Cherchen Man
Cherchen man
Biographical Information
Name(s) Churchen Man, Ur-David
Age 50~ yrs. old
Sex Male
Status unknown
Height approximately 6' 6
Culture European
Date(s) Birth-1000 BC
Site Tarim Basin
Current Location
Location China
Catalog #


The "Cherchen man" was found at the cemetery of Zaghunluq near the town of Qiemo (Cherchen) in the Taklamakan Desert, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, western China in 1978. The Cherchen man is very well preserved, considering the fact that it has been estimated that he died approximately 1000 BC. Although he was discovered in China, it is believed that he is of European descent based off of his unusual height and physical features. Cherchen mans hair was brown/ginger which was very common in Europe during ancient times and extremely uncommon in Asia. Observations also reveal that his hair was plaited, and had a scruffy looking beard which was also uncommon. Tattoos and symbols discovered on his body may also point to a Nordic/European background.


Cherchen Man was discovered in a tomb in China made of mud bricks topped with reeds and brush. He was buried with three women, one presumed to be his wife. It is believed that his cause of death was due to an epidemic.


As a result of the Cherchen Man's impeccable preservation, a few studies have occurred since his discovery in 1978. One of the most interesting aspects of the Cherchen man are his clothes that are perfectly intact. He was wearing a red twill tunic and tartan leggings when he died. Instead of being made with native plant fibers, the clothing discovered was actually constructed of sheeps wool, which is odd as sheep are not indigenous to that part of the world. It can be presumed that the clothing must have been brought from the west, as the fabric patterns were also woven on looms similar to methods used in to create clothing in eastern Europe. Small grains of wheat were also found in the tomb, which was not an indigenous crop in the region, further pointing to a European origin.

Y-DNA analysis showed that he was Haplogroup R1a, characteristic of western Eurasia.


It is believed that the Cherchen man had died from an epidemic that took place in the region. No physical trauma or other signs of injury have been discovered after careful observations.

Additional InfoEdit

He is especially well-preserved due to the conditions he was buried in. The desert's dry conditions as well as its salty soil provided a suitable climate for mummification. Extremely cold temperatures would have killed any bacteria that contributed to the decay.

External LinksEdit


" : Lee Dye: Secrets of Cherchen Man." : Lee Dye: Secrets of Cherchen Man. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.

"Cherchen Man." Chinese Mummies. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.

"The Cherchen Man Continues to Remain a Fascinating Figure." The Cherchen Man Continues to Remain a Fascinating Figure. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.

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