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Thread: Tocharians: The Mysterious Europoid Mummies of China

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    Quote Originally Posted by xïa
    The mummy of a Caucasian woman in the Tarim Basin.
    I had heard something about the cloth of these Tarim Basin mummies being stitched in a "Celtic" style, "double stitched" if I remember. Distinctly not Chinese in style and traceable to similar style of weaving to Austria. That was in National Geographic a few years back.
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    Exclamation Tocharians: The Mysterious Europoid Mummies of China

    Quote Originally Posted by Nordish

    The Tocharians and Xinjiang Mummies of China were of Germanic(Nordic) Origins weren't they?
    If you are referring to the Takla Makan mummies, they were at least phenotypically nordish:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/chinamum/taklamakan.html
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    Yes those mummies are Suprisingly "Nordic" in Appearance.

    Especially the facial skeleton and relief of the a certain "tall statured" red headed woman.

    Their descedants seem to have made a significant impact on the Modern Gene pool in Xinjiang Region of China. Since High Bridge noses, light eyes, and hair can still be found in a portion of the Population, be it only a small portion who have a combination of all those features.

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    The evidence I have seen is that these mummies don't seem to be directly related to any Nordic population.

    Genetically and anthropologically they are mostly south Asian Mediterraneans.

    Not sure how some of them ended up with fair (reddish?) hair. Anyone know whether hair pigment changes after a couple of thousand years of being dead?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jakub
    The evidence I have seen is that these mummies don't seem to be directly related to any Nordic population.

    Genetically and anthropologically they are mostly south Asian Mediterraneans.

    Not sure how some of them ended up with fair (reddish?) hair. Anyone know whether hair pigment changes after a couple of thousand years of being dead?

    Based on the remains Scientists concluded all the mummies were Fair haired(Blonde,Light brown,Red). Murals found in caves and other art work depicted these people as light eyed too(Blue,Green).

    They also had very Gangly builds. There was a blonde woman found who was over 6ft tall.

    The only thing that might not be consider "nordic" is the fact that males often had wide robust faces.

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    I watch a television documentory called NOVA. The documentary concluded that these mummies were from Bulgaria. A very interesting documentary. It also show how the natives of the region defaced their portraits is caves, mainly trying to remove the eyes in the portait. The documentary also described how they traded with the nomads of the mountains in the takla makan region.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney
    I watch a television documentory called NOVA. The documentary concluded that these mummies were from Bulgaria.

    Likely Thracians.

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

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    I heard they had an Austrian Origin. Therefore they were likely Iron Age Nordics.

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    The Tocharians and Xinjiang Mummies of China were of Germanic(Nordic) Origins weren't they?
    A solely Germanic origin seems somewhat unlikely. IIRC, Tocharian shows similarities with Celtic, pre-Turkic Anatolian, and early Germanic tongues. Some of the artwork found with the mummies has been compared with Celtic art, and there appear to be similarities. It's probably a rather independent branch of the Indo-European family. I don't think we can conclude much more than that they were Europid and Indo-European. It's questionable whether they would morphologically fit in a modern Northern European population.

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    We have to remember, and I made this mistake in an early essay a few years ago, that such things as tall stature and reddish hair does not automatically point to a Germanic/Nordic origin where ancient societies are concerned. Like others here have said, all that can be concluded is that they were a branch, a most likely extinct branch, of the Indo-European family. None of us here are "expert archeologists" so unfortunately we do not have much in the ways of information with which to build a proper interpretation. It would be interesting to talk with someone who has done significant work in the field.

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