DNA testing has demonstrated that nearly two-thirds of villagers in a remote part of China on the fringes of the Gobi desert have Caucasian origins supporting a theory that these villagers may be descended from a lost Roman legion.

The villagers have physical features highlighting their Caucasian origins, including blue or green eyes, long noses, and fair hair.

Although most historians believe the two empires only had indirect contact along the Silk Road. The theory being examined here centres on the belief, first put forward by Homer Dubs, that some of the legionaries involved in Crassus’ disastrous expedition in Parthia where thousands of legionaries died, escaped the bloodshed and survived by marching East before settling in the Steppes. Other historians have argued that the Caucasian genes could have been introduced by the Huns whose army included Caucasian soldiers.

Planned archaeological excavations could clarify matters if distinctly Roman artifacts are discovered in the region.