The Chinese Mummies, also known as the Tarim mummies, are a collection of ancient mummies discovered in the Taklamakan desert in present day Xinjiang, China during the 1900s. Scientific analysis of the human remains revealed that the mummies can be dated as far back as 1900BC to 200AD. Controversy has stirred because of these ancient mummies as many have debated their origins. Through scientific and technological advancements many historians and archaeologists alike have concluded that these mummies were of Indo-European origin. All mummies that have been discovered have both European and Asian features, supported by both physical evidence and DNA testing. These Chinese mummies are not actually Chinese!!!
The mummies that are being showcased at the Nicholson Museum include the Cherchen Mummy and the Beauty of Loulan. These mummies all have unique characteristics and features that aid historians in piecing together the vague history of the ancient Chinese world. The recent discoveries of these mummies has caused the historical world to go wild due to Caucasian features the mummies have. Historians begin to acknowledge the likelihood of European and Asian interaction before the time of Marco Polo.
How were the Chinese mummies preserved?
Chinese mummies are found all across the Taklamakan Desert in China. This is due to its hot and dry climates enabling all moisture within a body, upon death, to be evaporated when buried; this allows for the corpses to be preserved through time for thousands of years.
Many of the Chinese mummies found in the Taklamakan Desert were discovered in tombs. These tombs allow for further preservation; which ultimately preserves the occupants inside with perfection, as seen with the Cherchen man. The dry climate of the desert in which the bodies have been 'mummified' alter the colour of their skin as well as causing the body of the mummy to shrink significantly.