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XI'AN, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese archaeologists have discovered the remains of what may prove to be the country's first foreign worker -- an early European who labored on the mausoleum of China's first emperor.
The discovery was made after DNA tests on human remains from one of the laborers' tombs surrounding the mausoleum of Qingshihuang, in northwestern Shaanxi Province, which was built more than 2,200 years ago.
Archaeologists found the foreign remains among 121 shattered human skeletons in a tomb about 500 meters from the famous museum housing the life-sized terracotta warriors and their horses and weapons.
The discovery means that contacts between the people in east Asia and those in what is now central Asia actually began a century earlier than the previously supposed Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) period, said Duan Qingbo, head of the Qinshihuang Mausoleum Excavation Team under the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Cultural Heritage.
Originally posted by TheWalkingFox
Could be early contact with Europe.
Just as likely is that this man was a member of any number of caucasian steppes peoples. The Celts, Slav, Germans, etc, were only one corner of a huge migration of people sharing the same basic ethnic and cultural ties - what I term "kilts and cattle" cultures spread pretty far from their origin point near the Caspian Sea. Most were later subsumed by horse-oriented cultures from the east Siberian / Mongolian reaches.
The term Wu Hu was first used in Cui Hong's Shiliuguochunqiu, which recorded the history of the five tribes' ravaging Northern China from the early 4th century to the mid 5th century. Wu Hu means "five nomadic groups", hence the alternative "Five Hu." The most accepted composition of Wu Hu included five nomadic tribes: Xiōngnú (匈奴, sometimes identified with the Huns), Xiānbēi (鮮卑), Dī (氐), Qiāng (羌), and Jié (羯) although different groups of historians and historiographers have their own definitions.
Collective term for nomads
After later historians determined that more than five nomadic tribes took part, Wu Hu has become a collective term for all non-Chinese nomads residing in North China at the time. The time at which the ravages occurred is called The Period of Wu Hu (五胡時代) or the Wu Hu Chaos in China (五胡亂華, literally "Five Hú Wreak-havoc-on China"). States founded by Wu Hu were called the Sixteen Kingdoms.
Han definition for Xiongnu
Traditional historians interpreted Hu as barbarians; some further stretched this obsolete analogy to equate Hu with the Xiongnu. Others objected to such similarities, stating that Wu Hu were substantially civilized before the turmoil of the Western Jin Dynasty.
Xiongnu was in fact the most powerful non-Chinese ethnic group neighboring the Chinese Han Dynasty therefore the Han simply referred to them as the Hu (the non-Chinese or the barbarian). Both terms were used concurrently. Nevertheless, Hu later became the collective term for non-Chinese ethnic groups and was often preceded by Chinese numerals and characters such as Wu (five) and Zhu (numerous). A diplomatic message in Han Shu defined Hu as the proud son of heaven (天之驕子) (Chapter 94).
.......Their Xiong (匈) rulers, first mentioned as a family in 1766 BC in the story of Chunwei and the fall of the Xia dynasty, may be the ancestors of the later, better-known (to western scholars) Huns, though not all scholars agree. Korean legend takes the stand that an alliance of northern Altaic tribes under a "Huan" ruler from 7193 BC pre-dated the establishment of China.........