The Mummies of Urumchi (Paperback)
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Short Description for The Mummies of Urumchi The mummies in the museums of Urumchi, the capital of the Uyghur Autonomous Region - also known as Chinese Turkestan - are dated back as far as 4000 years. But they are tall, blond and Caucasoid. This study considers who they were and why they lived so deep in Asia.
- Published: 17 April 2000
- Format: Paperback 256 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780393320190 ISBN 10: 0393320197
- Sales rank: 253,506
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Full description for The Mummies of Urumchi
In the museums of Urumchi, the wind-swept regional capital of the Uyghur Autonomous Region in Western China, a collection of ancient mummies date back as far as 4,000 years -- contemporary to the famous Egyptian mummies, but even more beautifully preserved, especially their clothing. Surprisingly, these prehistoric people are not Asian but Caucasoid -- tall and large-nosed and blond with thick beards and round eyes (probably blue). What were these blond Caucasians doing in the heart of Asia? Where did they come from and what language did they speak? Might they be related to a "lost tribe" of Indo-Europeans known from later inscriptions? Few gifts are to be found in the graves of Urumchi, making it difficult for archaeologists to pinpoint cultural connections from clues offered by pottery and tools. But their clothes -- woolens that rarely survive more than a few centuries -- have been preserved as brightly hued as the day they were woven.Elizabeth Wayland Barber describes these remarkable mummies, their clothing, their shepherding ways, and their path to this remote, mysterious, and forbidding place. She pieces together their history and peculiar Western connections from both what she saw in Urumchi and the testimony of explorers who traveled along the Silk Road a century earlier.