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Tarim mummies and the introduction of chariots

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#16 Non-Han Nan Ban

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 04:02 PM

Although it is a fair argument to say that the spoke-wheel chariot came to China via Caucasoid groups from Central Asia, it is important to point out that the Chinese had already invented the wheel by inventing the potter's wheel on their own during the Neolithic period. Now, whether or not they applied the concept of the wheel to a vehicle with or without the aid of contact with Central Asian peoples is something reserved for unresolved scholarly debate. The Chinese, of course, would have simply rode on the backs of saddled water buffalo, oxen, horses, etc. before riding in wheeled vehicles.

I think it would be much harder to argue that bronze metallurgic technology was introduced from the west as well. Chariots did not appear in China until about 1300 BC, but the Bronze Age in China began hundreds of years previously, in about 2100 BC. If you were to argue that bronze was introduced to China by swift-riding charioteer Caucasoid groups, then the dates of the introduction of bronze and the chariot shouldn't be so far apart in the timeline; in fact, if you proposed that argument, they should be dated to the same century. This is not the case. I think it is safe to assume the Chinese invented bronze separately long after it was invented first elsewhere in Eurasia.

These lies should not spread. It is hard for them to accept and believe that we are one of the few 'non-white' people to develop our own form of civilization and at very high sophisticated level too.

Dude, we're talking about the Bronze Age here. Societies across the globe weren't that sophisticated. I'm sure that even the scholarly gentlemen of the Han Dynasty would find the life and customs practiced by the early Shang people to be uncultivated, repugnant, and dirty. Lol.

Besides, the Chinese didn't need foreign aid when they invented the world's first blast furnaces, cupola furnaces, finery forges, puddling processes, cast iron, co-fusion steel, etc.

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#17 William O'Chee

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 05:39 PM

I think it would be much harder to argue that bronze metallurgic technology was introduced from the west as well. Chariots did not appear in China until about 1300 BC, but the Bronze Age in China began hundreds of years previously, in about 2100 BC. If you were to argue that bronze was introduced to China by swift-riding charioteer Caucasoid groups, then the dates of the introduction of bronze and the chariot shouldn't be so far apart in the timeline; in fact, if you proposed that argument, they should be dated to the same century. This is not the case. I think it is safe to assume the Chinese invented bronze separately long after it was invented first elsewhere in Eurasia.

Besides, the Chinese didn't need foreign aid when they invented the world's first blast furnaces, cupola furnaces, finery forges, puddling processes, cast iron, co-fusion steel, etc.


Eric, I don't think it was ever my intention to argue that the Chinese did not come up with bronze independently from other cultures, although I did argue that chariots cam from Central Asia. I think there has been some degree of misinterpretation and cultural outrage since that time. My exact words were:

It is also the case that metallurgy was more advanced in the Caucasus than in China.

In reality there are many ways in which bronze can be made, and this is reflective of that. Di Cosma argued that the strength of metals in Central Asia was greater than elsewhere at the time, and this allowed them to make strong metal pieces necessary for horse harnesses. These, in turn, facilitated pastoral nomadism.

I should add that there is not, to my knowledge, any evidence that China developed bronze as early as the peoples of Persia, but that does not mean that the Chinese did not develop it independently at a later date.

Edited by William O'Chee, 23 November 2008 - 05:40 PM.

#18 moobie


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Posted 24 July 2009 - 07:26 PM

Yes chariots came to China from the west, and bronze likely from Iran or India. The Chinese did have many high tech inovations in metalurgy and chariot construction

The ironic thing is that both Iran and India both have (admittedly) very many depictions of "Mongoloid" peoples in their art (as does Sumer, not to be mistaken for Akkad or Babylon). I highly suspect that the Altaic and/or Uralic peoples had a very strong presence in Central Asia stretching from Altai to the West.

Meanwhile, it seems evident that the Indo-Europeans originated in Anatolia. The spread of the chariot and bronze, when you map it, is IMO more likely to be from Altaic peoples (and from them to Sino-Tibetans) rather than Indo-Europeans.

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Consistent with this map, it seems like the chariot reached the Indo-European heartland (Anatolia) even later than it did China. It should be noted that the proposed origins of the chariot are much closer to the ancestral homeland of the Altaic language as determined by genetic analysis of ancient remains (around around Altai Mts.)

