From the Scotsman;
FOR four millennia their secrets lay hidden beneath the desert sands, the final resting place of a mysterious civilisation. And since their discovery in 1934, the Tarim mummies in China have perplexed historians and archaeologists.
But a remarkable new study has found that the origins of the inhabitants of the ancient graveyard in the Taklimakan desert north of Tibet lie in Europe.
A team of Chinese geneticists have analysed the DNA of the Bronze Age cadavers and found that they are of mixed ancestry, displaying both European and Siberian genetic markers.
Carbon testing carried out at Beijing University has dated the oldest of the mummies as far back as 3,980 years. However, until recently the history of how they came to be buried in the desert in upside-down boats was unclear.
That many of the mummies – well preserved thanks to the dry air and salty sands – displayed fair skin, brown hair, and long noses led to some educated guesses.
Bailey, professor of modern Chinese history at Edinburgh University, said: “There has always been talk of blue-eyed people inhabiting that area of China.”
It seems that there are more mysteries in history then I thought, a white tribe in the west of modern China! Who would have thought?