Sun, 12 Dec 2004
1. Questions on Red Hair and Tarim Basin Mummies
2. Aram Paquin: Trees or sticks
3. Fall of A Hero
1. Questions on Red Hair and Tarim Basin Mummies
Robert Howard Smith wrote:
RE: "Brit-Am Now"-442
>Further to Susans comments on Caucasian mummies found in Western
>there is some great reading on the Tocharian culture in China
>It is generally regarded nowadays that these people were of Caucasian
>appearance but more intrigingly they are now considered to be of
>origin!! Their mummified bodies have been preserved in the Takla Makan
>desert together with their remains of clothes which were tartan in
>appearance. Not only this but the colour of their hair is mainly red
>reminiscent of Celtic appearance especially Scottish and Irish.
>Yair, do you have any opinions on red hair in people? In what cultures
>the world is there a high influence? We know that there is a larger
>proportion of red haired people in the Celtic poeple but also there
>be many in Slavic countries, especially Russia. Do you think there may
>any genetic connections ?
>Rob (Wales, UK)
You asked about the Tokharian Mummies and red Hair
In this case we will start with the last question first:
(a) Red Hair
We have dealt with this subject in past postings.
The Jews of Galicia (ca Southern Poland and the Ukraine) had about 40%
hair and were probably
the highest percentage in the world. After that come the Irish.
Esau the brother of Jacob was redhaired (Genesis 25:25) and so was King
David of Judah (1-Samuel 16:12).
In both cases the Hebrew word "Admoni" is used and we take this to mean
line with Jewish tradition)
that it refers to red hair.
Red hair occurs amongst many peoples: Africans, Mongolians, and others
throw up on occasion individuals with red hair.
It is however more common amongst Northern peoples than others. There
hereditary predisposition towards red hair
but this does not mean that everyone with red hair are somehow
On the whole there is a greater chance that people who look similar to
other are related
to each other than people who do not resemble each other. This however
not an absolute criteria
and can be misleading.
Personal ANECDOTE: My first wife was somewhat "darkish" being of Jewish
When our children were born they mostly were all
blond and in one case blue-eyed like myself. After several months (or
some cases years) the colors changed and the children
tended to various degrees to become darker and more like their mother.
one occasion one of my now-grown sons and I were
invited to a communal meal. There was a young lady sitting opposite us
became quite excited
at the idea that we were father and son. She would not be quiet. For
reason our family lineage threw her off balance.
My son was sitting on one side of me and on the other side was a
stranger of fair appearance.
She said that the stranger looked more like me than my son did! This
of reaction has occurred at other
times. Usually females or males of uncertain extraction themselves are
most vociferous on the subject.
Anyway just for the record, apart from coloring, concerning facial
and other points my son and I are quite similar.
There is an interesting chapter on coloring and race and Israelite
in our book "The Tribes" that should be ready any day now
and may still be ordered at a special pre-publishing rate.
(b) The Mummies in Western China
The web site says:
<<On the basis of references in Old Turkic manuscripts to the speakers
this language as the "Twghry," these people were identified as the
Tocharoi, a tribe mentioned in classical Greek writings as having lived
Bactria (eastern Iran and Afghanistan) in the second century A.D. Thus,
language was called Tocharian, >>
The identification of trhe language with "Tokharian" has since been
disputed as the web site itself later admits.
RE: "Brit-Am Now"-442
(a) In regions to the northeast of Iran in Central Asia documents were
found written in several languages one of which was
of "Indo-European" type and was named Tocharian...
(b) Historical records refer to a people that once dwelt in the region
alongside other peoples known as Tocharian, or Togar,
(c) Mummified bodies of red haired tall people some of whom had
patterns on their clothing
and Celtic-like chariots were also found from the same region.
(a), (b), and (c) all belong to different periods and there is no
connection between them since many peoples
existed in the said region that came and went and often were quite
different in type and origin from each other.
The name "Tocharian" given to the language in question was due to the
imaginative guessing of a linguist
and there is no proof that the people known as 'Tocharian" ever spoke
The mummies were found in the Tarim basin (and subsequently elsewhere)
cultural features including
their weaving techniques were from the Near East or general Ancient
The "Tartan" designs typically used a pattern of intertwining red,
and blue bands.
In "The Tribes" we have proven that Israelites were in the said area at
time spoken of.
(We also spoke of the "mummies" in the first edition of "The Tribes" in
1993 long before they were sensationalized by the media.