What do you make of this? To me, at least, it seems much more likely that bronze and the chariot reached the Near East and Europe through a mass emigration of Altaics in all directions (the Sumerians claim their homeland was taken by a flood). From then on, it seems likely (from artistic depictions) they migrated to the already settled areas in India (Harappa), Iran, and Mesopotamia (Sumer) and intermingled with the locals.

Edited by moobie, 24 July 2009 - 07:36 PM.

#19 Eidolon


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Posted 24 November 2009 - 02:46 AM

I'm not sure I buy the above argument. Genetic and anthropometric tests have generally concluded that most of Central Asia and West Eurasia were populated by "Caucasoids" prior to 800 BC, and that most of the "steppes nomads" prior to this time were West Eurasians. Whether they spoke proto-Altaic or proto-Uralic is a different issue, given the loose definition of these linguistic families. How do we even know that an "Altaic" or "Uralic" people existed?

As for the topic at hand, the appearance of chariots in China is a rather sudden affair, making it likely that it was a foreign introduction - but by who? If it came from the Tocharians, why is it that the first chariots in China were discovered with the Shang Dynasty and not in the regions further west?

Determining how the chariot was transferred is of paramount importance, because it is linked with the appearance of something far more fundamental: writing. Is it coincidence that both the chariot and (formal) writing appeared around the same time? I think not...

Edited by Eidolon, 24 November 2009 - 02:50 AM.

#20 Gan


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Posted 11 April 2010 - 03:38 PM

From my perspective, the chariots used in Ancient China were kind of different than the early ones created in Western Asia/Caucasus. I saw a documentary on the military channel regarding Chariots used by the Hyksos and others during roughly the time of the Shang dynasty. The metallurgy of the Near East was more developed and it did contributed to the stability of the chariots themselves (though I remember the simple design as described in the documentary helped a lot if not being too "bumpy" during the rides/fights). Considering that alone, it probably wasn't worth the cost of maintaining large quantities of chariots in Ancient China over infantry and light calvary.

I'm so bad at discussing military history, but lately I've been in the mood.

As far introduction, it's kind of hard to say. There's no doubt in my mind that the communities west of China, notably Persia and the Indian subcontinent, would have been more profound and immediate in influencing Ancient Chinese society. However, I'm not sure how much influence the Ancient inhabitants of the Tarim Basin made into China, as someone posted before, there would have been more evidence of it further west of Shang or Zhou's realm. From another documentary, the mummies appeared Caucasian, but genetics and other artifacts/designs on them indicate a more varied origin. Some individuals take some details, but leave out others, to make questionable claims, but people all over the world tend to do that with everything.

#21 mcrotts


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Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:05 PM


I am a professional illustrator and history enthusiast. I have a recent particular interest in ancient central asian cultures, from eneolithic and proto-Indo-European to Tarim Basin and Tocharian culture, especially the relationship of all these to the early innovations in husbandry and charioteering. I would love to work on a very short fictional graphic novel narrative based on historiographically and archeologically researched material.

Is this a project that interests anyone? Or would anyone have any resources that would assist me in this endeavor? I'm not sure where would be the best place to post this, and if this is unintentionally perceived as inappropriate for this thread, I understand if it needs to be taken down. But any assistance or collaboration on this project would be very much welcomed and appreciated!




#22 ahxiang


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Posted 22 August 2012 - 07:57 PM

More than half a year's posts were erased after this forum was hacked. Below is a brief account of some of the points I made in regards to the points of contact between the Mongoloid and Caucasoid.

For details, see http://www.imperialc.../Barbarians.htm

First I want to debunk the fallacies in regards to the equation of the ancient Yu-shi tribe to the Yuezhi, and the speculation on the jade trade that the Yuezhi was falsely accredited with.

