DNA tests show Chinese villagers with green eyes could be descendants of lost Roman legion

For years the residents of the remote north western Chinese village of Liqian have believed they were special.

Many of the villagers have Western characteristics including green eyes and blonde hair leading some experts to suggest that they may be the descendants of a lost Roman legion that settled in the area.

Now DNA testing of the villagers has shown that almost two thirds of them are of Caucasian origin.

The results lend weigh to the theory that the founding of Liqian may be linked to the legend of the missing army of Roman general Marcus Crassus.

In 53BC, after Crassus was defeated by the Parthians and beheaded near what is now Iran, stories persisted that 145 Romans were captured and wandered the region for years.

The town’s link with Rome was first suggested by a professor of Chinese history at Oxford in the 1950s.

Oxford professor Homer Dubs believes the group travelled east, were captured by the Chinese and founded Liqian in 36BC.

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