- XINING, July 6 (Xinhuanet)
-- Archeologists confirmed that the human skeletons discovered this May
in northwest China's Qinghai Province belonged to three Europeans who lived
in China over 1,900 years ago.
- "The physical characteristics of the bones showed
it is a typical European race," said Wang Minghui, an expert with
the archeological institute under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
- The skeletons were spotted at Zhongchuan Town of the
province's eastern most Minhe Hui and Tu Autonomous County.
- Since 2002, archeologists have unearthed nine tombs of
Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) at a construction site of a brickfield in the
town, but it was not until this May that they felt the skeletons in two
tombs "very special", said Ren Xiaoyan, deputy director if the
provincial archeological institute, who added they invited Wang, who specializes
in human bone identification, to take part in the study on the findings.
- Qinghai is on the southern section of the world-known
land trade corridor -- the Silk Road, linking China with Central and Western
Asia and to the eastern shores of the Mediterranean begins in the country's
northwest and runs 7,000 kilometers.
- Serving as an important bridge for the economic and cultural
exchanges between the East and the West, the area, which the Silk Road
covered in China, used to see throngs of Indian, Persian, Arabic, Greek
and Roman people.
- Ren said the tomb shape, the burial articles and the
way they were put in the tomb are all typical in Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220),
which proved the three westerners had lived here for a long time and were
accustomed to local traditions and customs.
- "Although so far, we have been not sure of the country
the three Europeans came from and there might be a large number of such
'westerners' living here at the ancient time," said Ren.
- Such European skeletons have only been revealed in northwest
China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, a neighboring region which is
to the northwest of Qinghai, so the discovery this time is of great importance
for the study of the ancient society in Qinghai, said Wang.
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