An archaeological DNA analysis has confirmed that the myth around a golden coloured horse that galloped across China’s north–western Gobi desert about 2,000 years ago might be true. The assertion came after the analysis of the bones of five horses from a nomad tomb complex in the Western Han Dynasty in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region by the archaeologists along with those of the Chinese Academy of Social Science (CASS).
Archaeologists concluded that the colour of the horse’s body was golden or palomino while its mane and tail were nearly white. According to the, this is not the first archaeological discovery of a golden horse but such geno–variation is a very rare case. The animal was unearthed in a joint excavation by the Xinjiang Cultural Relics Department and the Northwestern University between 2006 and 2007.
The golden horse was discovered along with its owner in a separate vault. The five horses are believed to be sacrifices for three people who were buried in the same tomb; the other two were chestnut and buried with a camel in an animal vault. Apart from this, large quantity of other human and animal remains, pottery and vessels made out of bronze, gold, silver and stone were discovered.