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The mummies of the Xinjiang region were found in the driest, saltiest part of Central Asia--in Chinese Turkestan (wedged between Kazakhstan and Mongolia)--around the towns of Cherchen and Loulan. They have many names, depending on the specific geographic area of Xinjiang in which they were found. But all come from the region of Xinjiang. Dating as far back as 4,000 years, they were made by accident--naturally--by the dry climate in the salty Tarim basin. The oldest mummies from Cherchen found so far died about 3,000 years ago, while the oldest mummies found near Loulan died about 4,000 years ago.

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