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Thread: The Beauty of Loulan.

  1. #1
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    The Beauty of Loulan.

    I came across this, which I thought was interesting.

    http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancie...m-basin-001227

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    The Tarim mummies have attracted a lot of attention. A good book on the topic is J.P. Mallory and Victor H. Mair, The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West (Thames & Hudson 2000). http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tarim-Mummie...dp/0500283729/

    The DNA from the earliest group of Tarim mummies is in my table of Silk Road DNA under the label "Tocharian?" : http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/silkroaddna.shtml
    Most of this was discovered after Mallory and Mair's book was published. It shows that quite a lot of mtDNA of the mummies was Eastern Eurasian, though all of the Y-DNA extracted was the Western Eurasian R1a1a - a haplogroup generally associated with Indo-Europeans.

    It is deduced that they were descended from a group of Indo-European speakers who set out from the Volga-Ural region to trek some 2000 km to the high steppe of the Altai Mountains c. 3300-3000 BC. There they created the first mobile pastoralist culture east of the Ural Mountains - the Afanasievo (or Afanasevo) culture. They brought domesticated cattle, sheep and horses into the Altai. This new way of life sprang from a horse-loving culture known as Repin at the east end of the European steppe. These people mixed with local foragers. Archaeology suggests that the mixed group moved from the Altai to the Tarim Basin c. 2400 BC.

    One Indo-European language with archaic features crops up millennia later in Tarim Basin towns on the Silk Road. When writings in this language were discovered, it was named Tocharian after the people known to the Greeks as Tokharoi.
    Last edited by Jean M; 05-02-2015 at 02:38 PM.

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    Some materials on the Shanshan kingdom (also known as Kroraina):

    - Christopher Atwood, "Life in Third-fourth Century Cadh'ota" <--- very good article.

    - https://depts.washington.edu/silkroa...niyadocts.html <--- translations of various old "letters" from the Shanshan kingdom.

    - https://bora.uib.no/handle/1956/6978 <- Good Master thesis on the early days of the Tarim basin.

    - http://www.brill.com/products/book/buddhism-china <--- Good info regarding the population explosion during the early days of the Shanshan kingdom.
    Last edited by evon; 05-02-2015 at 10:00 AM.

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    The Chinese govt tried to cover up further research on them, because of fears it would spread more nationalistic fervour among Uyghurs , who see The Beauty of Loulan
    as symbol of their distinct past from Han Chinese.

    I would like to see updated admixture results for them.

    I would think Pamiris would be the closest to them in terms of phenotypes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pegasus View Post
    The Chinese govt tried to cover up further research on them, because of fears it would spread more nationalistic fervour among Uyghurs , who see The Beauty of Loulan
    as symbol of their distinct past from Han Chinese.

    I would like to see updated admixture results for them.

    I would think Pamiris would be the closest to them in terms of phenotypes.
    That is quite contrary to what I have experienced, allot of research on the Shanshan kingdom by Chinese and other historians, so there does not seem to be any cover up involved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M View Post
    The Tarim mummies have attracted a lot of attention. A good book on the topic is J.P. Mallory and Victor H. Mair, The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West (Thames & Hudson 2000). http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tarim-Mummie...dp/0500283729/

    The DNA from the earliest group of Tarim mummies is in my table of Silk Road DNA under the label "Tocharian?" : http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/silkroaddna.shtml
    Most of this was discovered after Mallory and Mair's book was published. It shows that quite a lot of mtDNA of the mummies was Eastern Eurasian, though all of the Y-DNA extracted was the Western Eurasian R1a1a - a haplogroup generally associated with Indo-Europeans.

    It is deduced that they were descended from a group of Indo-European speakers who set out from the Volga-Ural region to trek some 2000 km to the high steppe of the Altai Mountains c. 3300-3000 BC. There they created the first mobile pastoralist culture east of the Ural Mountains - the Afanasievo (or Afanasevo) culture. They brought domesticated cattle, sheep and horses into the Altai. This new way of life sprang from a horse-loving culture known as Repin at the east end of the European steppe. These people mixed with local foragers. Archaeology suggests that the mixed group moved from the Altai to the Tarim Basin c. 2400 BC.

