The Mummies of Ürümchi

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W. W. Norton & Company, 1999 - History - 240 pages
Some of Ürümchi's mummies date back as far as 4,000 years—contemporary with the famous Egyptian mummies but even more beautifully preserved. Surprisingly, these prehistoric people are not Asian but Caucasoid—tall, large-nosed and blond with thick beards and round eyes. What were these blond Caucasians doing in the heart of Asia? What language did they speak? Might they be related to a "lost tribe" known from later inscriptions? Few clues are offered by their pottery or tools, but their clothes—woolens that rarely survive more than a few centuries—have been preserved as brightly hued as the day they were woven. Elizabeth Wayland Barber describes these remarkable mummies and their clothing, and deduces their path to this remote, forbidding place. The result is a book like no other—a fascinating unveiling of an ancient, exotic, nearly forgotten world. A finalist for the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dylkit - LibraryThing

I would recommend reading the hardback version rather than the paperback..the maps and photos are reduced to the point of uselessness. And some of the maps weren't that great to begin with. That said ... Read full review

THE MUMMIES OF öRöMCHI

User Review  - Kirkus

In an often fascinating glimpse of an exotic lost world, textile expert Barber (Occidental Coll.; Women's Work, The First 20,000 Years, 1994, etc.) unravels the mysteries of the beautifully preserved ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
11
Mystery Mummies
17
A Man with Ten Hats
23
Plus Three Women and a Baby
47
The Beauty of Loulan
65
The Early Explorers
83
Tokharians and Other Hairy Barbarians
Hami and Hallstatt
The Oasis Hoppers and Their Kin
Pulses in the Heart of a Continent
3
Sands of the Silk Road Sands of Time
1
Notes on Sources
9
Bibliography
1
Index
7
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Elizabeth Wayland Barber is the author of Women's Work, The Dancing Goddesses, and The Mummies of Ürümchi. Professor emerita of archaeology and linguistics at Occidental College, she lives in California.

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