Wednesday 22 May 2019

Experts in bid to uncover a Great mystery

Dean Nelson in London

A road being built in a remote part of the Himalayas is putting researchers on course to study descendants of Alexander the Great's army.

According to legend, the fair-haired and blue-eyed inhabitants of Malana are descended from Alexander's soldiers.

A team of anthropologists has set out to unravel a mystery that has fascinated historians for centuries. Scientists from Sweden and India have joined forces to establish the origins of the culture and language.

Democracy

The village boasts what is believed to be the oldest experiment in democracy. Its people operate their own republic, with an elected upper and lower house. The village has a judicial system with a court to resolve disputes among 200 families.

According to the legend, Alexander stopped in Malana, part of Himachal Pradesh, in 326BC when he defeated King Porus. The battle sapped his army's confidence and some settled with local women.

Professor PK Vaid, of the Institute of Tribal Studies, Shimla, said DNA testing could determine any links to people in Macedonia.

"Their features appear to be European," he said. "They have blue eyes and fair hair. Their democratic system could have its roots in Greece. It's unique." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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