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Thread: Re: Dr. Mair's Take on Tarim Mummies

  1. #21
    Unregistered Guest


    Nice input Mr. Ghoja! I, as an Uyghur, thank you for your endeavor for bringing this up on this forum.

    A while ago, I had been occupied by this matter, and even wrote an email to Mr. Mair asking him to give an explanation for his rush conclusion, failing to receive any reply.

    One thing is very clear from his interview, that he tried all his best to convince the Chinese authorities to give specimen from the mummies to do DNA testing. There was clearly a deal between the two. He could prove the Eupoidness of these mummies to connect the culture to the so called ice man found near his Austrain home land (where he was originally from), promissing the Chinese that he would disconnect the local Uyghurs from the mummies. Nice deal, both sides are happy, making the local Uyghurs the victims.

    Putting this clear assumption aside, the irony about the DNA result was, according to Mair, Europoid. It is a joke for any serious genetic anthropologist. There isn't Europoid gene. There are Y chromosome (father to son), and mtdna (mother to daughter) genetic mark. Among them R1a and R1b are the main Y haplogroup among Europeans, among which R1a connected to the Qurghan culture ( probably Indoeuropean speakers) are very high among Qirghiz, Altai,as well as Uyghur etc Turkic groups. R1b was highest in Uyghurs among the central asian population. These two all together make up more than half of the Uyghur male genetic pattern. Moreover, the father genetic maker of R and Q (significant among Native Americans) is P which has the highest variety among Uyghurs and other central Asians. Conclusion is that: There was a group of people in the central asia (probably south Siberia) who scattered to the east and became Native Americans, to the west became Europeans and remained to became Turkic.

    however Mr. Ghoja, you have neglected some facts of the histoy of the Uyghurs. You are assuming the Uyghurs who migrated from the Mongolia as mongoloid. Archeological findings have been prooving that the population in the southern siberia were mixed people with significant caucasoid feature.

    You are neglecting the fact that Uyghurs empire in the Mongolia streched to Perghane valley, which definately included Qashqer.

    You are neglecting the fact earlier Kokturk empire streched even further west, and the main people of the empire was Tura (as Uyghurs were part of it).

    Finally, you are are neglecting the fact that Huns even earlier (direct ancestors of the Uyghurs) had ruled all over the Tarim region.

    If we go back even earlier time period, Di became Hun (Kunler) in the north, youzhi (Aylar) in the west. They were same in culture.

    That's for today. We can discuss further later.

    Have a nice day.

    blue wolf

    Quote Originally Posted by Turdi Ghoja View Post
    After reading the article with fresh eyes today, I decided to tone down some defensive wordings. I have not received any meaningful imput yet, so, here it is the version that goes out tomorrow night. You still have chance to throw in your two cents.


    In an article about the Tarim Mummies, Dr. Mair said he was disappointed at the mummies being dragged into a political dispute between the Chinese and Uyghurs. After reading his comments in several articles in the past couple of years, I begin to feel the same way about his pull on the racial aspect of it. Yes, the unique ethnicity of the mummies is the subject of his research, but one get the impression that he is so eager to draw a connection between the mummies and Western Europeans that he has become blind to many facts on the ground. One get the impression that he is more interested in proving that major accomplishments claimed by the Asians were in fact brought to them by whites, not just any whites, but whites of Northern or Western European stocks, than finding the truth about those mummies. Basically, what he said amounts to white people showed up in the heart of Asia some four thousand years ago and spread civilization to the Asians and after three thousand years mysteriously disappeared or killed off by the ancestors of current population of the Tarim Basin. As an Uyghur from the Tarim region I want to point out in a layman’s terms a few flaws in his theories and hypothesis.

    First of all, much of the fuss about “Caucasian mummies in China” would not be necessary without the assumption that Tarim Basin has been part of China since the ancient times just as the Chinese claims. If one drops this assumption, much of the excitement will be gone, but finding out the truth should be more important than generating popular interest. The fact is Tarim Basin was not a part of China until 19th Century, certainly not during the lifetime of those mummies. But, it has always been a part of the Central Asia geographically, culturally, and at times politically. While exchange of ideas and people between Middle East and Central Asia has a long proven history, perhaps goes as far back as the mummy people's times, contact between Central Asia and China did not happen until Zhang Qian's trip to the "Western Regions", a name used by the Chinese in the ancient times to refer to Central Asia including the Tarim Basin and beyond around 138 AD. There is a very simple explanation to that: There is no impassable geographical barrier between the former two, but there is a big stretch of desert and mountain between the Tarim Basin and China. The two civilizations, Tarim and Chinese, were separated by more than 500 miles of inhospitable desert, one of nature's biggest barriers in ancient times and today. That is why the people around the Tarim Basin today have so much in common with the people to the west in Central Asia and Middle East but almost nothing with the people to the East, the Chinese, even though there was limited contact with them after 138 AD through the famed Silk Road trade. We have different household tools, different farming tools, different food, different clothes, different music and dancing, different language and folklore, and different customs than the Chinese. But we have quite a few overlaps with our neighbors to the west. I am not a historian, but I am a scientist who can read the facts quite well. I know that any scientific theory and assumption has to be consistent with existing facts to be valid. And physical evidence does not support the assumption that Tarim Basin or East Turkistan was a part of China in ancient times. Since Central Asia including Tarim Basin was and is connected to Middle East, Caucasians in Tarim Basin should not be such a big surprise. After all, Caucasians were no strangers in the Middle East. Even today many people in Middle East and Central Asia including Afghanistan still have blue eyes, light brown hairs and fair skins even after thousands of years' of mixing of different peoples in these regions.