A later article will elaborate on this issue with specific emphasis on
We repeat the dates should refer to AFTER 500 BCE,
A few more details are provided in the article below: This article has
interesting points on wool and silk etc
and then discussed the "mummies"
Discovery and study of ancient fabrics provide clues to life in ages
(Note on the Mummies)
By Leigh Fenly
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
December 8, 2004
Microscopic images, like this of butterfly weed fiber, help researchers
determine which plants were used to make textiles.
In 1993, Russian archaeologist Natalia Polosmak discovered an
kurgan, or tomb, in the rugged Ukok Plateau of Siberia, just inside a
of no-man's land between Russia and China. It belonged to the Pazyryks,
Iron Age horsemen who inhabited the steppes of western Asia up until
second century B.C.
The first kurgans discovered in the 1940s contained meticulously
bodies with internal organs and muscles removed and the skin sewn back
together with horsehair thread.
After weeks of digging through 20 feet of ice, Polosmak's team
the frozen remains of six horses. Below was a wooden chamber.
"You feel you are about to unveil a secret when you open the lid," she
remembers. "A face, or something else, might appear through the ice."
Polosmak's team pried four heavy copper nails off the lid. By dripping
cupfuls of heated water into the coffin, they began to melt the ice. As
thawed, the team sniffed. An unmistakable smell arose.
Fabric remains are exceedingly rare in archaeological sites, but here
young woman beautifully preserved in finely sewn clothes. The ice
thigh-high riding boots were still supple. Her dress, woven 2,400 years
of sheep's wool and camel hair, was held at the waist by a braided cord
banded in colors and hung with tassels. She wore a 3-foot black felt
headdress adorned with griffins and birds.
"This costume is one of the oldest pieces of female clothing ever found
from a nomadic society," says Polosmak. "It's an amazingly rare find in
history of archaeology."
Such discoveries are not just intriguing curiosities. Researchers armed
with chemical and biochemical technologies can now coax from even tiny
fabric scraps charred by funereal fires, blackened by millenniums in
bogs clues to life in ages past.
Scientists used microscopic, infrared and chemical analyses to
that the ice maiden's silk blouse was derived from wild silkworms, not
domesticated Chinese silk. This is not an insignificant distinction.
Until recently, scientists believed that the Chinese had the lock on
weaving, not allowing authorized trade on the famous Silk Road until
in the second century B.C. But reexamination of ancient fabrics is
beginning to show that early European weavers were independently
the cocoons of wild silkworms and weaving silk.
Irene Good, an expert on ancient silk at Harvard's Peabody Museum, used
amino acid testing to determine that early silk from a site in
Germany was not Chinese as has been thought for 70 years. "There are
and more lines of evidence emerging to lead us to believe there was
indigenous silk production in the Mediterranean, and it may go back
considerably earlier than we thought, into the second millennium B.C.,"
These weavers, perhaps from Crete, might have traded their silk
Europe and to the ice maiden and her kin suggesting that Iron Age
had extensive routes of travel.
Beyond surmising trade and cultural interactions, textile researchers
plotting improvements in weaving technology and tracing farming and
breeding histories. They are teasing out clues to ancient climate from
heft of garments and the types of fibers used. And they are learning
not only did early people use clothing to communicate with others, but
textile production may have been a leading factor in the development of
Even faded and tattered, fabric can be surprisingly revealing. The
a 1,300-year-old brown wool cloak from a Danish grave bears the
of cooperation. The way the weft threads crossed each other suggests
three women had to be weaving on the cloth simultaneously, passing the
bobbins to each other as they met in the middle.
"There's been a surge of interest," in working with fibers, explains
Kathryn Jakes, a textile researcher at Ohio State University who works
primarily with North American prehistoric cloth.
"Only in the last few years you've heard about chemists taking residue
an ancient pot and saying what the people used to eat. It's that same
of thinking. Now we can take this fragment and we can understand how
materials were manipulated, how they were collected and dyed. And you
ask, What did the people know in making this?"
For all its fragility, fabric survives in some of earth's most hostile
environments: in deserts in the Southwestern United States, Peru, the
Middle East and China; in Austrian salt mines and acidic peat bogs in
Northern Europe; in the frozen Andes. These are places where normal
microbial degradation is forestalled.
