It's amazing how the Celts influenced ancient world history. Buried in the times of sand, we keep finding traces of their adventures. Here is a great article written a few years ago about the mystery of China's Celtic mummies:
Tartans, Blue Eyes, Red Hair - a real life Caledonii Warrior living in China 3,800 years ago.
"The burial sites of Cherchen Man and his fellow people were marked with stone structures that look like dolmens from Britain, ringed by round-faced, Celtic figures, or standing stones. Among their icons were figures reminiscent of the sheela-na-gigs, wild females who flaunted their bodies and can still be found in mediaeval churches in Britain. A female mummy wears a long, conical hat which has to be a witch or a wizard's hat. Or a druid's, perhaps? The wooden combs they used to fan their tresses are familiar to students of ancient Celtic art."
Now a few suggestions to really take in this article. Of course, if you don't want to see Ancient Celtic mummies, then don't click on these links:
Our favorite part of the article talks about the Celts arriving at different times. Hmmm, seems like a number of us, including myself, have inherited this wonderful ability to never arrive on time.
"The Celts gradually infiltrated Britain between about 500 and 100BC. There was probably never anything like an organised Celtic invasion: they arrived at different times, and are considered a group of peoples loosely connected by similar language, religion, and cultural expression."
A video on the whole expedition and discovery of the China Celts:
Based upon these discoveries, you have to wonder what became of all of these Celts in China. Are in fact, some Chinese descended from these ancient warriors who first settled these Chinese lands? Enjoy the article and post your comments here.
The info contained in both the article and the video both fall well within the realm of possibility. It is pretty well a given that man arose in Africa and the last great migration was of Cro Magnon (us) about 35,000 years ago. We spread out across the globe and it is quiet forseeable in the ensuing millenia our Celtic ancestors travelled east into asia. Humankind are explorers, it is in our genetic make up and we all have a wanderlust to go to new and different places. As to what became of those whose mummies were found. Well as there was more then likely only a few hundred of them at the most they eventually would be absorbed into the mongoloid peoples they interacted with. It seem that this is just more proof that we are all brothers and sister under the skin.
While this find is fascinating and shows the far ranging travels of people in that time period, the mummies in question are not Celts. They may be related to the racial stock that later became Celts, but the date of 3800 years before present puts them 600 years earlier than the genesis of Celtic culture at Hallstat, dated to 3200 years before present. The Hallstat culture is consider to be proto-Celtic. It developed into the La Tene culture which saw development of what could be called Celts.
The forerunner of Hallstat is generally accepted as the Urnfield culture. The Urnfield culture merged with a group of people migrating from the steppes called the Battle Axe People. Little is known about the Battle Axe People, but it is likely that the mummies are from this group.
The first historical record of the Celts (Keltoi) was mentioned by Hecataeus of Miletus in 517 BCE and it refered to an ethnic group of people living in the vicinity of Marseille. Of course by the 6th century BCE the Celts were well established throughout Europe and the British Isles. After reading your post I did some quick checking and I agree these mumified remains could well be proto-celts closely akin to the people who eventually would develope the Celtic culture and language. We tend to think that before the great civilizations were formed that different ethnic groups tended to be localized in their specific areas and that they would not communicate or intermingle with those outside. Now we have proof of what we call European types wandering into what is now western China. Amazing.
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