The forged Guan-zi [管子] statement contained a reference which was a misnomer related to the 'Yu-shi' tribe, a term that was erroneously speculated by a few annotators in history, as well as Wang Guowei of the early 20th century, to be the same as Yuezhi. What Guan Zhong was alleged to have said was a statement using an ancient Chinese syntactical statement to juxtapose two equally valuable things, i.e., the jade from the Yu-shi tribe to the north versus the pearls from the Yangtze to the south. I like to point out that the Yu-shi tribe [and the Bai-di barbarian --who enjoyed the same last name as Zhou Dynasty royal court, by the way] that Qi Huan'gong campaigned against in the 7th century B.C. was right next to the East Yellow River Bend, not the Yuezhi that was recorded in the 3rd century B.C. as dwelling between Qilian and Dunhuang. See my discussion at tarim-mummies-and-the-introduction-of-chariots/page__st__15

Qi Lord Huan'gong's 7th cent. B.C. campaign against Bai-di and Yu-shi, a military action that the hegemony lord conducted to win the respect among the Zhou vassals on the ground of defending the Zhou Dynasty court, was an obscure record in the Chinese history. Around Xin (New) Dynasty (AD 6-23), there occurred a forgery movement by Chinese scholars, possibly with the intention of substantiating the mandate of the usurper Wang Mang's dynasty. The classics which were proved to be forgeries include "Guan-zi [管子]", which historian Ma Feibai pierced sentence by sentence. (The book "Guan-zi [管子]" was very much a polemic political economy book which centered around the statesmen’s leverage of economic policies in the rule of a country, in which extensive citations were made, albeit using the Han Dynasty and Xin Dynasty terminologies and incidents unwittingly, such as the theme of the salt-iron debates of the early Han Dynasty. See Preliminary Discussions on Forgeries in Chinese Classics for my rebuttals on the additional forged books of Guan-zi.)

Using Ma's same logic, I had found the two other books, "Yi-zhou-shu" [逸周书] or "Zhou-shu" (Zhou Dynasty [16th cen. B.C. - 256 B.C.] [abbrev. 周书] book, not the Zhou-shu [周书] from Posterior Zhou Dynasty of the South-North Dynasty time period of AD 557-581) and "Shang[1]-shu" [商书] (Shang Dynasty [16-11th cent. B.C.] book, not Shang[4]-shu [尚书], i.e., remotely ancient book which was said to be abridged by Zuo Qiuming), to be written in the exact same style and could be forgeries by possibly the same person. In the apparently forged Yi-zhou-shu [逸周书] and Shang-shu [商书] books, you could find sentences redundantly listing the names of barbarian tribes and vassals as known in the Han Emperor Wudi's reign of B.C. 140-86, including the name of Yuezhi to be some alien tribe to have surrendered tributes as early as Shang Dynasty (16-11th cent. B.C.), which was quite an irony, not to mention the forgeries in conveniently penning a boundary of the central kingdom as well as the positions of various alien tribes and vassals per then-known knowledge as of the 1st century A.D.

Discarding the forgery of Guan-zi [管子] basically eliminated the whole foundation upon which the existence of the Yuezhi and the jade trade was built, a fallacy which was widely cited in the most recent 10-20 years, i.e., 1990s and 2000s, to the effect that the fabricated Yuezhi had lived close to the heart of China, playing the role of bearing the Aryan civilization to China.

Absent the fallacious Yu-shi and jade reference in above forged books, all the rest of Chinese classics had only one description since China's prehistory [re-written], namely, the Queen Mother of the West, i.e., the matriarchal Qiangic nation's hereditary queen and her diplomatic activities with the Sinitic China dating from the era of the Yellow Emperor [Huangdi (l. BC 2697 - 2599 ?)]. As time and space double-corroborated in Zhou King Muwang's travelogue, there was no trace of the Yuezhi people in northwestern China at the time of Zhou King Muwang, reign 1001-946 B.C., other than a wilderness of feathers extending by 1000 li distance. There was a so-called Chinese 'scholar' called Yang Boda who since 1991 claimed that the jades from the Shang tomb of Fu Hao in [Anyang of] Central China were from Khotan, and hence speculated on basis of the Guan-zi [管子] forged statement that the Yuezhi traded with China since prehistory. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in conjunction with CCTV, organized a trip with several archaeological and geological scholars onboard, straight for Khotan, Xinjiang, where there was the tall Kunlun Mountains. After making a superficial inspection, they shot a documentary series "Jade Road." Those reporters, and scholars, unfortunately, do not know what the ancient books termed the "Kunshan (Kunlun Mountain) Jade","Kun (Kunlun) Gang (hill) Jade", "Kunlun jade" all referred to the jade from the [contemporarily-named] Qilian Mountain in Gansu [or more likely the mid-segment of the Helanshan Mountain Range on the west Ningxia bank of the Yellow River].

