Human skull found in 1,400-year-old Ningxia tomb of European origin?

By Sushmita Dhekne, August 18, 2014

0 0

Behold, the first expat! The remains of a human skull, originally uncovered by intrepid Chinese scientists in Guyuan – a small city in Ningxia, South West China, may in fact be of European origin.

Predating Marco Polo by some 600 hundred years, the 1,400-year-old European skull was unearthed from the enchantingly named “M1401 tomb” on what was once an integral stop on the Silk Road.

Zhang Quanchao, a professor from the Research Center for Chinese Frontier Archaeology of Jilin University, described the skull as having “typical European features”. He explains:

From the skull you can see there is a protruding nasal bone, nasal root depression as well as a prominent facial level [big nose]; these are typical characteristics of Europeans. Unfortunately we've only found an incomplete skull. Through subsequent excavations of teeth, bone etc., and technological means we can make more precise judgements on age etc. If there are no other findings, we will try to extract DNA in the skull. We will compare the DNA to that of a bone from a Shi [clan member's] tomb to see if there exists a genetic relationship.

Zhu Cunshi, head of the archaeological team, said miscellaneous items from the early Tang Dynasty (618-907) including clay figures, copper coins and murals were recovered in the digging. 

Although discovered in the 80's, the tomb was opened by archaeologists only two months ago to 'protect it from illegal excavations'.

more news

Mummified monk found inside 1,000-year-old Buddha statue

Song mummy believed to be case of self-mummification.

Bodies of 5 year old girls missing since December found in well

The bodies of two missing five year old girls were found in a well Monday in Luohe, Henan province.

5 year old found dangling from 6th floor ledge

A five-year-old boy in Danyang, Jiangsu Province suffered a near-death-experience after he fell out of a sixth-floor bathroom window and was hanging on to the ledge last Saturday. Luckily, he was saved by the swift and methodical reaction of his neighbours.

PHOTOS: Take a Look at the Real Santa's Workshop

How your Christmas decorations are made.

Useful Mandarin Phrases: Thanksgiving

A list of essential Thanksgiving phrases to help you through the classic American holiday!

30 Awesome Things To Do in Shenzhen

A selection of some of the best things to do in Shenzhen.

This Day in History: China Star Li Ning Shines at 1984 Olympics

Defying a Soviet Union-led boycott, Li Ning earns the nickname Prince of Gymnasts.

This Day in History: China Ends the Eunuch Era

Finally banned in 1924, the system had endured for over 3,000 years and through 25 dynasties.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives