LIFE&STYLE

Remains indicate East-West exchange in ancient times

By Yoon Min-sik
  • Published : Oct 16, 2017 - 16:06
  • Updated : Oct 16, 2017 - 16:06

A Korea-Mongolia joint archaeological dig has uncovered the mummified remains of a Chinese man in the Altai Mountains, seemingly indicating ample cultural exchange between the East and West some 2,000 years ago.

The project was conducted at the Shiveet Khairkhan mountain in Mongolia, across where Pazyrik culture-style stone tombs are scattered. Pazyrik refers to a Scythian Iron Age archaeological culture that existed between the 6th and 3rd century BC. 

An ancient tomb and a mummy of what is presumed to be a Chinese male is seen in this photo provided by the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage. (National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage)


It was conducted to research the correlation between the stone tombs of the Altai Mountains region and those found in Korea, and was jointly carried out by National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage and Institute of Archaeology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences.

The excavated mummy was about 165-170 centimeters tall and was presumed to be from the 1st century AD. The garments were the style that was in fashion in China during that era.

As the Chinese kingdoms during the era were mostly confined to what is now central regions of China, officials at NRICH said that the dig strongly indicates that the region was a hub for cultural exchange between the East and West during that era.

“It is yet unclear if the male mummy was a merchant travelling along the Silk Road, or was related to the mass migration during the transition period of Qin dynasty and Han dynasty. Additional scientific analysis must take place,” officials from the NRICH said, vowing more research on the culture exchange in the Eurasian region of the ancient times.


By Yoon Min-sik
(minsikyoon@heraldcorp.com)