The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mysteries of the Earliest Peoples from the West

The Tarim Mummies Ancient China and the Mysteries of the Earliest Peoples from the West A fascinating and readable accounta valuable compendium of recent research on a little known region Archaeology Essential reading for archaeologists and scholars Choice The best preserved mummies in

  • Title: The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mysteries of the Earliest Peoples from the West
  • Author: J.P. Mallory Victor H. Mair
  • ISBN: 9780500051016
  • Page: 450
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A fascinating and readable accounta valuable compendium of recent research on a little known region Archaeology, Essential reading for archaeologists and scholars Choice The best preserved mummies in the world are found not in Egypt or Peru but in the museums of Xinjiang, the westernmost province of modern China For thousands of years the occupants of the A fascinating and readable accounta valuable compendium of recent research on a little known region Archaeology, Essential reading for archaeologists and scholars Choice The best preserved mummies in the world are found not in Egypt or Peru but in the museums of Xinjiang, the westernmost province of modern China For thousands of years the occupants of the barren wastes and oases that would later become the Silk Road buried their dead in the desiccating sands of the Taklimakan, the second greatest desert on earth This arid environment, preserving body and clothing, allows an unparalleled glimpse into the lives and appearance of a prehistoric people these are the faces of ancient Indo Europeans who settled in the Tarim Basin on the western rim of China some four millennia ago, 2000 years before West and East recognized each other s existence The book examines the clues left by physical remains economy, technology, and textiles and traces of local languages It is the definitive account of one of the most extraordinary archaeological discoveries of recent times 190 illustrations, 13 in color.

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    One thought on “The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mysteries of the Earliest Peoples from the West”

    1. As odd as this topic might seem, it is fascinating. For many years, explorers and archaeologists have uncovered ancient burials in Central Asia of people who look very Caucasoid, along with cultural artifacts which appear similar to Europeans', especially the Celts.These mummies were preserved not by treatment, but naturally by the very dry climate and, in some cases, very salty environment.Although this is a very controversial topic, since the Chinese government resists any implication that cer [...]

    2. I bought this book because I've always been vaguely interested in the Tarim mummies but have learnt nothing about them. Also because it was written by Victor Mair who is an excellent scholar. I've really enjoyed books by him in the past, and got to hear him talk at the Dunhuang conference I went to a couple years ago. The book is actually so much more than a book on the mummies. It's actually a history of East Central Asia. It looks at the different people and cultures that lived in the area, wh [...]

    3. The book, “The Tarim Mummies Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West”, “by J. P. Mallory and Victor H. Mair” was about the Tarim mummies. Before the authors talk about the mummies, they show a bit of the background of Victor H. Mair and the mummies. They talk about the steps he had to go through to see the mummies and the people he had to talk to. He went to many graves to recover some of the other mummies and he began to study them. There were both male and f [...]

    4. Informative book, but the language is a little too convoluted for it to be easily absorbed. Still, fascinating area.

    5. The Tarim Mummies is an excellent book for anyone travelling to China's western regions in so many regards--its short introductions and sidebars to a variety of topics (language, archaeology, history, explorers, migrations, art history, textiles, animal husbandry) are excellent and make this book far more readable than many available 'introductions' to the region. Yes, the focus is on the Tarim mummies (of which there are/were thousands), but in addressing the question of who they were, one firs [...]

    6. I started this book at the end of April and finished it in mid-October. Don't let that fool you, though: the only real problem with this book is that it's too large and heavy to take on the train, and so (for someone like me, anyway) the only time to read it is at bedtime, when I can only get through four pages max before conking out, which is the only reason why it took almost six months of fairly regular reading to finish it. In terms of the content and the writing style, this book is a gem.Th [...]

    7. I have been interested in this subject since I read Elizabeth Wayland Barber's "The Mummies of Urumchi". This is an excellent, well written analysis of the archeological and linguistic evidence regarding the caucasian mummies found in the Tarim basin, dating back to pre-Christian history. Due to the arid nature of the basin, the mummies are more perfectly preserved than Egyptian mummies, partially because the preservation was natural and accidental, rather than purposeful. Many look like they ar [...]

    8. Chatty popular presentation of historic, archaeological, and linguistic evidence that might explain who the Tarim Mummies were. Although the introduction indicated that one of the author's interests was DNA analysis of the mummies, at the time this book was written they only had 1 DNA result. The argument can be a bit hard to follow, as there isn't(wasn't) enough data to do more than build a hypothetical model -- and, of course, the many many ethnic groups and languages are for the most part unk [...]

    9. "A book not worth rereading is not worth reading in the first place." - Anatoly LibermanDespite only getting three stars from me, this is one of my prized books. I go back to it about once a year & still learn more from it. I appreciate it more with each re-read. It would have been rated higher if the chapters weren't so uneven in quality. Some are so dense it was difficult to follow, but the book aims at being comprehensive, covering archaeology, forensics, art history, historical linguisti [...]

    10. I bought this book when researching an article for Slate about the Kanjiashimenzi Petroglyphs in western China. It's a fascinating story about how Europoid people, probably on horseback, migrated from eastern Europe to what is now western China around 3500 BCE and left behind a trove of mummiesto to tell their story. It's good that the Chinese government has finally lifted ideological restrictions on their study. For a seemingly dry subject like archaeology, the book is witty and compelling.

    11. This lovely, illustrated book provides an extensive investigation of the Tarim mummies - who they were, their neighbours, the mummies, their languages, their life and culture etc. The book is scholarly, but well written and not boring at all. The book has a nice balance of enough detail but not too much irrelevant waffling. I especially liked the authors dry sense of humour.

    12. This is a fascinating account of the non-Chinese mummies found in the far west of China. This book allows a glimpse into the lives and appearance of the prehistoric peoples who settled the Tarim Basin some four millennia ago.

    13. I wish there was more material (book itself says there are heaps of undocumented textiles etc.) in the appendices, but I still liked it a lot.

    14. A very good history of the Tarim mummies. While there were times this book did get bogged down with facts, it did provide good information.

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