Twenty years of test on jades from Xia, Shang and Zhou tombs, from which there were unearthed a large number of jade artifacts for ritual, failed to link the artifacts to the Khotan jades. The test also eliminated the source of jades as from other major jade sites such as Liaoning Xiuyan Jade in Manchuria, nor inner land jade such as Nanyang Dushan Jade in Henan Province. Mt Kunlun, in ancient China, meant for the Mt Qilianshan, with Kunlun meaning magnificent and heavenly, which the later Huns called by a similar name in their terminology, i.e., Qilian, word meaning 'Heaven'. In late Western Jinn Dynasty, 5th century A.D., Zhang Gui, a Chinese magistrate at the Western Corridor (Ganzhou [Zhangye of Gansu], Liangzhou [Wuwei of Gansu], Guazhou [east of Gansu-xian/Anxi-xian of Gansu], Shazhou [Dunhuang of Gansu]), established the Former Liang State (301-76) at the foot of Qilian Mountain. Serving under him will be a Jiuquan magistrate who pointed out that the Qilian Mountain southwest of Jiuquan would be where Zhou King Muwang met the Queen Mother of the West. Athttp://www.imperialc...ou_Dynasty.html I previously stated that "Zhou King Muwang (r. 1001-946 BC) was a legendary figure famous for fighting in the west -- and per Charles Hucker maybe today's Central Asia -- where he met and rendezvous on Kunlun Mountain with so-called Xi Wang Mu, namely, Queen Mother of the West, who was rumored by the western historians, including Charles Hucker, to be the Queen of Sheba. (The actual place for Kunlun Mountains would be somewhere close to today's Jiuquan County, Gansu Province. Or, also likely, it could be today's Mt Helanshan on the west bank of the West Yellow River Bend.)" At http://www.imperialchina.org/Huns.html I stated that Zhou King Muwang was noted for defeating the barbarians, reaching Qinhai-Gansu regions in the west, meeting with Queen Mother of West on Mt Kunlun [possibly around Dunhuang area], and then relocating the barbarians eastward to the starting point of Jing-shui River for better management [in a similar fashion to Han Emperor Wudi's relocating Southern Huns to the south of the north Yellow River Bend]." (At the upperstream Weishui and Jingshui, there was a yellow mud plateau named the Queen Mother Palace where Xu Haidong's Red Army fought a battle.)

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Let me quickly debunk one more myth before continuing on the topic of human migration. The cronies who had been propagating the Aryan bearers of the Chinese civilization, like by the J. P. Mallory and Victor H. Mair folks, had one more weird claim in regards to what the "giants" meant in Shi Ji, other than the Yuezhi jade trade fallacy. Sima Qian recorded an episode about Qin Emperor Shihuangdi's collecting weapons from China. When the emperor heard of reports that some giants wearing Yi-di barbarian clothes were spotted to the west of Xianyang (Chang'an) the capital, he ordered the metals melting into 8 bronze statutes in the image of the giants -- which were not "Caucasians."

I never thought the people of the Central Asia or in Chinese Turkestan were an intermediary form of human evolution, which was my basis of calling the Siberian origin of Koreans by a 'moo' point. I constantly pointed out that in the collective memory of the Sino-Tibetan, that passed down by generations, the Sinitic Chinese had forgot they travelled north from today's Burma-Vietnam while claiming a walk down Mt Kunlun. Previously, I checked the historical context as well as the geo situation to find out when the east met with the west, and believed that the 3rd century BCE Hun-Yuezhi War could be the start of the contact. With new archeological findings, I would add that the proto-Tibetan Qiangs had indeed penetrated into Chinese Turkestan, to the north side of Mt Tianshan, from perhaps the southeastern rim of the Taklamakan Desert. Nevertheless, the Mongoloid origin was one, and it was a southern origin in today's Southeast Asia. The report done by the National Geographic team headed by Spencer Wells, commercial in nature, was unscientific to trace DNA to 40,000 years ago, at which time the Caucasoid and Mongoloid peoples had not parted ways yet.

Click on the below picture for the enlarged map showing the first Hunnic attack at the Yuezhi around the ancient Juyan Lake (also known as the West Sea in Chinese classics, and later known as the Kharakoto [Blackwater] Lake, Ejina or Juyan) in the 3rd century B.C., and the subsequent Hunnic attack at the Wusun/Loulan near Yiwu in the 2nd century B.C., to the east of Turpan, which triggered the Wusun migration to Ili where they further drove the Yuezhi towards today's Afghanistan.

