an antipode to Kašghar across the Tarim Basin: if Kašghar is where the Silk Road divides to bypass the Talkamakan desert, Krorän is where the routes again combine, lending Krorän great strategic importance from the point of view of the Chinese. Krorän lies near the salt marshes of Lopnur, in earlier times an area fed by the Tarim river but bracketed by harsh deserts. Sources from the Han dynasty put the population at 1,570 households, comprising 14,100 people, of which 2,912 could bear arms. The mixture of salt and sand prevented any hope of local agriculture, and the city survived on goods brought in by trade. This furnished a somewhat symbiotic relationship with nomadic peoples from the region, and we find there signs of numerous asses, horses and camels. Krorän for its part formed a center for trade in jade, rushes, tamarisk and balsam poplar.

Krorän appears to have been caught between warring states since its earliest history. In the early second century BC the nomadic Xiongnu of the north annexed the city and from there managed to harass the Han empire. The Chinese naturally found this situation intolerable, and at the end of the first century BC it fell to invading Chinese forces. Krorän nevertheless continued to vacillate between the two powers for the next two centuries. Finally Ban Chao's son, Ban Yong, sent a group of 500 colonists to the region in the first century AD to solidify China's hold. This militarized presence had the added benefit of managing against great odds to produce functional irrigation canals in a difficult river system. Documents uncovered on the site of the colony show that in the time leading up to its abandonment in the fourth century AD, Chinese was apparently spoken alongside Prakrit and another language native to its inhabitants.

 

Genetic Structure of a 2,500-Year-Old Human Population in China and Its Spatiotemporal Changes

Genetic Structure of a 2,500-Year-Old Human Population in China and Its Spatiotemporal Changes

Li Wang*{dagger}, Hiroki Oota*, Naruya Saitou{ddagger}, Feng Jin§, Takayuki Matsushita|| and Shintaroh UedaGo,*

Above: A chart illustrating first the position of Linzi in Shandong Province, China, and second the the genetic change in Linzi's population ("blue" represents genes closest to Europeans).

A genetic chart from the American Journal of Human Genetics, 2001, showing how the genetic makeup of the population of Linzi in Eastern China has changed over 2000 years.

We compared the genetic structures of three populations that lived in the same location during three separate historical periods and found that the genetic structure of the inhabitants of Linzi has changed greatly over time. The period of Chinese history that dates to 2,500 years ago corresponds to the transition period from the Spring–Autumn era to the Warring States era, and the period around 2,000 years ago was in the middle of the Han era. Linzi, our sampling location, was the capital of the feudal state Qi in the Spring–Autumn and the Warring States eras. Qin, one of the feudal states during those periods, conquered other states, including Qi, and established the first unified nation in China. Subsequently, the Han dynasty followed Qin after great disturbances of war. Therefore, our finding that the population structure of Linzi changed drastically during those periods can be concordant with these historical events.

The similarity between the genetic structures of the 2,500-year-old Linzi population and the present-day European populations indicates that there was a genetic shift in the Linzi area from a European-like population to a population more like those found in present-day east Asia, probably caused by migration. This is in accord with the existence of the Eurasiatic superfamily languages, which surround a linguistically unique Sino-Tibetan language, the present-day Chinese language (Ruhlen 1987, 1994<$REFLINK> ; Cavalli-Sforza, Menozzi, and Piazza 1994<$REFLINK> ). Future molecular studies of ancient populations will help us discover the places and times of human diversification and the migration routes of ancient populations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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