June 13, 2008
mtDNA of Tarim mummies
The National Geographic documentary on the Tarim mummies reports on recent mtDNA work on the Tarim mummies. The program doesn't really reveal anything new to anyone familiar with the story of these mummies, but there are some nice segments of some of them as they would have been during their lifetime. At some point, the camera shows what appear to be haplogroup assignments, although I wouldn't vouch as to what these actually mean. or to who exactly they belong. What they do say is that they found markers from "Europe, West Eurasia, Siberia, Tibet, Mongolia, even India". They also mention that the "Beauty of Loulan", the "Boy" have "unexpected marks of East Asian ancestry", and "Cherchen Man" also carries "a surprising East Asian lineage" and that the "Shaman" has a "lineage frequently seen in the Himalayas and India".