    Second, today’s Uyghurs are not the same as the ancient Uyghurs from Mongolia. Most ethnic groups today are the products of dynamic human history. They are forged by the interaction and mixing of several ancient ethnic groups. In other words, no major ethnic group today shares a "pure blood" with any one group lived in the past. The English has a well known mixed ancestry, so does the French, the German, the Spanish, the Chinese, the Arab and any one you name it. The Uyghurs are not exception. Our mixed heritage is clearer than any one else. If one travels from Qumul in the eastern part of East Turkistan along the Tarim Basin to Korla, Kucha, Aksu, Kashgar, Yarkent and Hotan, he can witness the mosaic of peoples, dialects and customs that form the fabrics of the Uyghur nation today. The ancient Uyghurs who lived in Orhon Valley in today’s Mongolia may have passed down the name to us, but they were only one of our ancestors. By the time the ancient Uyghurs were defeated by the Kyrgiz tribes in 840 AD and moved to the Northern and Eastern East Turkistan, Kashgar was a long established city inhabited by other peoples. When Mahmut Kashgari wrote his famous encyclopedia—“Turk Language Dictionary” two hundred years later, he wrote that his ancestors lived in Kashgar many centuries before his time. Even though the event of 840 AD was within the living memory of his time, he did not mention it. If his people moved from Mongolia to Kashgar roughly 150 years before he was born, he would known about such a dramatic historical event, because people in the area were writing, even if the oral story telling deemed unreliable, long before he was born. That means the people who lived in the 11th century Kashgar did not come from the ancient Uyghur Kingdom in Mongolia as the Chinese wants the world to believe. The fact that Mahmut Kashgari named his book “Turk Language Dictionary” not “Uyghur Language Dictionary” also proves the point. Then, have the people of the 11th century Kashgar moved away to somewhere else since then?” There is no historical evidence to that. Therefore, most Uyghurs live in Kashgar region today are not likely to be the descendents of the ancient Uyghurs from Mongolia. Based on geographical facts, the same can be assumed for people who live further south, such as Yarkend and Hotan, because if some one wants to get there from Mongolia, he must first pass Kashgar.

    However, historical evidences support that ancient Uyghurs from Mongolia settled in Eastern part of East Turkistan and played important role in the Qoju Uyghur Kingdom centered in Turpan.

    Third, evidences do not support Dr. Mair’s theory that those mummy peoples were either slaughtered or driven out (presumably by our ancestors). There are many Uyghurs around Tarim Basin today who have blue eyes and light brown hairs not much different from those mummies. But, Dr. Mair chose to focus on the dead ones, ignoring the living ones, and leave out some crucial facts about the dead ones. For example, those mummies excavated in Tarim Basin look as diverse as today's living population of the area, and many Caucasian mummies were buried alongside with mixed race mummies in the same graves. Some tools, clothes and techniques (bread making, for example) used by mummies are still being used by local Uyghurs today. And slaughtered people are not likely to pass down their tools and techniques. Another fact is many place names big and small around Tarim Basin do not have any meaning in Uyghur language. One can only imagine that they must have meant something in the languages of the people who first introduced these names. Those languages are gone, but their legacy survived as these names. If the people who gave these names were slaughtered or driven out, these place names would’ve gone with them. At least in the case of Tocharians, the Silk Road, which passed through their homeland, was in active use. Somebody would’ve taken notice if they were slaughtered or driven out.

    It is quite possible that Tarim Basin was one of the most peaceful places in the ancient world, because its unique geography kept it safe from the power struggles of big powers. According to my limited knowledge, sword or other ancient weapons are not among the essential items buried with those mummies. According historical records, there were 36 kingdoms in Tarim Basin in the ancient times. For a presumably small population, it was a lot of kingdoms. I interpret it as lack of conquerors or wars among them. Uyghurs have one of the richest oral story traditions, but very few of them are related to wars. In fact all the wars in our known history were either between the local peoples and outsiders or caused by outsiders. Perhaps it was the peaceful good life supported by the fertile oasis around the Tarim Basin what kept the mummy people there for thousands of years. A dry desert may look harsh, but if you have water, it is the best place to farm. That is why many ancient civilizations thrived around deserts. Tarim basin had plenty of water in ancient times. These facts suggest those mummy peoples melt into the current population of Tarim Basin.