The exact timeline is like this: The Huns under Mote Chanyu first defeated the Eastern Hu nomads in 206 BC, then attacked the Yuezhi to the west, which triggered the Yuezhi's chain reaction against the Wusun, killing the Wusun king, and the Huns possibly took control of the Western Corridor [He-xi Corridor] by that time. Mote Chanyu took custody of the Wusun prince and allocated the land in western territories to the Wusun; however, the new Wusun king, after growing up, distanced himself from the Huns. The Huns attacked to the west around 176 BC, hence defeating Loulan, Wusun and Hujie etc, in a battle near today's Yiwu per Yu Taishan, and taking control of 26 statelets in Chinese Turkistan. In 174 BC, the newly-enthroned Chanyu Laoshang sent scouts in search of the Yuezhi and mounted another campaign against the Yuezhi, killed the Yuezhi king, and made the king's skull as a drinking utensil. The Yuezhi queen acted as a regent and led her people in a further move to the west. The Yuezhi, in turn, attacked the Scythians in today's Ili River area, hence dwelling at the Ili River and the Chu-he River [from the Ili and Chuhe river basins in the east to the Sir (Syrdarya) River valley]. At the time of Junchen Chanyu, the Yuezhi, under the attack of possibly the Wusun-Hun alliance, relocated south to today's Afghanistan.

<a href="http://www.imperialc...ng-Yuezhi.jpg">Posted Image

On the modern map, there was a tiny corridor between Chinese Turkistan and China, which was the narrow strip of sand to the east of Hami. However, this corridor could be a recent event. There was the historical DAZI blackhole desert to the east, nowadays called by the generic name GOBI. The ancient Mongoloid migration into Tianshan Mountain could have come north from south, i.e., the Tibetan Plateau/Ruoqiang direction to the south --though I hesitated about the passibility of the "Liu-sha" flowing sand desert between Ruoqiang and Loulan (Lop Nur), which was another tiny corridor noticeable on the modern map.

Judging from Han Dynasty emissary Zhang Qian's change of mind on his return trip to go home along the Hami strip rather than going straight east across the Qiang-zhong or the middle Qiang nation land, we could tell that the northern strip was perhaps the most traveler-friendly. (Could Zhang Qian change his mind in the hope of sneaking into the Hunnic territory to see the child he had with the Hun woman?) That was Han Emperor Wudi's reign of B.C. 140-86, i.e., 140 BC and later, much later than the 3rd century BCE and 2nd century BCE Hun-Yuezhi wars.

While we don't know exactly what path Zhang Qian took to go west, noting he was caught by the Huns and had stay with the Huns for a dozen years, we could speculate that he must have taken the "safe" and "passible" path to the north, i.e., the path the Yuezhi exodus had taken, near the Tianshan and Altaic mountain ranges. We do know from his self account what path he took to return to China. Zhang took the path along the edge of the Kunlun Mountain, i.e., the southern edge of the Tarim basin/desert, and then along the Altun (Ah-er-Jin) Mountain, intending to then move through the "Qiang zhong", i.e., the middle Qiangic land, which was south of [contemporarily-named] Qilian. Zhang's interest was to check out the source of the Yellow River, and he confirmed that there were two river systems in Chinese Turkistan, i.e., the west-to-east Tarim River flowing down the Pamirs, and the south-to-north Hotien River flowing down the "Nan shan" (southern mountain) which was what we Chinese called by Kunlun Mountain since Han Dynasty Emperor Wudi's era - as the name Kunlun was personally santified by the emperor after reviewing Zhang Qian's report on the western territories. However, Zhang Qian then changed mind, and in lieu of going east, he traveled north around the Lop Nur (Luobupuo area), passing the Loulan land for Gushi, which was between Loulan and today's Urumqi. On this northbound road, Zhang Qian was caught by the Huns again. (In Chinese records, same names were applied to mountains in and outside of the domain: the "Nan shan" [southern mountain] was commonly used for the Qilian Mountain range which was itself originally named Mt. Kunlun, meaning magnificent and heavenly in Chinese, till the time the Huns defeated the Yuezhi [? at Lake Juyan] and subsequently took over the western corridor from apparently the Qiangs [as the the western corridor was to become the demarcation line between the Qiang people and the Hu people in th Han Dynasty, known as the segregation of the Qiangs from the Huns via military garrisons along the corridor, i.e., one of the two Chinese policies to weaken the Huns were to become], and renamed the mountain to Qilian, meaning heavenly in the Hunnic terminology. After Zhang Qian's trip to the west, the "Nan shan" [southern mountain] came to denote the current Kunlun Mountain that ran straight into Tibet from the Pamirs, after Han Emperor Wudi [B.C. 140-86] personally termed the newly-imported Khotan jade as the Kunlun Jade, i.e., an archaic name. Chinese, in addition, named the present Tianshan [heavenly] Mountain of Chinese Turkestan as the "Bei shan" (northern mountain], and the Altaic Mountain by Jinshan [gold mountain] --where the later Turkic word Altay was meant for 'gold'.)

