Herodotus Returns

2000-year-old Mongolian tomb holds skeleton of Western man
February 9, 2010, 9:48 am
Filed under: Mongolia | Tags: , ,

Two thousand years ago, the world was a bigger place than it is today. With horses, donkeys and slow boats as primary modes of transportation, people didn’t do a lot of traveling. But two recent finds show us that the world back then wasn’t quite immune to globalization. A few weeks ago, archaeologists found the skeleton of an East-Asian man in a cemetery outside Rome. It was the first time an East Asian man – a slave, in this case – had been found buried in the Roman Empire. A few days ago, Discovery reported archaeologists finding the skeleton of a western man in an ancient tomb in Mongolia. The man, who displayed features of a speaker of Indo-European language, was found in a prominent place in the Xionogu cemetery.

The Duurlig Nars man’s genetic signature supports the idea that Indo-European migrations to northeastern Asia started before 2,000 years ago. This notion is plausible, but not confirmed, says geneticist Peter Underhill of Stanford University. Further investigations of Y chromosome mutation frequencies in modern populations will allow for a more precise tracing of the Duurlig Nars man’s geographic roots, Underhill predicts.

Here’s more on that find.


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