2,000 year old mummified corpse discovered in Mongolia

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A Korea-Mongolia joint archaeological dig has uncovered the mummified remains of a Chinese man in the Altai Mountains, seemingly indicating ample cultural exchange between the East and West some 2,000 years ago.

2,000 year old mummified corpse discovered in Mongolia
The mummified corpse of a man wearing Chinese clothes found by a team of South Korean 
researchers in a tomb believed to date back about 2,000 years in western Mongolia 
[Credit: National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage]

The project was conducted at the Shiveet Khairkhan mountain in Mongolia, across where Pazyrik culture-style stone tombs are scattered. Pazyrik refers to a Scythian Iron Age archaeological culture that existed between the 6th and 3rd century BC.

It was conducted to research the correlation between the stone tombs of the Altai Mountains region and those found in Korea, and was jointly carried out by National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage and Institute of Archaeology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences.

2,000 year old mummified corpse discovered in Mongolia
The ancient tomb and mummified remains of what is presumed to be a Chinese male 
[Credit: National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage]

The excavated mummy was about 165-170 centimeters tall and was presumed to be from the 1st century AD. The garments were the style that was in fashion in China during that era.

As the Chinese kingdoms during the era were mostly confined to what is now central regions of China, officials at NRICH said that the dig strongly indicates that the region was a hub for cultural exchange between the East and West during that era.

“It is yet unclear if the male mummy was a merchant travelling along the Silk Road, or was related to the mass migration during the transition period of Qin dynasty and Han dynasty. Additional scientific analysis must take place,” officials from the NRICH said, vowing more research on the culture exchange in the Eurasian region of the ancient times.

Author: Yoon Min-sik | Source: Korea Herald [October 16, 2017]

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