What Gen. Li Guangli did was another interesting matter worthy of noting. With Zhang Qian walking the circle around Loulan and the Lop Nur (Luobupuo area), it was not hard to figure out the depth and radius of the "Liu Sha (Kumtag)" flowing sand desert. Hence, with the "pierce vacuum" knowledge, Gen. Li Guangli FORCEFULLY took the straight path across the flowing sand desert. In the first trip, he lost majority of his troops to both the desert and the fighting against the natives living to the west of the Lop Nur (Luobupuo area), i.e., so-called Peacock River or Salty River, a parallel river to the Tarim River, which ended dead in the sand, and was known as so-called "salt lake" or "Puchang Sea", with a wild claim, also carried in the Mountain and Sea Legends, that the water, including that from the Pamir-Tarim flow, disappeared into the ground at the Lop Nur (Luobupuo area) and flowed below earth's surface to re-appear as the source of the water for the Yellow River. After Han Wudi Wudi [B.C. 140-86] defeated the Huns, first time ever, China built forts and stationed farming soldiers straight west towards the Salty Lake direction, which was a shortcut undoubtedly and later went into oblivion when Han Dynasty's imperial power subsided over the Chinese Turkestan.

Now, let's talk about human migration. There were widespread discussions of 'Caucasoid' mummies in Chinese Turkestan, with 'Loulan Beaty' purportedly dated 2000 B.C., while the southern 'cousins' in the Khotan area dated 100-300 B.C. The timeline suggested a move from north to south, not west to east. The 2000 B.C. Caucasoid mummies found in Loulan, in the Turpan Depression/Kumtag Desert, in-between Altaic/Tianshan Mountains and the Altun Mountain (Ruoqiang), could be the Indo-European people coming from the north of the Altaic Mountain [the Mongol Altaic Mountain of today], near the Alfanesevo bronze culture. Yuezhi could be of this group of people coming from north. Further diggings in the Loulan area, i.e., the ancient Salty Lake and Salty River (Peacock Rover), led to a site called by Xiaohe or the Little River, next to the Salty River (Peacock Rover), where Mongoloid Mummies were discovered. It appears to me there was indeed good carbon dating on Xiaohe excavations, saying "The entire necropolis can be divided, based on the archeological materials, into earlier and later layers. Radiocarbon measurement (14C) dates the lowest layer of occupation to around 3980 ± 40 BP (personal communications; calibrated and measured by Wu Xiaohong, Head of the Laboratory of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Peking University), which is older than that of the Gumugou cemetery (dated to 3800)." The article claimed that the 'Mongoloid' mtDNA had similarity to some present South Siberian population. (For details, check http://www.biomedcen.../1741-7007/8/15 for the full article "Evidence that a West-East admixed population lived in the Tarim Basin as early as the early Bronze Age".)

The linking of this certain mtDNA in Xiaohe/Loulan area to a modern Siberian population could be said to be circumvential at best since a lot of things had happened in the past 4000 years. It kind of had the same timing as the Mongoloid mummies that were discovered to the north and east of the Tianshan Mountain. More than what was found about the mtDNA at Xiaohe/Loulan, there were mummies of Khams Tibetan type found to the further north, at the Tianshan-Altaic mountain areas, which presented a much more convincing point that the proto-Tibetan Qiangs had indeed crossed over the strip of the sand desert near Loulan to reach the north side of Tianshan. Possibly, the Khams [proto-]Tibetan, after reaching Tianshan Mountain Range, moved towards Hami (Qumul) to the east, where there were the Hami (Qumul) Mongoloid mummies excavated. Note that today's Kham Tibetans were not far away from the historical Sanxingdui (three star) Excavations in western Sichuan, that was discovered by Gaway Hann (an American professor of the former Huaxi University), a Neolithic/Bronze culture dating from about 4800 to 2800 years ago, as well as a bridge providing Southwest China's tin to the Shang dynasty and the Zhou dynasty.

