As competing researchers race to locate Genghis Khan’s tomb, discoveries by German and Mongolian archaeologists are shedding light on his son Ögödei’s equally impressive accomplishments.
His end didn’t begin heroically. The Mongolian ruler simply fell off his horse. His hands and legs must have lost their strength. It was an embarrassing incident from which Genghis Khan never recovered.
Shortly thereafter, a procession of slaves and warriors escorted the ruler’s body, wrapped in a white felt blanket, to its final resting place. Slivers of fragrant sandalwood were placed in the grave to prevent insects from gnawing at the body of the Great Khan.
But where exactly did the subjects bury the body of this tyrant, who is still revered by Mongolians today? Over the past century, scores of adventurers and archaeologists have searched in vain for Genghis Khan’s grave. Read more.
OSAKA—Two massive slabs of stone inscribed in ancient Turkic script have been found on the steppes of eastern Mongolia, the first such discovery in over a century, a Japanese researcher said July 16.
The epigraphs date from the mid-eighth century, said Takashi Osawa, a professor of ancient Turkic history at Osaka University’s graduate school.
He said the finds may offer invaluable clues to the political systems and institutions of the Gokturk people, who faced the Sui and Tang dynasties in China in times of peace and war as they reigned over the steppes of Central Asia. Read more.
A group of researchers led by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) has discovered the first scientific evidence of genetic blending between Europeans and Asians in the remains of ancient Scythian warriors living over 2,000 years ago in the Altai region of Mongolia. Contrary to what was believed until now, the results published in PLoS ONE indicate that this blending was not due to an eastward migration of Europeans, but to a demographic expansion of local Central Asian populations, thanks to the technological improvements the Scythian culture brought with them.
The Altai is a mountain range in Central Asia occupying territories of Russia and Kazakhstan to the west and of Mongolia and China to the east. Historically, the Central Asian steppes have been a corridor for Asian and European populations, resulting in the region’s large diversity in population today. Read more.
HOHHOT — Archaeologists of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences have reconstituted a 5,300-year-old pottery statue from fragments unearthed in north China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region, it was announced on Saturday.
The debris of the pottery statue was found at the Xinglonggou relics site in Aohan banner of Chifeng city in May, Xinhua news agency reported.
Experts began to excavate the debris on June 30 and using 65 fragments finished piecing the status together on Friday, said Liu Guoxiang, head of an archaeology team of Inner Mongolia.
The restored seated figure is 55-cm high and has a vivid facial expression with bulging eyes.
"The statue may be of a wizard or leader during the Ho
HOHHOT - Eighteen cliff paintings dating back over 4,000 years have been discovered by archaeologists in northern China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region, an official said Sunday.
The prehistoric portraits were unearthed in the Yinshan Mountains in Urad Middle Banner (an administration division of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region), said Liu Binjie, head of the Cultural Relics Bureau of Urad Middle Banner.
The patterns are still clear and the paintings have been arranged in an orderly manner on the cliffs. Liu added that they are the finest of their kind that have been unearthed so far.
Among the paintings, seven faces were exaggerated and monstrous, and have been interpreted as the seven stars of the “Big Dipper” constellation. Liu concluded that these may have been drawn by prehistoric men for worship. Read more.
A forgotten section of the Great Wall of China has been discovered deep in the Gobi Desert—and outside of China—researchers say.
With the help of Google Earth, an international expedition documented the ancient wall for roughly 100 kilometers (62 miles) in a restricted border zone in southern Mongolia in August 2011.
The defensive barrier formed part of the Great Wall system built by successive Chinese dynasties to repel Mongol invaders from the north, according to findings published in the March issue of the Chinese edition of National Geographic magazine.
Preserved to a height of 9 feet (2.75 meters) in places, the desert discovery belongs to a sequence of remnant walls in Mongolia collectively known as the Wall of Genghis Khan, said expedition leader and Great Wall researcher William Lindesay.
Named after the founder of the Mongol Empire, the Wall of Genghis Khan usually survives only as “a faint trace,” Lindesay said in an email.
But “we found a ‘real wall’, standing high and existing as a dominant landscape feature,” he said. Read more.
HOHHOT, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) — Archeologists have discovered 10 sites of ancient civilization in the Badain Jaran Desert, China’s third largest desert located in northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
An archeological team composed of 11 experts from Inner Mongolia, Beijing and Sichuan have unearthed large quantities of stone and pottery handicrafts dating back 5,000 years from the sites, which, the experts believe, indicate civilization once flourished in the desert.
Experts say one of the most distinguished findings was a black-red painted pottery jar, which represents Neolithic art that dates back 4,500 years.
It was unearthed from a site where archeologists have discovered civilization ruins in an area of 15,000 square meters.
The experts said stone wares made of flint and agate were found in all 10 sites. Read more.
HOHHOT, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) — More than 200 coins that were used 1,000 years ago were excavated in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, said local archaeologists on Tuesday.
The green verdigris-covered coins, most from the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) and some from the Tang Dynasty (618-907), were unearthed at a construction site in Araxan League, said Zhang Zhenzhou with the Araxan Museum.
Zhang added that the place where the coins were found belonged to the Western Xia Kingdom, which means that the area was probably a business hub between Northern Song and Western Xia.
Zhang’s opinion is echoed by Li Daxiang, curator of Weiwu municipal museum in Gansu Province. Read more.