Witches of Subeshi
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Witches of Subeshi
Age 4th - 2nd centuries BC
Sex female
Height unknown
Culture Indo-European
Date(s) Iron Age
Site Tarim Basin
Current Location
Location China
Catalog #
Subeshi is a lost city located near Kucha in the Taklamakan Desert in China’s Tarim Basin on the ancient Silk Road in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The city played a key role in the introduction of Buddhism to China.

Three female mummies of Subeshi were found wearing tall, pointed black hats of felted wool that resemble the stereotypical headgear of traditional witches, and dated to between the 4th and 2nd centuries BC They  were located in a high gorge just to the east of the city of Turfan.

It has been suggested that one of the three, wearing a heavy glove, may indicate that she hunted with a raptor.

The headgear worn by the Iron-age mummies were fashioned from black felt, the steep spire tapering to a peak nearly 60cm (2ft) high.


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