DNA tests show China’s first emperor employed a foreigner in building his mausoleum, home to the Terracotta warriors, proof of contact between Central and East Asia over 2,200 years ago, state media said on Wednesday.
Qin Shi Huang was the first emperor of a unified China who built the first Great Wall and ordered up a giant mausoleum for himself outside the north-western city of Xian, guarded by an estimated 8,000 life-size pottery warriors and horses.
Scientists took 15 DNA samples from remains in a labourers’ tombs and found one that belonged to a European man who died in his 20s, Xinhua news agency said.
“One sample has typical DNA features commonly owned by the Parsi in India and Pakistan, the Kurds in Turkmenistan and the Persian in Iran,” Tan Jingze, an anthropologist with Funda University, told Xinhua.
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