The Tocharian reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Tocharian

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Tocharian refers to an Indo-European culture that inhabited the Tarim basin in Northwestern China. The people who belonged to this culture are referred to as Tocharians.

They spoke an Indo-European language sometimes referred to as Kuchean. There is evidence both from mummies and chinese writings that these people had red hair and blue eyes. This suggests that they were part of a Scythian migration that ended in the what is now western China.

The Kingdom of Khotan was one of the centers of this ancient civilization.

Textile analysis has shown some similarities to the iron age civilizations of Europe. One of the unusual finds with one of the mummies was a classical "witches" type hat, that witches in Europe were supposed to wear.

Protected by the Taklamakan desert from the steppe nomads the Tocharian culture survided into the seventh century a.d.


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