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25 October 2004
China unearths ancient Caucasian tombs

Chinese archaeologists have started unearthing hundreds of tombs in an arid north-western region once home to a mysterious civilization that most likely was Caucasian. The researchers have begun work at Xiaohe, near the Lop Nur desert in Xinjiang region, where an estimated 1000 tombs await excavation. Their findings could help shed light on one of the greatest current archaeological riddles and answer the question of how this isolated culture ended up thousands of kilometres from the nearest Caucasian community.
     The tombs, thought by some to be 4000 years old, were first discovered in 1934 by a Swedish explorer, but virtually no work was done on them over the next more than six decades. In 2003, a Chinese team started digging in the area, finding 33 tombs and nearly 1000 relics, but had to stop because of a severe storm.

Sources: AFP, The Australian (25 October 2004)

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