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DNA Results for the Taklamakan/Urumqi Mummies

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  • DNA Results for the Taklamakan/Urumqi Mummies

    Hello Everyone,

    I think this topic may have been dealt with in "*Poof* You're a Uyghur," but combing through that thread is making my brain bleed.

    Anyway, I understand that DNA tests have confirmed a "European" origin for at least one of the famous Taklamakan/Urumqi mummies found in China:

    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/...cle1222214.ece

    Does anyone know what DNA was tested and what the results were in haplogroup terms?

    Thanks in advance,
    britzkrieg

  • #2
    Because of the nonsense about 'Celts', perhaps the yDNA haplogroup was R1b. This would not be surprising, because the Uyghurs have plenty of R1b to this day:

    http://www.scs.uiuc.edu/~mcdonald/Wo...groupsMaps.pdf

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by lgmayka
      Because of the nonsense about 'Celts', perhaps the yDNA haplogroup was R1b. This would not be surprising, because the Uyghurs have plenty of R1b to this day:
      That thought certainly crossed my mind, but it seems that it would be easier to get mitochondrial DNA from such old remains.

      Comment


      • #4
        Haplogroup H

        I may have answered my own question. According to these lecture notes (PDF), the single sample researchers were able to test proved to be Haplogroup H (mitochondrial DNA, I presume):

        www.nd.edu/~nsl/Lectures/phys178/pdf/chap3_3.pdf

        Comment


        • #5
          Lalueza Fox et al. Unravelling migrations in the steppe analyze skeletons from Kazakhstan (whose relation to the chinese mummies is unknown, but presumably they may represent related populations) and find that before around the VII century BC all bodies had western eurasian mtdna haplogroups, while later there are also eastern ones. The statistics for the whole sample (without distinguishing the period) are:
          H 7
          HV 2
          I 1
          T 4
          U 6
          W 1
          A 3
          M 2
          G 1

          cacio

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by lgmayka
            Because of the nonsense about 'Celts', perhaps the yDNA haplogroup was R1b. This would not be surprising, because the Uyghurs have plenty of R1b to this day:

            http://www.scs.uiuc.edu/~mcdonald/Wo...groupsMaps.pdf
            I think the Celtic confusion is the result of a combination of factors.

            The Taklan Makan mummies are believed to have been Tocharians. The Tocharians spoke an Indo-European language with certain Celtic affinities but that was certainly not Celtic itself. For one thing, it was a Western-type centum language rather than an Eastern satem language, which led some scholars to propose that the Tocharians came from the PIE group that included the Proto-Celts.

            Speculative stuff.

            Then there was some confusion over the tartan-like clothes found with the mummies.

            Of course, weaving check-and-stripe patterns into textiles is not something unique to one kind of people.

            Comment


            • #7
              The tartans are highly relevant, as are the pointy hats worn by some of the women. Textiles experts have confirmed that the method of weaving was virtually identical in terms of the tartans. Thus, the similarities go beyond the mere superficial to a strong likelihood that at minimum the Tocharians had contact with the Celts, and at maximum were of the same culture. We appear to have better information about what the Tocharians were speaking then we do the celts of the same era. To me there is a strong likelihood that the culture to which the celts belonged was widely pervasive across europe and asia. It would be nice if this culture was represented by only a few haplogroups, but, unfortunately, this remains to be seen. I would love to be related to one of these warriors!

              John

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Johnserrat
                Textiles experts have confirmed that the method of weaving was virtually identical in terms of the tartans. Thus, the similarities go beyond the mere superficial to a strong likelihood that at minimum the Tocharians had contact with the Celts, and at maximum were of the same culture. We appear to have better information about what the Tocharians were speaking then we do the celts of the same era. To me there is a strong likelihood that the culture to which the celts belonged was widely pervasive across europe and asia.
                1) The tartan weave is almost universal:

                http://www.kilts.biz/kilt_stories/wh...for_scots.html
                ---
                Any place where the people have the ability to weave cloth is likely to have some kind of tartan. Once the skills are acquired to produce solid color cloth, the next logical step to make it more decorative is to add stripes. If you weave stripes into the warp and weft of the cloth, you have a tartan.
                ...
                In the illustration (shown here) of courtesan ****suka of Tamaya, painted by Jippensha Ikku between 1802-1822, tartan cloth can clearly be seen.

                The Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan, in the Himalayas, is famous for its tradition of fine hand woven textiles, many of which are of a tartan pattern.
                ...
                The latest unexpected place I have discovered tartans being used is Africa. The warriors of the Masai people, called Moran, are frequently outfitted with bright red tartan.
                ...
                Tartan truly is an ancient art form, which can be found the world over.
                ---

                2) We know very well what the Celts spoke: Celtic languages! The best statistical analysis I've seen says that Tocharian broke off from the rest of Indo-European about 5900 BC, and went east. Celtic, in contrast, broke off from Italo-Germanic around 4100 BC, and went west. By the time of the mummies, Tocharian and Celtic had been separated for many thousands of years.