    One Indo-European language with archaic features crops up millennia later in Tarim Basin towns on the Silk Road. When writings in this language were discovered, it was named Tocharian after the people known to the Greeks as Tokharoi.
    Was the Beauty of Loulan tested? Do you know of any photos of the mummies tested. So, what were they a mix of Samara Yamna-types, some-type of non-IE foragers, and unknown East Asians(maybe with ANE)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krefter View Post
    Was the Beauty of Loulan tested?
    This page claims that she was: http://chinesemummies.weebly.com/beauty-of-loulan.html So it is possible that a sample was taken from her in 1993, along with other mummies in the Museum at Urumchi. However DNA was successfully typed from only one individual, not identified by Francalacci 1995. This in any case was a very early study. It reads as though he took every precaution against contamination, but even so we are better off citing the results of the later study Li 2010.

    Do you know of any photos of the mummies tested?
    There are photographs of quite a few Tarim mummies online. Just use Google. I don't know if I could fit any of them to the samples from Xiaohe used in Li 2010, but the authors gave information on surviving hair colouring, which is in my table in red.

    were they a mix of Samara Yamna-types, some-type of non-IE foragers, and unknown East Asians (maybe with ANE)?
    Not exactly. With Y-DNA R1a1a, they were not descended from the Samara samples that we have, but their archaeology is clearly derived from Repin (early Yamnaya), which seems like good evidence for R1a1a being present in Repin. No surprises there. The foragers with whom they mixed evidently carried the Siberian mtDNA C4. This C4 input is treated as East Asian in Li 2010.
    Last edited by Jean M; 05-02-2015 at 05:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M View Post
    There are quite a few Tarim mummies online. Just use Google. I don't know if I could fit any of them to the samples from Xiaohe used in Li 2010, but the authors gave information on surviving hair colouring, which is in my table in red.
    I'm interested in the mummies because they're probably very Yamna-like genetically and their flesh, not just their bones, are preserved. I'm pretty sure recently DNA has been taken from Afanasievo people confirming their relation to Yamna, but nothing has been published.

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    Here are several related documentaries and speeches:

    Documentary - Mysterious Mummies of China
    NOVA (PBS)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzZDLKI0c7Q

    Documentary - The Mummies of Taklamakan
    ARTE France
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFik8IrOMqs

    Documentary - Riddle of the Desert Mummies
    Discovery Channel
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr5Kq56heIs

    Indo-European Dispersals and the Eurasian Steppe
    J.P. Mallory
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0HCs6PVnzI

    Before Silk: Questions of East-West Exchange before the Silk Road
    Colin Renfrew
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NrLZ8CzRWk

    Horseback Riding and Bronze Age Pastoralism in the Eurasian Steppes
    David W. Anthony
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QapUGZ0ObjA

    The Xinjiang Textiles: New Corridors in the Goldmine
    Elizabeth Wayland Barber
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUvB0lD8E5M

    The Tarim Basin Mummies
    Victor Mair
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY0acUCvZEs
    Last edited by cpan0256; 05-02-2015 at 10:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pegasus View Post
    The Chinese govt tried to cover up further research on them, because of fears it would spread more nationalistic fervour among Uyghurs , who see The Beauty of Loulan
    as symbol of their distinct past from Han Chinese.
    I had the pleasure of viewing the Tarim mummies and artifacts at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in December 2010. The next exhibit was to take place in Philadelphia about a month later, but then the "problems" started, because of this very reason.

    An exhibition, “The Secrets of the Silk Road,” now at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, was almost cancelled, at the request of Chinese government officials, possibly because of media attention on the mummies’ Caucasoid features. Uighur separatists challenging Chinese rule over Xinjiang cite the features as evidence that early inhabitants came from east rather than China. Last-minute, high-level government negotiations rescued the exhibition, and scholars press for scientific research to unlock secrets of centuries-old history and connections that continue to influence modern politics.
    YaleGlobal
    Here is the article: When Millenia-Old Mummies Threaten National Identity
     
    My avatar is the Turkic-Bulgar symbol of the Mamluk sultan, Baybars, whose name means "chief leopard." He transplanted the steppe-style comitatus and postal system to the sultanate, and installed his secret couriers to operate it. (My surname is a relic of these Kipchak-Cuman couriers.) This leopard symbol is often found on structures he commissioned throughout Palestine. A similar one is used as the emblem of the Kazan Tatars, and is portrayed as a snow leopard, Aq-Bars.

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