Buried in a desert inside their BOATS - 200 mummies with Western features have been found buried in an isolated graveyard in Tibet. The graveyard is in the middle of a desert, yet they were buried inside their overturned boats a long time ago, meaning they must have traveled there by water. But where did they come from? They have already done DNA testing on them to try to answer this question.
They died almost 4,000 years ago, and their bodies were preserved by the dry air. The mummies have European features, with brown hair and long noses. The graveyard is identified by a group of tall, thin poles, pointing to the sky. Since these mostly mark female graves, archeologists think they may be phallic symbols.
All the male mummies have a Y chromosome that is now mostly found in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Siberia, but rarely in China. Of the mitochondrial DNA sequences, which came from their mothers, one is from Siberia and two are common in Europe. Both the Y chromosome and the mitochondrial DNA lineages are ancient, meaning that the European and Siberian populations intermarried BEFORE entering the area 4,000 years ago.
The men wear felt caps with feathers tucked in the brim, which resembled Tyrolean mountain hats, and large woolen capes with tassels, as well as leather boots. The women are scantily clad, and have more phallic symbols buried with them.In such a small community, there would have been a great danger of inbreeding. In the March 16 edition of the New York Times, Nicholas Wade quotes researcher Victor H. Mair as saying, "Infant mortality must have been high, so the need for procreation, particularly in light of their isolated situation, would have been great. Those women who were able to produce and rear children to adulthood would have been particularly revered."
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