    Dr. Mair said he felt sad because he felt as if he left his kin—the Cherchen Man, who he claims looks like his sleeping brother Dave, behind among strangers. He shouldn’t have felt that way because the Cherchen Man remains where he belongs-his homeland. Yes, the mummy people lived in the Tarim Basin for thousands of years as their immortalized bodies bear witness, therefore it is their homeland as much as ours. The only strangers around them are the Chinese. Let’s imagine Dr.Mair’s brother David had children from a non-white woman. Who would be more stranger to him? His brother who looks like him with his blue eyes and blond hair or his children who have black eyes and black hairs?

  2. #22
    Unregistered Guest


    Would it be "bad" if modern-day Uyghurs were descendants of the Caucasian race?


  3. #23
    oguzhan Guest

    Default connaisseur's views...

    Dear Turdi,

    We still do not know what the esteemed Uyghur scholars,archeologs and historians,
    and the rest of the enlightened Uyghurs think or rather know on this topic.

    You have easier access to Mr.Kamberi,Mr.Veli and Mr.Barat to name a few well known
    authorities whose views we would appreciate to know,
    if of course they care about what we outsiders should know.

    May be Mr.Nebijan Tursun would be well equipped with a satisfactory answer.

    Your request reminds one of Heinrich von Daniken (author of Chariot of the Gods )

    who finds the questions but not the answers !!!

    Matter of fact there is a book published on

    ten enigmas of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region

    by Xinjiang Halk Nexriyati,

    and mummies of Tarim are among them.

    Personally I wonder if these mummies could be (held) responsible for the rock paintings ?



  4. #24
    oguzhan Guest

    Default Last curtain -Final Play

    modern-day Uyghurs were descendants of the Caucasian race


    Magister Ludi and the Glassbead game.....

    Marco from Italy was the first well known Caucasian

    who fell in love with Uyghur POLO,mutton/carrot/rice dish

    and nicked himself as MARCO POLO in fond memory of his visit;

    European caucasians later sent Gruenwedel and Albert von le Coq,

    none could rival these expert professionals who could skin the walls
    of the 1000 Buddha monastries of the Silk Road

    Aurel Stein,Prejawalski followed,

    Sven Hedin was among them,

    but Paul Pelliot was the real connaisseur !!!

    he could speak and understand Chinese,
    so he knew what he picked......

    Better late then never,
    Otoni the Jap was there....

    The Uyghurs were already a member of the European Union

    before it was ever established !!

    we sent camels loads of our precious heritage

    in custody of scholars,looters,adventurors and devils of the Silk Road

    to 16 different European locations.

    Which should practically enable any Uyghur to freely visit these nations,

    (without much visa problems !!!!!!)

    if they are thirsty for knowledge
    of their past cultural contribution
    to global civilization.and do some research in the European countries

    where they have Uyghur cultural heritage......

    Once the Mummies are clarified for what they really are,

    and us Uyghurs will warm up to our new (long forgotten !!) identity..

    Makes one wonder in today's world of consumerism,

    who would buy this commodity ?

    Actually the Caucasianism of the Mummies are irrelevant,

    like the Baghdad railroad construction....

    They had bribed the Ottoman Sultan with a fountain !

    which is still to be seen.

    The goals are (close intimacy with !) energy sources,

    the chosen paths and cause stories are diverse....

    Let us know whom we are fooling !

    a cordial,chuckle....


  5. #25
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Aries

    You again! Didn't I say early human beings first of all moved to Eurasia, which includes Central Asia, from there they spreaded to the rest of the world. That means we are ancesters, not descendants, of Europeans and Americans. In other words, you are descendants of Eurasians, dummy!

    That means early human beings first of all went to Eurasia, then from there, they spread to the rest of the world. In this sense, Dr. Mair's strangers theory is completely wrong. Our ancesters didn't come from Europe, they actually went there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Would it be "bad" if modern-day Uyghurs were descendants of the Caucasian race?


  6. #26
    Turdi Ghoja Guest


    Thanks for your imput.
    Yes, you are right. We do not know if East Turkistan was not part of the Ancient Uyghur Kindom based in Mongolia. I agree with your in the quoted points of you below. I still have not sent the letter yet. I'll incorporate your imputs.

    I have not contacted our scholars. The ultimate answers to this questions has to come from our scholars in the form of scientific papers at appropriate venues such as conferences or journals. This letter hopefully serves as a temperary solution until then.


