New Delhi: A team of Chinese scientists has discovered a translucent yellow adhesive, gelatin in a tomb which is well known for its mummies preserved in ship-shaped coffins in Xinjiang, northwest China.
Scientists found out gelatin by their oldest method and kept a wooden staff inlaid with bone sculpture in the Xiaohe Cemetery in Taklamakan Desert.
Yang Yimin associate professor with the Chinese Academy of Sciences said, in preceding years, gelatin's usage in China dates back to the Han Dynasty (202 BC - 220 AD). Scientist later identified the adhesive as gelatine made from cattle. It was also the earliest known evidence of gelatine use in China.
Gelatine can be manufactured by cooking animal bones, skins and tendons and has been commonly used as glue.
China's ancient glue is prone to decomposition, posing difficulties for conducting analysis, but the dry climate in Xiaohe Cemetery has helped to preserve the substance experts said.