View Full Version : Mummies from Northwestern China’s Taklamakan Desert and cheese

02-28-2014, 07:41 PM
DRESDEN, GERMANY—Analysis of the odd lumps found on the necks and chests of mummies from northwestern China’s Taklamakan Desert has shown them to be made of cheese. “We not only identified the product as the earliest known cheese, but we also have direct …evidence of ancient technology,” Andrej Shevchenko of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics told USA Today. The low-lactose cheese had been made by combining milk with a “starter” of bacteria and yeast—not the killing of a young calf, lamb, or kid for rennet. Shevchenko adds that the low cost of producing this cheese would have helped encourage the spread of herding throughout Asia.


Could be related or not to the Tarim Basin mummies and Tocharians ? DNA, please ?


03-01-2014, 09:35 AM
That's one of the Tarim Basin mummies. The Taklamakan Desert is in the Tarim Basin.

It looks like these mummies are now being tested at the Max Planck Institute, so we should soon see their complete genomes published.

03-01-2014, 12:54 PM
Yes, a complete genome from Tarim Basin - 1615 BC would be very interesting.