Zaghunluq Tarim Mummies, Cherchen / Qiemo, Xinjiang, China

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    All these Tarim mummies were among many excavated at the Zaghunluq cemetery near the city of Cherchen / Qiemo, Xinjiang, China. Of more than 800 tombs here, less than 100 have been excavated to date. Zaghunluq is along the southern rim of the Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin.

    The two mummies in the upper left, 2,400 years old, are on display at Zaghunluq, as are 14 other mummies in a group tomb. See some of these fourteen 2,600-year-old mummies in another photo in this set, where they can be visited in their original resting place in the Zaghunluq Ancient Mummy Tomb.

    You can see the mummies in the tomb and the mummies in the upper left of this image by visiting Cherchen / Qiemo in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.

    The other mummies in this photo were also unearthed in Zaghunluq but are on display elsewhere: The man in the lower left, known as Cherchen Man (3000 years old), and the woman on the lower right, known as Cherchen Woman (3000 years old), and the baby were all discovered in the same tomb and are on display in the Xinjiang Regional Museum in Urumqi, Xinjiang. The woman in the upper right, whose tattooed hand is shown at center bottom, was discovered in a separate tomb in the same cemetery and is on display in the museum in Korla, Xinjiang.

    Read more about these mummies in the descriptions of other images in this set:
    Sights in Cherchen / Qiemo, Xinjiang, China.

    Read a detailed background and history of the: Zaghunluq Ancient Mummy Tomb.

    Many other mummies have been found in a number of other locations around the Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin.

    See more than a hundred images of the town near the tombs -- including sights, people, street scenes, lodging, dining and more -- here at Flickr at my Cherchen / Qiemo collection.

    See Central Asia Traveler on Cherchen / Qiemo - Ancient Mummies and Modern Comforts, with more than 50 pages on sightseeing, transport, hotels, restaurants, history and culture. Sights include ancient mummies and petroglyphs, jade mines, desert oil field tours, and wild animal safaris as well as a traditional river oasis pastoral culture and the deep dunes of the Taklamakan Desert.

    claudioboucinha, mudmusher, and 10 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. metallgranny 84 months ago | reply

      Wow...So creepy

    2. shoujo_drops 79 months ago | reply

      omg its like that guy on the left just died

    3. ouch 23 60 months ago | reply

      I think that the Urumchi Mummies are a fantastic discovery and I am looking forward to reading Elizabeth Wayland Barbers book about them.which I am going to order soon. I am an archaeologist myself and am always interested to learn about ancient cultures. Hopefully we can all learn more,also come to realise what an easy life we have today compared to those of hundreds of years ago.

    4. mgw_wgw 57 months ago | reply

      A really lovely large montage of these amazing archaeological finds:) They show how little we really know about human history.

      Thanks for all the extra information and links you have given :)

    5. centralasiatraveler 56 months ago | reply

      Thank you for your kind words. I agree that we know so very little, but it is fascinating when finds like these allow us to learn so much more.

    6. pe-ri-pa-tet-ik 49 months ago | reply

      The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology currenty hosts a splendid exhibition called "Secrets of the Silk Road." One of its highlights is the Infant Mummy from Zaghunluq - in browsing flickr I was more than thrilled to find your informative site and the infant before it traveled for display in the west..

      Happy travels, and with great thanks for your efforts from a fellow traveler, soon to include the Silk Road.

    7. centralasiatraveler 48 months ago | reply

      pe-ri-pa-tet-ik,
      Thank you for your kind words! I'm so very glad you found this page and my detailed backtround on the Zaghunluq Ancient Mummy Tomb helpful. I have heard about the Penn Museum's exhibition -- as well as its last minute challenge. I'm so glad that all the stars aligned for the folks in Pennsylvania and this excellent exhibit.
      -- Cat

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