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China unearths the oldest mummy on Silk Road

China has unearthed the mummified remains of a middle-aged man on a less frequented section of the ancient Silk Road on the edge of China's Qinghai-Tibet plateau.

Jul 1, 2017 09:04 IST
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China has unearthed the mummified remains of a middle-aged man on a less frequented section of the ancient Silk Road on the edge of China's Qinghai-Tibet plateau.

The mummy is believed to be 1,700 years old. It was found at a construction site in the town of Mang'ai.

Speaking on the development, a senior Chinese official stated that the mummy is in a good shape. It is perhaps the oldest and the best-preserved mummy discovered on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

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Key Details

• The body measures 1.62 metres and features perfectly preserved skin and hair remnants.

• The body is believed to have belonged to a man in his 40s.

• The man has his hands crossed over the abdomen.

• To know further about the man's ethnicity and identity, archaeologists will conduct DNA tests.

Besides this, the mummy was found amidst dried reeds, dyed cloth mats, a horse's hoof, and sheep bones, all of which were thought to be funeral objects for the upper class of the time.

The area where the body was found is on the northern edge of the plateau close to Taklamakan Desert, on a less travelled off-shoot route of the ancient Silk Road. Traders took this route to avoid conflict on the Hexi Corridor, the much-popular main road.

Mummies are usually formed in very dry environments which prevent bodies from decay.

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