It could be possible that the Loulan area had seen settlements rise and fall several times in ancient times. The Peacock River that flows into the Lop Nur Lake was known as the salty water river, and the lake was named the Salty Lake. While the water coming down the mountain may not be salty, the salty lake did not portend to be a source of fresh water supply that could supply any civilization. My point was that the Loulan area was not a permanent settlement. Either the Indo-Europeans had come earlier than the Khams [proto-]Tibetans, or the Khams [proto-]Tibetans earlier than the Indo-Europeans. (In this sense, no matter the Mongoloid mummies in Chinese Turkestan were linked to today's South Siberian people or today's Kham (Xi-kang) Tibetans, they could all be traced to the original San-miao exile epic.)

I found this guy, Jan Romgard, to have read much more about this mummy topic, and gave a much sounder presentation. See http://www.sino-plat...5_silk_road.pdf. I spent some time reading "SINO-PLATONIC PAPERS". What it said was that "the Yanbulake site excavated in the mid 1980s, eight out of 29 examined skeletons were estimated to be of Caucasian origin while the others were defined as Mongoloid, or to be more specific, 'similar' to the 'Khams Tibetan type'." What he cited was the research showing that the so-called "Asian" mtDNA mummies were related to Khams Tibetans, "a group within the ethnic Tibetan community situated in eastern Tibet" today.

My reasoning was that the Qiangs had a dominance in the area since China's prehistory, like 5000 years ago, at least the time of the Yellow Emperor [Huangdi (l. BC 2697 - 2599 ?)], and they controlled the southern rim, southeastern rim and western rim of the Taklamakan Desert, and somehow around 2000 B.C., penetrated northward to reach the two sides of the Tianshan mountain range, while the so-called Caucasoid oases in their path, namely, the Loulan area, might have risen and fallen numerous times in history -- if they ever existed there prior to the penetration by the Khams [proto-]Tibetans.

Or the other way around, the Khams [proto-]Tibetans could be speculated to have penetrated to the two sides of the Tianshan mountain range earlier than the Indo-Europeans, and subsequently encountered the Indo-Europeans near the Tianshan Mountain, and ultimately the Indo-Europeans gradually dominated over the area and eliminated the trace of the Khams [proto-]Tibetans, pressing them back to the southeastern rim of the Taklamakan Desert.

According to Sima Qian, the 'San Miao' people, who resided in the land where the later Chu Statelet was, were mostly relocated to western China to guard against the western border, i.e., LIU-SHA (drift sand), known as Kumtag today, with borderline covering the Blackwater Lake at today's Mongolia border (which was disputed by Chen Ping to mean the Blackwater River to the south of Qilian and near the Bailongjiang River of Sichuan --a seismically active place Xu Xiangqian's Red Army travelled through). Lord Shun (l. 2257 - 2208 BC ?) relocated them to western China as a punishment for their aiding Dan Zhu (the son of Lord Yao) in rebellion. To the west of today's Dunhuang of Gansu Province was a mountain named 'San Wei Shan' where the Three Miao peoples were exiled. ('San Wei Shan' literally meant for the San-miao Precarious Mountain.) This could lead to a sound speculation that Sino-Tibetan speaking San Miao people had dwelled in Gansu much earlier than the later Indo-European Yuezhi people --should they had ever moved east to the Juyan Lake at all to be in conflict with the Huns in the 3rd century B.C. The approximate date would be about 2258 BC for the San Miao relocation. The San-miao migration was an epic that was extensively researched by Feng Shi, Bian Ren and Chen Ping et al [the ranks among whom could have been the most notorious forgery generation of the P.R.C. in the late 20th century]. While the route of research in linking the excavated ancient pictagraphs [ ! possibly a forgery ! ] on the Shandong peninsula to Southwest China's Yi-zu minority writing was tenuous, the extrapolations on basis of historical namings of the Yi (misnomer Dong-yi) statelets and tribes as well as the historical namings of places in Anhui-Henan-Hubei tri-provincial areas are sound enough to trace the ancient tribal migrations to derive conclusions i) that the ancient Chi-you Tribe was the Yi people who migrated towards Anhui-Henan-Hubei to mix up with the San-miao people at the Yangtze; ii) that elements of the Yi tribes joined the San-miao's exile towards Northwest China where they developed into the later Xian-yun barbarians (Huns) as well as co-mingled with the natives to become the ancient Jiang-rong; and iii) that a branch of the San-miao/Yi exiles moved south to Southwest China to become the Di-qiang barbarians and today's Yi-zu minority people. (The character 'Yi', as shown above, was originally a neutral people denoting the people living in today's eastern China and along the coast, but later mutated the meaning to mean for barbarians in the east, and later again expanded to be more an inclusive word to mean all aliens or barbarians. As Wang Zhonghan had researched,the ancient Huns belonged to the Jiang-rong group, not the Tungunsic group that attacked west from Manchuria.)