    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Nice input Mr. Ghoja! I, as an Uyghur, thank you for your endeavor for bringing this up on this forum.

    You are neglecting the fact that Uyghurs empire in the Mongolia streched to Perghane valley, which definately included Qashqer.

    You are neglecting the fact earlier Kokturk empire streched even further west, and the main people of the empire was Tura (as Uyghurs were part of it).

    Finally, you are are neglecting the fact that Huns even earlier (direct ancestors of the Uyghurs) had ruled all over the Tarim region.

    If we go back even earlier time period, Di became Hun (Kunler) in the north, youzhi (Aylar) in the west. They were same in culture.

    That's for today. We can discuss further later.

    Have a nice day.

    blue wolf

  7. #27
    Unregistered Guest


    Thanks Mr. Ghoji for the reply. I hope you can find some of the following discussion worthy of pondering.

    We had clear historical records during that period about the power struggle between Tang, Tibet and Uyghur empires in this region. After the defeat of Tang in Talas, Uyghur empire firmly established their control over Tarim region. Uyghur Orhun texts also confirm this. Political aspect, of course doesn't directly reflect the ethnic composition. However, after the collaps of the empire (by war, famine, plague) only a very few number of Uyghur ruling class could manage to make it to the Tarim region. Without the ethnic background which was established earlier there, it was impossible to quickly establish new kingdoms, let alone to realise linguitical domination in such a short time.

    As for the non Turkic linguistical texts found there before the migration, buddist religion might be a possibility, Kushan and Aqhun rulings might be another possibility. (Although both initially spoke Turkic before their migration to the other side of the Qaraqurum.) Moreover, we know Turkic city names even Before Christ in the Tarim region testified by the Zhangqian records.

    Were Turkic people only nomadic? The answer was no. Records show Huns were semi-nomadic, as the decendants of the Uyghurs. There was cultural continuity between southern siberia(including Altai mountains ), Tarim region (including Tengri mountains), Deshti Qipchaq, A geographical entity Turkic people and culture thrived.

    As for the Qarahanids, Historians agree the ruling class was Yaghma Uyghurs. Yaghma was part of Uyghur confederation during Uyghur empire. Religion became the only difference between Adiz Uyghurs (based in Turpan) and Yaghma Uyghurs (based in Qashqer). Due to the fact they had fierce fightings in the name of religion, Uyghur equalled Buddist. Also Islam discouraged the Qaraxanids to use their tribal name, and they only used Turki when it came to identify the language. Same happened among the eastern Uyghurs when they gradually became Moslim and they also forgot the name Uyghur, which we picked up in the 20s of 20th century again.

    Now some racial discussions (I hate to do so, but .....)

    We have to keep in mind European or Caucasoid don't equal to yellow hair and blue eyes. Finnish people have the highest such ratio and they are Uralic. People from Caucas (such as Chechens) are Caucasoid (which the name itself came from) and they have black hair. it's nonsense to equal anthropology with the depigmentation, and racial classification such as Mongoloid, Caucasoid, Negroid etc is out of date now, except being refered to ethnic groups by racists or political movetivators.

    Genetic results show the Mongolians (together with Tungutic Evenks etc) have predominant Y haplagroup of C, which was also predominant among Natives in the pacific ocean, including Mauri (NZ) and suggested to be originated in India and spread from the sea route to the northeasten Asia as the forestic people. Except for Qazaq (who had assimilated almost all the Mongols moved to the west), no Turkic group have significant ratio of this mark. Conclusion is Turkic people don't have direct genetic relation with Mongols or Tungustic people except for some degree of intermixing.

    There can be another question as to their sharing a common linguistical line. Actually Altaic language theory is always questioned (check google). Moreover, Donghu migration chased by the Huns to the Tungustic land might influence the local forestic people linguistically. Still Turkic and Mongolic are very seperate languages.

    Conclusion is the term Turko-Mongols shouldn't be used (except for the army of the Chengiz) as racial or linguistical definition. Uyghurs from Mongolia (with some intermixing with Mongolic Qitans) were not too much different from their kins in Tarim Basin. Present day Uyghurs were the direct decendants of the Central Asian people who once migrated to all over the Euroasia and the new world.

  8. #28
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Uyghur we Uyghur Imparaturliqi

  9. #29
    Unregistered Guest

    Default interesting topic

    well i dont have a deep knowledge on this field....
    still remember the first time i saw our flag. i was 15 back than and knew very little about who iam and what it meant to be an uyghur in todays world....the chinese writes one sort of history and the europians wright another one,so what!!!!
    to me it dosnt matter anymore to know who i was or who i am, it is important to know
    who i want to become....maybe someday i can write my own history

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