A group of bronze-age refugees flee the salt-mines of Hallstatt in Austria about four thousand years ago and make their way across Europe and Asia to finish up eventually in Xinjiang where their bodies are now preserved as the mummies of Urumqi, which are now actually on display in Urumqi or when their clothing and artefacts have been exhibited in overseas countries such as Japan and America. They escape persecution and probable death in their home country. They have adventures on the way and survive hunger, severe winters and attacks by strangers. The tribe, known to themselves as the Arkentii develop their ideas on morality as they are forced to adapt to changing circumstances. There is intrigue and conflict, love and sex. This story is interwoven with a second story about a team of modern archaeologists from various countries who are producing a film about the mummies for a Hong Kong film company. During this production they become embroiled in the local political situation between Uighur separatists and the Chinese administration. The physical characteristics of the team partially reflect the physical characteristics of some of the mummies of Urumqi and unavoidably there is of course intrigue and conflict, love and sex. The book contains a great deal of factual content about life in the bronze-age and the modern political situation. Attitudes expressed by various characters in both of the stories range from bigotry to tolerance.