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Map reveals where Genghis Khan’s secret tomb could be | World News

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Map reveals where Genghis Khan’s secret tomb could be | World News

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Genghis Khan carved out one of the largest empires in history, rivalled only by the British Empire, but despite his impact on the world, his tomb has never been found (Picture: History/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The final resting place of Genghis Khan has remained a mystery for nearly 800 years.

Born Temüjin in the vast grasslands of the Mongolian steppe, this warrior’s armies swept through much of Asia and Europe to form the largest land empire in history.

Genghis Khan’s conquests killed roughly 40 million people as he carved out a realm stretching from the Caspian Sea to the Pacific Ocean, and from Siberia south to China and modern-day Iran.

After his death, his successors stretched it further, all the way to Ukraine in the west and the Indian Ocean in the south.

The Mongolian Empire covered nine million square miles at its greatest extent in the late 13th century – but where is Genghis Khan’s tomb? (Picture: metro.co.uk)

It was five times the size of the Roman Empire at its peak, coming only second to the British Empire in terms of scale.

Roughly 16 million people alive today are descended from the Mongol emperor.

But after conquering nearly a fifth of the world on horseback, Genghis Khan’s body vanished after he died with a fever in 1227.

He had been on a military campaign in central China.

Folklore maintains that Genghis Khan’s body was carried some 745 miles back to Mongolia where it was buried on the peak of Burkhan Khaldun.

Mausoleum of Genghis Khan in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China. (Picture: Fanghong)

His soldiers then rode 1,000 horses over his grave to destroy any trace of the site.

The 2,000 slaves who attended his funeral were also slaughtered, according to the Italian merchant adventurer Marco Polo, who travelled the Silk Road decades later.

As a boy, Genghis Khan had taken refuge from his enemies on the sacred mountain.

The area was historically known as Ikh Khorig – the Great Forbidden Sanctuary – where Mongol rulers banned common folk from entering.

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He pledged to return there in death.

Burkhan Khaldun overlooking the Tuul River in Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, Mongolia (Picture: Getty Images/imageBROKER RF)

It’s almost certain Khan is buried on or around this peak in the Khentii Mountains, roughly 100 miles northeast of the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar.

As was common in the graves of Mongol rulers, his tomb is believed to be filled with treasures – gold and silver ornaments, and sacrificed horses – that the spark the imaginations of explorers desperate to find it.

But the exact location of his tomb is unknown, perhaps because Khan never wanted to be found.

And in a country seven times the size of Great Britain, with only 2% of its roads, it seems an impossible task to find it.

‘They went through all that effort to hide his tomb’, one young Mongolian woman told the BBC. ‘If they’d wanted us to find it, they would have left some sign.’

So strong is this feeling among many in Mongolia, where Genghis Khan’s image adorns the money, that protests met the first archaelogists allowed to investigate Ikh Khorig in 1989.

That hasn’t stopped people from trying though, and almost all are from abroad.

Where is Genghis Khan buried?

This map shows some of the proposed sites for where the infamous warlord Genghis Khan’s tomb could be (Picture: metro.co.uk)

The general consensus is that Genghis Khan is buried in a 240km squared area known as Ikh Khorig, which translates to ‘the Great Taboo’, or the ‘Great Forbidden Sanctuary’.

Over three years, the first archeological exploration of the area found 1,380 undergrounds cavities that could be the tombs of Mongolian nobles.

Many could predate Khan, Vice reported.

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None were excavated due to public outcry.

Later in the 1990s and early 2000s, researchers from the USA, Mongolia and Japan investigated a site Khan’s assumed birthplace.

There they found a walled graveyard 54 miles east of Burkhan Khaldun mountain, near the town of Batshireet, close to the Onon River in the Hentii Mountains.

But again, the investigation faltered after locals became concerned the researchers would begin a dig.

More recently, 55 ‘potential archaeological anomalies’ were identified by a field team after 5,838 added 1.2 million tags to satellite images as part of a search for the tomb from the comfort of their own homes.

Bucking the trend of suggested sites around Ikh Khorig is a location known as the Genghis Khan Mausoleum in China.

The name is misleading as it is a memorial built in the 1950s rather than a tomb.

But there is a theory that Khan’s body never left China after his death near Gansu, and was instead buried some 500km in Xinjie in the Ordos region.

This theory became popular in the 1800s when Europeans founded tented tombs in the area.

Although the site is popular with thousands of tourists each day, it’s almost certainly not the final resting place of the warrior who tried to conquer the world.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.


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