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Beauty of Loulan
Human Mummy
Loulan
Biographical Information
Name(s) Loulan, Loulan Beauty, The Beauty of Loulan
Age 40-45
Sex female
Status
Height 1.55 meters
Source
Culture Tarim Basin
Date(s) c. 1800 BCE
Site Tarim Basin, Xinjiang, China
Current Location
Location
Catalog #

Loulan was a city near the vanished Lop Nor (“Lop Lake”) that lay in the northeastern corner of the Tarim Basin. The Beauty of Loulan was among the first mummies to be discovered in the region. She has been dated to about 1800 BC.

Of Caucasian descent, evidence exists indicating she may have spoken Tocharian, the second oldest Indo-European language.

She had high cheekbones, high bridged nose, and reddish-blonde hair. She was buried three feet under ground in well made woven clothing, specifically a red robe. She was also dressed in a goatskin, a felt hat and leather shoes. 

Mummification

The natural dryness and salty soil preserved her and over two hundred other mummies, individuals who had lived in several closely located settlements along the trade route.

Studies

Found to have had blood type O. Grave goods included a cloak, a hat, boots, a wooden comb, a basket, and a winnowing tray.

Pathology

An autopsy performed on the body revealed that the inner-organs were intact, and that she died in her early 40s from respiratory disease. Dry dust and soot were found in her lungs.

Additional

The Chinese government has been reluctant to allow full access to the mummies because of their racial identity.

External Links

https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/ancient-mummies-of-the-tarim-basin/

References

A beauty that was government's beast. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/19/AR2010111907467_2.html

Kavanagh, G. (2012). The Sleeping Beauty of Loulan. Retrieved from http://listverse.com/2012/11/01/the-sleeping-beauty-of-loulan/

Moose, M. (2014). The Beauty of Loulan and the Tattooed Mummies of the Tarim Basin. Retrieved from http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-asia/beauty-loulan-and-tattooed-mummies-tarim-basin-001227

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