There could have been a striking similarity between the Mongol attack at the Tanguts in the 13th cent. A.D. and the Hun attack at the Yuezhi in the 3rd cent. B.C. Both took the desert road towards the Blackwater Lake. It kind of gives you a picture how the Huns first raided to the west against the Yuezhi, forcing the Yuezhi Major to flee west while the elderly and the children, i.e., the Yuezhi Minor, crossed the Qilian mountain to seek asylum with the Qiangs, and per Yu Taishan, continued to move on towards the southeastern rim of the Taklamakan Desert, towards Khotan where the people were recorded to be Mongoloid, i.e., Hua-xia-looking, throughout China's Han and Tang dynastic records, till annihilated sometime during the Islamic invasion of the Buddhist stronghold of Khotan or possibly during the earlier Turkic-Uygur conquest of the Chinese Turkistan. Note the discovery of the so-called 100-300 BC Caucasoid in Khotan, which matched with the escape timeframe of the Yuezhi Minor. (Another recent writing on Zhou King Muwang's travelogue at the imperialchina.org blog, available in pdf format [Mu-tian-zi.pdf], exhibited the westernmost extent of the ancient Chinese kingdom to be no more than the edge of the Kumtag Desert and right at the Black Water Lake.)

This webmaster tried to reconcile Sima Qian's statement in regards to the migration of the Lesser Yuezhi, in the aftermath of the Huns' attack in the last years of the 3rd century BCE, to give the Yuezhi people some credit of living a bit further to the east, i.e., staying somewhere near the Blackwater Lake [i.e., the Ejina or Juyan Lake]. By making this assumption, this webmaster assumed that the Lesser Yuezhi people, namely, the sick, the elderly and the young, climbed the Qilian-shan Mountain [today's Qilian-shan, not what Yu Taishan et al had postulated to be the Tianshan or the Heavenly Mountain Range in Turkestan] to live among the Qiangs --unless Sima Qian actually meant that the Huns had raided deep into the Chinese Turkestan in the first place, driving the Greater Yuezhi into a flee towards the Ili area to the west and the Lesser Yuezhi into a move across today's Tianshan or the Heavenly Mountain Range to live with the Qiangs in Khotan, at the southeastern rim of the Taklamakan Desert, a historical dwelling place of the Qiangs since the mid-3rd millennium BCE.

In conclusion, there were two points of contact between the west and the east, once around the 2000 BCE, and another time in the 3rd century BCE. The demarcation point of the 4th century or the 3rd century BC was important in determining the second point of contact between the Mongoloid and the Caucasoid, after the first Mongoloid-Caucasoid mummy contact around 2000 BCE near today's Tianshan or the Heavenly Mountain, known as Bei-shan or the Northern [Turkestan] Mountain at Han Emperor Wudi's timeframe. It would be in the 4th century BCE that Shi-zi first wrote down the sentence speculating that 2300 years earlier, at the time of the Yellow Overlord [Huangdi (l. BC 2697 - 2599 ?)], there were deep-eyesocket people living to the north. This brilliant piece of work by Shi-zi apparently adopted some then-current information available as of the 4th century BCE, in a similar fashion to the later forgery Guan-zi which, relying on the then-current information available as of the 1st century AD, claimed that Qi Hegemony Lord Huan'gong had crossed the Kumtag Desert to conquer the Yu-shi [or misnomer Yuezhi] people.

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Edited by ahxiang, 25 August 2012 - 09:06 PM.

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