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3,000-Year-Old Corpses Found in Northwest China

September 02, 1986|United Press International

PEKING — Archeologists in northwest China have discovered 50 well-preserved corpses believed to be at least 3,000 years old, the official New China News Agency reported Monday.

Officials of the Cultural Relics Bureau said the bodies have high noses, low cheekbones and blond or brown hair tied in a bun--different characteristics from the Mongoloid race, to which most Chinese belong. Five corpses are tattooed with geometric patterns.

The news agency said the bodies were found in burial pits up to six feet deep in an ancient graveyard in Wupu township of arid Xinjiang province, about 700 miles west of Peking.

Most of the 50 bodies are clothed in felt, fur or knit wool hats, leather boots and woolen clothes of "beautiful designs and bright colors," the news agency quoted local officials of the Cultural Relics Bureau as saying.

The dry, hot weather of the semi-desert area kept the bodies and clothing in excellent condition, the news agency reported.

Also found scattered at the site were large quantities of human bones, pottery, wooden utensils, fragments of wooden wheels, farm tools and construction timber.

The report gave no further details but said the 1979 discovery of three similar corpses in the same area caused "a world sensation."

One of the bodies, believed to be of a woman in her 20s, had intact fingernails and toenails, prominent eyes and lips, flesh on the face and chest and well-preserved internal organs.

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