The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West

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Thames & Hudson, 2008 - History - 352 pages
7 Reviews
"A fascinating and readable account...a valuable compendium of recent research on a little-known region." --"Archaeology," "Essential reading for archaeologists and scholars." --"Choice"
The best-preserved mummies in the world are found not in Egypt or Peru but in the museums of Xinjiang, the westernmost province of modern China. For thousands of years the occupants of the barren wastes and oases that would later become the Silk Road buried their dead in the desiccating sands of the Taklimakan, the second greatest desert on earth. This arid environment, preserving body and clothing, allows an unparalleled glimpse into the lives and appearance of a prehistoric people: these are the faces of ancient Indo-Europeans who settled in the Tarim Basin on the western rim of China some four millennia ago, 2000 years before West and East recognized each other's existence.
The book examines the clues left by physical remains; economy, technology, and textiles; and traces of local languages. It is the definitive account of one of the most extraordinary archaeological discoveries of recent times. 190 illustrations, 13 in color.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

The archaeology of the Tarim basin as of 2004. The succession of cultures and their probable ethnic components is interesting, and a bit of a rethink is required for some racial theories. Read full review

Review: The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mysteries of the Earliest Peoples from the West

User Review  - Roxanne - Goodreads

I started this book at the end of April and finished it in mid-October. Don't let that fool you, though: the only real problem with this book is that it's too large and heavy to take on the train, and ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

J. (James) P. (Patrick) Mallory is an Irish-American archaeologist, a world expert on ancient linguistics, and Emeritus Professor at Queen's University Belfast.

Erling Hoh has been a correspondent for Archaeology and written on Chinese history and culture for Natural History and others.

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