It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
residents of a remote Chinese village are hoping that DNA tests will prove one of history's most unlikely legends — that they are descended from Roman legionaries lost in antiquity.
Villager Cai Junnian with his green eyes and ruddy complexion
Scientists have taken blood samples from 93 people living in and around Liqian, a settlement in north-western China on the fringes of the Gobi desert, more than 200 miles from the nearest city.
They are seeking an explanation for the unusual number of local people with western characteristics — green eyes, big noses, and even blonde hair — mixed with traditional Chinese features.
"I really think we are descended from the Romans," said Song Guorong, 48, who with his wavy hair, six-foot frame and strikingly long, hooked nose stands out from his short, round-faced office colleagues.
Roman Legionaries in China
(idea) by Wintersweet (4.8 mon) (print) ? 5 C!s Fri Sep 22 2000 at 17:07:34
Two thousand years ago, a band of Roman soldiers were among the lone survivors of a devastating battle against the Parthians. The battle itself is a matter of historical record: the Roman army, led by Marcus Licinius Crassus (part of the First Triumvirate along with Julius Caesar and Pompey), was defeated by a Parthian army
Human remains found in a 1,400-year-old Chinese tomb belonged to a man of European origin, DNA evidence shows.
Chinese scientists who analyzed the DNA of the remains say the man, named Yu Hong, belonged to one of the oldest genetic groups from western Eurasia.
"Was it just this one man [who moved into the area], or was it a large family including this man, or was it an even larger group of people from his ancestral population?" she asked.
Overall, she said, "the study of ancient mitochondrial DNA, as well as other genomic variations, holds great promise for enhancing our understanding of human prehistory."
The Silk Road is the most well-known trading route of ancient Chinese civilization. Trade in silk grew under the Han Dynasty ( 202 BC - AD 220) in the first and second centuries AD