Beijing, June 30 (IANS) The mummified remains of a middle-aged man, believed to be 1,700 years old, have been unearthed on a less frequented section of the ancient Silk Road on the edge of China’s Qinghai-Tibet plateau. Also Read - China Approves 2 More Homegrown Coronavirus Vaccines, Taking Total to 4

The body was found at a construction site in the town of Mang’ai, reports Xinhua news agency. Also Read - Chinese Blogger Detained Over Posts on Casualties in Galwan Clash: Report

“It is in good shape, perhaps the oldest and the best preserved mummy discovered on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau,” a senior official said. Also Read - China Rejects 'Genocide' Attack From UN on Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang

The body measures 1.62 metres, and features perfectly preserved skin and hair remnants. The man was believed to be in his 40s when he died. His hands are crossed over the abdomen.

Archaeologists will use DNA tests to find out the man’s ethnicity and identity, the official said.

The mummy was found amid dried reeds, dyed cloth mats, a horse’s hoof, and sheep bones — thought to be funeral objects for the upper class of the time.

Mummies are usually formed in very dry environments which prevent bodies from decay. The area where the body was found is on the northern edge of the plateau close to Taklamakan Desert.

It was on a less travelled off-shoot route of the ancient Silk Road. Traders took this route to avoid conflict on the Hexi Corridor, a much better known thoroughfare.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.