Monday, March 22, 2010

Mummy find in China desert stirs ethnic debate

Nicholas Wade (NYT News Service, Mar. 17, 2010)
The mummy of an infant excavated from the cemetery in north China. In the middle of a terrifying desert north of Tibet, Chinese archaeologists have excavated an extraordinary cemetery. Its inhabitants died almost 4,000 years ago, yet their bodies have been well preserved by the dry air. The cemetery lies in what is now China's northwest province of Xinjiang.

However, the people have European features, with brown hair and long noses. Their remains, in one of the world's largest deserts, are buried in upside-down boats. And where tombstones might stand, declaring pious hope for some god's mercy in the afterlife, their cemetery sports instead a vigorous forest of phallic symbols, signaling an intense interest in pleasures or utility of procreation. More>>

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