“[Recent DNA research) has shown that the Y chromosome haplotypes are ... a western European kind of haplotype.”
- Victor Mair, Ph.D., Prof. of Chinese Language and Literature, Univ. of Pennsylvania
February 25, 2010 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - At the beginning of the 20th century, European explorers who traveled to Central Asia looking for antiquities reported finding fair-skinned and fair-haired mummies that were well-preserved in the very dry, salty Tarim Basin of western China. The Tarim Basin covers 150,000 square miles on the northern edge of the Taklamakan Desert. That vast desert is crossed at its northern and southern edges by two branches of the ancient Silk Road trade route where travelers tried to avoid crossing the barren sand dunes. In the language spoken by the local Uighur people in Xinjiang region, Taklamakan means: “You come in and never come out.”
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