The Takla Makan Mummies
In the late 1980's, perfectly preserved 3000-year-old mummies began appearing
in a remote Chinese desert. They had long reddish-blond hair, European
features and didn't appear to be the ancestors of modern-day Chinese people.
Archaeologists now think they may have been the citizens of an ancient
civilization that existed at the crossroads between China and Europe.
Mummies of "Tomb 2"
This mummy of a young woman was found in 1989. Based on her partially
dismembered limbs and gouged out eyes, Chinese archaeologists believe she was a
This mummified boy, approximately one-year-old, was found in the same grave.
He, too, is believed to have been a sacrificial victim who was buried alive.
This mummy of a woman, who was approximately 40-years old, was found in the main
chamber of the same tomb. Her tall stature, high nose, and red hair indicate
that she was of European descent.
Mummies from the Wupu cemetery
This mummy of an 18 to 20 year old woman is on display at a museum in Hami.
Her features, particularly her overbite, indicate Caucasian heritage.
This mummified man was approximately 40 years old at the time of his death.
Takla Makan Mummies |
Mummies 101 |
Digging into Language
Editor's Picks |
Previous Sites |
Join Us/E-mail |
About NOVA |
Site Map |
PBS Online |
NOVA Online |
© | Updated October 2000