Saturday, 29 July 2017

Why Genghis Khan's Tomb Can't Be Found by By Erin Craig

Genghis Khan (known in Mongolia as Chinggis Khaan) once ruled everything between the Pacific Ocean and the Caspian Sea. Upon his death he asked to be buried in secret. A grieving army carried his body home, killing anyone it met to hide the route. When the emperor was finally laid to rest, his soldiers rode 1,000 horses over his grave to destroy any remaining trace.
In the 800 years since Genghis Khan’s death, no-one has found his tomb.

A possible lead in a forbidden location

Folklore holds that Genghis Khan was buried on a peak in the Khentii Mountains called Burkhan Khaldun, roughly 160km north-east of Ulaanbaatar. He had hidden from enemies on that mountain as a young man and pledged to return there in death. Yet there’s dissent among scholars as to precisely where on the mountain he’d be ‒ if at all.

“It is a sacred mountain,” acknowledged Dr Sodnom Tsolmon, professor of history at Ulaanbaatar State University with an expertise in 13th-Century Mongolian history. “It doesn’t mean he’s buried there.”Scholars use historical accounts to puzzle out the location of Genghis Khan’s tomb. Yet the pictures they create are often contradictory. The 1,000 running horses indicate a valley or plain, as at the Xiongnu graveyard. Yet his pledge pins it to a mountain. To complicate matters further, Mongolian ethnologist S Badamkhatan identified five mountains historically called Burkhan Khaldun (though he concluded that the modern Burkhan Khaldun is probably correct).

Honouring a warrior’s final wish

With the tomb seemingly out of reach, why does it remain such a controversial issue in Mongolia?
Genghis Khan is simply Mongolia’s greatest hero. The West recalls only what he conquered, but Mongolians remember what he created. His empire connected East and West, allowing the Silk Road to flourish. His rule enshrined the concepts of diplomatic immunity and religious freedom. He established a reliable postal service and the use of paper money. Genghis Khan didn’t just conquer the world, he civilised it.

The full article is available at the link below:

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