The best-preserved mummies in the world are not found in Egypt or Peru but in the museums of Xinjiang, the westernmost province of modern China. For thousands of years the occupants of what would later become the Silk Road buried their dead in the sands of the Taklimakan desert. This arid environment, preserving body and clothing, allows an unparalleled glimpse into the lives and appearance of the prehistoric peoples who settled in the Tarim Basin on the western rim of ancient China some four millennia ago. This intriguing study describes the discovery of these ancient peoples and reveals the latest attempts to explain their origiins and determine their ethnic identity. It examines the clues left by physical remains; their economy, technology and textiles (some of the mummies even wore tartan); and the later traces of the languages of the Tarim region. Author, J.P. Mallory. Author Victor H. Mair. Soft Cover.