Slide: Meeting mummy in the valley of the giants

Updated: 2014-05-14 07:26 (chinadaily.com.cn)


As he carefully raised the lid of a long, boat-shaped wooden coffin discovered at an ancient burial site in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Liao Zhaoyu joked to his colleagues that they had discovered one of the fabled giants of Chinese legend.

When the lid was finally opened and Liao caught his first glimpse of the body inside, he was astonished to see a golden-haired figure that was even taller than Yao Ming, the famous 2.26-meter-tall basketball player.

Even though the discovery happened more than five years ago, Liao, director of the institute of the Culture of the Western Region at Tarim University in Alar, couldn't hide his excitement when he recalled the moment he came face to face with the tallest man of a "tribe of giants".

The local people dubbed the sand dunes that contained a number of oversized coffins "the valley of the giants", so Liao called the tomb "Kungang", the ancient name of Alar.

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