Those who know their history, must surely be familiar with the name of the one-and-only Genghis Khan, the early 13th century founder of the Mongol Empire. But in stark contrast to his fascinating life as the world’s most powerful warlord during the epoch, the eminent ruler wanted his grave to be an unmarked one without any grand mausoleum. In fact, legend has it that the accompanying escort went to great lengths to keep his tomb a secret by killing everyone in their funeral march’s path.
But this shroud of secrecy has baffled historians for centuries, with later tales alluding to how this unmarked grave might also boast of many a treasure that the Great Khan accumulated during his lifetime of pillaging and conquering. And now, Albert Yu-Min Lin, a research scientist at the University of California, has fueled the academic realm with his crowd-sourced ‘Valley of the Khans‘ project – an archaeological/scientific endeavor hatched in collaboration with National Geographic, with the sole purpose of finding out Genghis Khan’s tomb. The mission statement of the project explains this ‘elusive’ goal in a pretty succinct manner –
This study aims to utilize modern non-invasive tools in the search for the tomb of Genghis Khan, thus shedding light on Mongolia’s rich historical heritage and enabling conservation and education of this rapidly changing landscape.
However, beyond just statements, the collective group boasting of more than 10,000 volunteers, have poured more than 30,000 work-hours into the endeavor, with their scientifically-backed examinations covering a whopping area of 6,000 sq km. The comprehensive data was compiled by analyzing and sifting through high-resolution images of Mongolia that were originally captured from satellites. Finally, the complex assessment has led to a zoned-in map that is further investigated by a National Geographic ground team, with high-end techniques like ground-penetrating radar and electro-magnetometry. And in a positive note, the team has been able to spot around 100 potential sites, with 55 of them being of special interest – all ranging from the Bronze Age to the medieval period of 13th century.
Unfortunately, till now, the researchers have still not been able to locate the actual site of Genghis Khan’s tomb. Still the ongoing endeavor can surely be celebrated, given its fusion of both technology and history – both of which are playing their crucial roles in determining a fabled treasure hunt.
Via: Discovery News