February 21, 2011

"Secrets of the Silk Road" @ Penn Museum

Here is the website of an exhibition that will run through March 28. There is also a weekly lecture series to accompany the event, the first few of which have been posted at the site. Here is the first one:

Introduction to the Silk Road by Nancy Steinhardt

The Tarim Basin Mummies by Victor Mair

UPDATE: Mair is mistaken when he states that Tocharian is the 2nd oldest language after Hittite.


lkdjf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ashraf said...

Thanks a lot

cacio said...

I went to the exhibit this weekend. Very interesting and worth a trip. Many objects, especially clothes and fabric, a rarity for archaeology. There's that of a small child, and, the showstopper, the "beauty of Xiaohe", very impressive, with all her clothes (furs, felt) perfectly preserved.

The mummies will be on view only through the 15th of march.

pconroy said...


You are a racist troll, and pretty much everything you write here is pure flame bait, and as such should be summarily ignored.

@Everyone Else,

I'm really looking forward to attending this exhibit of red-haired, tartan/plaid wearing Europeans in North Western China. It's been said that these Europeans probably introduced the Horse, Cow, Wheel, Barley and many other innovations to China, even tattooing and acupuncture - as the earliest tattooing that indicated the cardinal acupuncture points is actually on Oetzi - the European alpine mummy.

fff said...

I bet the Tocharian people were more like Kalash, Nuristani, Pashai, Burusho, Pashtun, Dard, etc. people than modern European people. Though, those people sometimes look similar to some light skin Europeans even when discounting the similarities in hair color and eye color.

pconroy said...


There's a good book called Mummies of Urumchi, by ancient fabric expert, Elizabeth Wayland Barber. Based on clothing samples analysed, the particular type of tartan pattern has its origin in the North Caucasus region. However the fabric also has similarities to Hallstatt Culture salt miners from Central Europe. It was postulated that migrations out of the North Caucasus region were responsible for the similarities of both groups - rather than a migration from Europe.
Of course the Kalash and Nuristani may represent relict populations descended from these earlier Caucasian migrations - along with Tocharians and some Europeans. Alternatively the Kalash may be related to the descendants of the Tocharians, the Yeuh-chi, who founded the Kushan dynasty under Kanishka, and encompassed much of modern day Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Anonymous said...

@ fff : "I bet the Tocharian people were more like Kalash, Nuristani, Pashai, Burusho, Pashtun, Dard, etc. people than modern European people."

I bet the contrary :


Besides the East Eurasian lineage, two West Eurasian mtDNA haplogroups H and K were found among the Xiaohe people. H lineage is the most common mtDNAhaplogroup in West Eurasia [20], but haplogroup H with a 16260T was shared by only nine modern people in Genbank, including one Italian, one German, one Hungarian,one Portuguese, one Icelander and four English people.

The Y chromosome haplogroup of the seven males were all assigned to haplogroup R1a1a

also :


As for the Nuristani and similar south asian peoples the specific europoid features found among them could very well be the result of ancient IE migrations from central Asia duringh bronze age.