This blog post is a part of a group project that was focused on looking critically at the arguments Robert Sepehr presents in his book Species with Amnesia. In the book, Sepehr lays out the framework for his theory of the alternate origin of modern humans. Self-described as “a harsh critic of the out-of-Africa theory,” Sepehr instead argues for the existence of Atlantis. In his world view, humanity originated somewhere in the west, wherever Atlantis existed.
The advanced Aryan (i.e., white, blonde- or red-haired, and blue eyed) conquerors left their Atlantean home in response to some form of cataclysm. This unknown apocalyptic event had two effects:
The memory loss did not stop the Aryan people described by the author from spreading across the entire world and “rediscovering” their old technologies. To maintain the illusion that the people from Atlantis were spread around the world, Sepehr spends a lot of ink trying to put Aryan conquerors around the world. One of those places is China.
As the opening of his discussion on the presence of blond, white mummies in China, Sepehr writes (page 111):
“The presence of Caucasoid haplogroups, both in ancient and recent DNA testing in south Siberia, Mongolia, China and south Asia is attested by recent genetic studies and Mummies from the Altai and Xinjiang regions only seem to corroborate this fact... This ancient group of conquerors were blonde haired, blue eyed, and averaged well over six feet tall, as the ancient and perfectly preserved mummified remains clearly indicate.”
In the quoted paragraph, Sepehr cites a single source, a paper by published on the successful sequencing of ancient DNA. "First successful assay of Y-SNP typing by SNaPshot minisequencing on ancient DNA" is a mouthful and jarringly dissonant from the level on which Sepehr is writing. The basis for the paper is the application of a system, SNaPshot, to examine ancient DNA. Nowhere in the abstract of this paper do they specifically mention Sepehr’s group of conquerors as brilliant new discovery. That is because they weren’t: anthropologists and scientists have been aware of the presence of groups with Caucasoid feature in this region.
The first mentioned discovery of mummies in the Xinjiang region, or Tarim Basin, was at the beginning of the 20th century. Unlike Egyptian mummies, the bodies found in the Tarim Basin were desiccated corpses, meaning that their preservation wasn’t the result of an artificial process. Sepehr later quotes Dr. Victor Mair as having said “The Tarim Basin Caucasoid corpses are almost certainly representatives of the Indo-European family (116).” However, in a PDF released by the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum, Mair mentions that despite their Caucasoid appearance, the mummies possessed multiple characteristics linking them to diverse groups outside the region. If these mummies were to be the superior Atlantean people that Sepehr wanted them to be, then this would mean that the Atlanteans took their time integrating themselves genetically in the area surrounding the Basin rather than coming into the area as a group of superior conquerors who ruled the land.
Following the previously mentioned paragraph, Sepehr writes (pp. 111-112:
“Now geneticists have examined the DNA of these Proto-Indo-Europeans extracted from their ancient tombs. The results are revealed in three seminal papers. (170,171,172) It turns out that genetically the Proto-Indo-Europeans buried in the steppe kurgan graves 5,000 years ago were identical with modern Western and Northern Europeans belonging to the Nordic sub-race.”
Of the three "papers" Sepehr mentions, one of them isn’t even a paper. The citation in his bibliography is so vague that when I tried to follow it, the search results are PowerPoints from a class on sequencing genomes with computers. If you’re interested, here’s the PowerPoint from what is presumably the first class for Spring semester in 2014.
The other two papers do in fact discuss the presence of white people in the Tarim Basin. The abstracts for both papers can be found here and here. The papers account for the eastward migration of Europeans around 2000 BCE to AD 500 AD (many thousands of years after the supposed Atlantean diaspora).
Later, Sepehr makes the statement: “Many archaeologists now think that [the Tarim mummies] were the citizens of an ancient civilization of Aryans that existed in the east (116).”
Who are these archaeologists? Sepehr doesn’t cite anyone to back this claim.
So, why is Robert Sepehr so interested in convincing the reader that there were white people in ancient China and Siberia? Mind you, I’m not saying that Sepehr’s evidence is wrong or that there were not actually any mummies with European features in Siberia. But why is he using this evidence? Why is he even bringing up the existence of the Tarim mummies in a book about Atlantis?
For his hyperdiffusionist Atlantean ideas to work, Sepehr needs to situate groups of white people around the globe at critical points so that those groups can somehow be the ones that introduced technology and sophistication to the rest of the world. By making connections between groups, events, and objects around the world, Sepehr attempts to construct his argument that Atlantis was real and that white people are the supreme “race.” After all, if they came from Atlantis, lost everything, and were still able to rise up as a “dominant” group, then surely there must be something superior in their genetics? While Sepehr does provide evidence that supports his claim of an "Aryan race" in China, he does not provide the evidence necessary to support his claim that they were a technologically advanced race of conquerors.