Celtic Mummies…in China?

It looks like ancient Celtic warriors traveled miles past Europe’s boundaries…thousands of miles in fact…all the way to China’s mysterious Taklamakan Desert.

Did Ancient Celtic Warriors go to China?

The ancient Celts were a group of tribal societies that existed during the Iron Age and Medieval Europe. At its peak, the Celtic tribes encompassed a vast loosely-connected empire that covered the British Isles, France, Poland, Central Europe, and parts of Italy. But while Celtic warriors lived across a large amount of land, they never went past Anatolia, or modern Turkey. Or did they?

Here’s more from The Independent on the mystery of China’s Celtic warriors:

Solid as a warrior of the Caledonii tribe, the man’s hair is reddish brown flecked with grey, framing high cheekbones, a long nose, full lips and a ginger beard. When he lived three thousand years ago, he stood six feet tall, and was buried wearing a red twill tunic and tartan leggings. He looks like a Bronze Age European. In fact, he’s every inch a Celt. Even his DNA says so.

But this is no early Celt from central Scotland. This is the mummified corpse of Cherchen Man, unearthed from the scorched sands of the Taklamakan Desert in the far-flung region of Xinjiang in western China, and now housed in a new museum in the provincial capital of Urumqi. In the language spoken by the local Uighur people in Xinjiang, “Taklamakan” means: “You come in and never come out.”

The extraordinary thing is that Cherchen Man was found – with the mummies of three women and a baby – in a burial site thousands of miles to the east of where the Celts established their biggest settlements in France and the British Isles…

(See The Independent for more on China’s mysterious Celtic warriors)

Massive Animal Sacrifices…in Ancient Egypt?

The ancient Egyptians were crazy about animals…or at least, animal sacrifices.

Animal Mummies & Animal Sacrifices?

In ancient Egypt, a whole breeding industry existed just to provide citizens with the requisite number of sacrificial victims. Some animals, like the sacred ibis and the baboon, were possibly even driven to regional extinction by this frenzied activity, leading to the rise of a false mummy market. Here’s more on the ancient animal sacrifice market from Discovery News:

Millions of animals were‭ ‬ritually slaughtered in ancient Egypt to foster a huge mummification industry that even drove some species extinct.‭

As an exhibition‭ ‬at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. shows,‭ ‬almost no animals escaped the carnage.

Although ‬pets died of natural causes before their mummification,‭ and sacred beasts were pampered by adoring priests, most‬ animals in ancient Egypt had miserable, short lives. Many ‬were simply bred to become votive mummies — offered to the gods in the same way that people light up candles in churches today…

(See Discovery News for the rest)