Weird History Archaeologists Have Discovered Eerily Preserved Corpses From "China's Pompeii"  

Noelle Talmon
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In 2000, archaeologists discovered what is known as China's Pompeii. The Lajia, China, archeological site is located in the Qinghai province in the northwest region of the country. Also referred to as the Pompeii of the East, the discovery made headlines in 2,000 when scientists unearthed skeletons at the site reminiscent of the remains of those killed in the Roman city following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE.

Scientists believe the village was destroyed by a natural disaster. Over a dozen people sought shelter in a Bronze Age building during a mudslide. While they didn't survive, their remains were preserved in situ, or in the exact spot where they died. In addition to the skeletons, archaeologists uncovered various artifacts, including 4,000-year-old preserved noodles at Lajia.

The Event Started With A Catastrophic Earthquake And Mudslide


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In approximately 1900 BCE, an earthquake rocked the Lajia village of the upper Yellow River in the Qinghai province of China. This natural disaster caused huge mudslides, which entombed the villagers and buried their homes. The Laija site includes the contents of one building featuring two homes. The skeletons inside are very striking; they show the villagers at their most vulnerable – protecting each other and fighting for their lives.

The Yellow River Flood That Was Created By The Earthquake And Mudslide Was The Biggest In 10,000 Years


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In 2016, scientists uncovered evidence indicating that the earthquake was responsible for a landslide that caused the Yellow River to flood. The enormous flood occurred around 1920 BCE and is believed to have been one of the biggest to occur in 10,000 years. Scientists were able to pinpoint the year of the flood by using radiocarbon dating extracted from skeletons at the Lajia site.

The Bodies At Lajia Show People Preparing For Their Deaths – Forever Frozen In Time


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The Bronze Age homes were demolished by the earthquake and subsequent mudslide. Inside two homes are the remains of what appears to be a family, several of whom were captured clutching onto one another in their final moments. They are scattered around the settlement in various poses. On one wall, for example, two children are holding onto an adult, seemingly bracing themselves for the coming disaster.

16 Total Bodies Were Preserved In A Variety Of Positions


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Archaeologists unearthed a total of 16 human skeletons inside the two homes (14 from one home and two from another) at Lajia. The bodies were positioned in various ways. Experts found some of the skeletons in squatting positions with their gazes directed upwards. Other skeletons appeared to be crawling. A few hugged each other. Still more looked to be trapped in the mud.