The oldest known garment a 5,000-year-old linen shirt survives because
ancient Egyptians buried their dead in tombs away from the arable lands
the Nile. Discovered by British archaeologist Sir William Petrie in
the linen shirt's shoulders and sleeves are finely pleated, and creases
inside the elbows hint at its former wearer.
In some cases, it is not the climate that matters, but what was done to
fabric. At Ohio State, Jakes studies charred fabrics, part of crematory
rituals from the Hopewell culture, which flourished in the southeastern
United States from 100 B.C. to A.D. 500. With microscopy and
she teasesout clues to the people who made them.
"You can tell what kind of environment the fiber was exposed to. You
tell how it was used by a person. Looking at flattened yarn crowns, I
tell if it was worn not just made and buried."
While the Hopewell never developed looms, they knew their fibers. From
plants we would call weeds Indian hemp, milkweed, nettle they twined
cloaks, mantles and skirts using only their fingers.
People from the later Mississippian culture (A.D. 800 to the 1500s)
fine yarns into lacelike fabrics so delicate they were considered
when first discovered in the 1920s. Says Jakes, "People said these
be made by the native Americans."
In the 1970s, Chinese archaeologists discovered mummies on the southern
of the arid Tarim Basin in western China. The bodies 2,400 to 4,000
old were natural mummies, not embalmed, and were far better preserved
anything ever recovered in Egypt.
[Brit-Am Note: The evidence actually indicates that all these mummies
to be dated after 500 BCE]
They were clothed in splendor. They wore robes woven in purple, blue
red, tartan-weave trousers, striped leggings and deerskin boots. On
heads were felt caps with feathers, and through their ears were looped
strands of red wool. Fur coats and leather mittens were buried with
"It was like finding a ruby in your oatmeal," Barber wrote in "The
of Urumchi," published in 1999.
The graves were stacked with clothes and textiles. Irene Good
among them the oldest cashmere ever found.
The big surprise was that these bodies were tall, round-eyed, blond and
Caucasian. The discovery has reopened an old and politically sensitive
debate about the role of Western people in the development of Chinese
Both Barber and Good have extensively examined the mummies' textiles.
first thing that struck me was that it was all sheep's wool," Barber
"I thought it would be plant fiber." A second was the presence of wheat
the graves, in the form of pillows tucked under the women's heads.
Barber surmised the Tarim people were basically shepherds who stayed
long enough to raise a crop of wheat.
The most important clues to their origins came from their plaid twill
fabrics that are remarkably similar to those found in Austrian and
archaeological sites. Barber believes these people migrated from
near the Caucasus Mountains in southern Russia, where the earliest
plaid twills appeared about 5,000 years ago.
[We repeat Brit-Am Note: The evidence actually indicates that all these
mummies are to be dated after 500 BCE. Apart from that we agree with
proposed direction of migration]
"That's roughly where we think the Indo-European homeland was," she
"So the most reasonable hypothesis, and by far the simplest, is that
group of Indo-Europeans headed west, and those are the ones we now call
Celts. And a different group headed east into the Tarim Basin of
The implications are profound, suggesting that Westerners may have
influenced Bronze Age Chinese culture, which had long been thought to
independent of the West. "The great Chinese scholars had no trouble
any of this, but we ran into a lot of inconsistencies (with the way it
perceived)," Barber says. "These were very difficult working
and I try to steer away from those aspects. I don't want to upset the
Another aspect of the mummies intrigued Good. The most famous of them,
Cherchen Man, was buried with three women (and 10 hats). The four
were dressed in the same color, with a twining of red and blue cords
their hands. It spoke of uniform to Good, of an unmistakable message of
kinship or group.
Brit-Am Note: The Tarim Mummies were clothed in garments made by a
technique developed in Ancient Israel or close to it. The dates should
ca. 500-100 BCE. This will be explained in a later article. For those
cannot wait and wish for background material and color illustrations
"The Mummies of Urumch" by Elizabeth Wayland Barber, 1999, pp. 63, 79,
96 and more.
2. Trees or sticks
From: Aram Paquin
not to belabor the subject but the notion of the "two sticks" possibly
being living trees is not completely outlandish.
Many species of trees lend themselves to just this sort of "unnatural"
This is especially true of olive trees, due to their longevity and
supernatural ability to survive the most destructive treatment.
For an extreme example, see
3. Fall of A Hero
I just wanted to ask everyone to keep my family in your prayers. My
cousin, Andrew Shields, was killed in Falluja, Iraq, on 9DEC04. He
Apache Pilot who was shot down.