                3) Instead of a single culture across Europe and Asia, which would have been quite unmaintainable with the technology of that time, it is at least more reasonable to imagine trade routes across the steppe, from the Celts of Central Europe all the way to the Tocharians of Central Asia.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lgmayka
                  1) The tartan weave is almost universal:


                  2) We know very well what the Celts spoke: Celtic languages! The best statistical analysis I've seen says that Tocharian broke off from the rest of Indo-European about 5900 BC, and went east. Celtic, in contrast, broke off from Italo-Germanic around 4100 BC, and went west. By the time of the mummies, Tocharian and Celtic had been separated for many thousands of years.
                  Italo-Germanic? According to this source, the Proto-Germanic lived in northern Europe and the Celts lived south of them and separated the Germanic from Italy:

                  http://www.faqs.org/faqs/nordic-faq/...section-4.html

                  For the following years, 2,000 B.C. - 200 B.C., the map of cultures in
                  Northern Europe looks almost static:
                  * In the North there are proto-Sámis hunting and moving all the way
                  from the Ural mountains to the Norwegian coast.
                  * From Gulf of Finland to River Volga there are proto-Finns,
                  * and south of them Indo-European Balts and Slavs.
                  * Denmark, Pomerania and the south-western Scandinavian peninsula
                  were inhabited by proto-Germanic people.
                  * In the South the domain of the Celts was south of River Elbe,
                  stretching to the Pyrenées, to the Mediterranean and over the Alps
                  and the Carpats.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Eki
                    Italo-Germanic? According to this source, the Proto-Germanic lived in northern Europe and the Celts lived south of them and separated the Germanic from Italy:
                    Your cited source is talking about a much later period of residency. My source

                    http://www.psych.auckland.ac.nz/Psyc...kinson2003.pdf

                    claims that the Celtic language (and hence the historical Celts) originally broke off from a common Celto-Italo-Germanic base around 4100 BC. In other words, the Celts would have first set out westward at that time.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My Italian sources tell the first to split off from the family was Germanic.
                      This would lead to an Italo-Celtic family; proof of that would be lexical similarities, the same singular genitive ending in i and the same construction in case of deponent and future verbs.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by F.E.C.
                        My Italian sources tell the first to split off from the family was Germanic.
                        This would lead to an Italo-Celtic family; proof of that would be lexical similarities, the same singular genitive ending in i and the same construction in case of deponent and future verbs.
                        The statistical paper I referenced gives 4100 BC as the split-off of Celtic, and 3500 BC as the split between Italic and Germanic. The rather small difference might even be within the statistical margin of error.

                        My main point was that Tocharian had split off much earlier, and by the time of the mummies had been separated from Celtic for many thousands of years.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=lgmayka]1) The tartan weave is almost universal:

                          http://www.kilts.biz/kilt_stories/wh...for_scots.html
                          ---
                          Any place where the people have the ability to weave cloth is likely to have some kind of tartan. Once the skills are acquired to produce solid color cloth, the next logical step to make it more decorative is to add stripes. If you weave stripes into the warp and weft of the cloth, you have a tartan.
                          ...
                          In the illustration (shown here) of courtesan ****suka of Tamaya, painted by Jippensha Ikku between 1802-1822, tartan cloth can clearly be seen.

                          The Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan, in the Himalayas, is famous for its tradition of fine hand woven textiles, many of which are of a tartan pattern.
                          ...
                          The latest unexpected place I have discovered tartans being used is Africa. The warriors of the Masai people, called Moran, are frequently outfitted with bright red tartan.
                          ...
                          Tartan truly is an ancient art form, which can be found the world over.
                          QUOTE]


                          I have to disagree with you on this one. The japanese reference is after 1800, when there had already been significant contact with europeans during the Edo period. The spanish reference on the link makes sense because there were many celtic people living in spain. The spanish have their own kilts and even bagpipes. When did the bhutanese and masai start wearing tartan textiles?

                          Elizabeth Wayland Barber, a world-renowned expert on prehistoric textiles, has written a book on this subject that is worth reading. I include a link to an article in which her book is mentioned:

                          http://home.eircom.net/content/irela...view=Eircomnet

                          John

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Johnserrat
                            Elizabeth Wayland Barber, a world-renowned expert on prehistoric textiles, has written a book on this subject that is worth reading. I include a link to an article in which her book is mentioned:

                            http://home.eircom.net/content/irela...view=Eircomnet
                            But did you read her considered opinion?
                            ---
                            In her book The Mummies of Urumchi, the renowned textile expert Elizabeth Wayland Barber examines the tartan-style cloth and reckons it can be traced back to Anatolia and the Caucasus.

                            Her theory is this group divided, starting in the Caucasus - one group went west and another east.
                            ---

                            Her geography here perfectly fits the most common opinion concerning:

                            a) The spread of horse domestication technology (horseback, horse-drawn wagons, chariots)

                            b) The spread of Indo-European languages.

                            Her opinion, in other words, is that the tartan cloth is simply Indo-European, not Celtic in particular.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That was my point; that the celts belonged to a culture that was widely distributed over europe and asia. Call the culture indo-european if you like. The celts certainly did not call themselves "celts" until recently.

                              John

                              Comment

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