An archaeological DNA analysis of remains of a horse found in China has led to the discovery that not only was the horse 2,000 years old but also that it was golden.
The research is being conducted by Chinese Academy of Social Science (CASS) institute of archaeology, reported PTI.
The researchers had analysed the remains of five horses found in a nomad tomb complex. The analysis revealed that the tombs were from the Western Han Dynasty (202BC--8AD) in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
"The colour of the horses body was golden, or palomino, while its mane and tail were nearly white," said Zhao Xin, lead researcher of the project.
"Though its not the first archaeological discovery of a golden horse, such genovariation is very, very rare," she told Xinhua agency.
The tomb complex was from the 400BC--120BC and a nomad community was buried there. The five horses, that have been found during the excavation, were apparently sacrificed for three people.
While three horses were found in the same tomb, only the golden horse was buried with its owner, said Zhao.
"Obviously, its conspicuous and unique appearance made it precious," she said.