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Archaeologists Unearth Genghis Khan’s Lost Fortress in Western Mongolia

Genghis Khan

Named as Temujin when he was born in 1162, Genghis Khan has been regarded as one of the most powerful military leaders in history thanks to his great success of building and ruling the Mongol Empire. By the time when he died, his empire had expanded from the eastern regions of Asia to the remote West Russia.

Recently a group of researchers from Mongolia and Japan discovered a fortress used by this mighty emperor in the period of the thirteen century, which would help historians have a better understanding of the way in which his empire moved in the westward direction towards Europe.

Genghis Khan, literally meaning Supreme Leader, used to take control of more than 12 million square miles across Asia. After British Empire the Mongol Empire was ranked the second in regard of expanse. Although tribes were offered the chance of peaceful surrendering, any resistance could be dealt with great force.

It is thought that Genghis Khan held responsibility for the deaths of more than 40 million people during his lifetime, but some historians were doubtful about the validity of the extent of Genghis Khan’s massacre, claiming that such hearsay was used to strike fear into his enemies.

Genghis Khan’s Lost Mongolian Fortress

13th-century military outpost established for Genghis Khan (1162-1227) found in SW Mongolia http://t.co/3rlXawoMGJ pic.twitter.com/nSFfIT5JWi

— Win Scutt’s ArchNews (@Archaeology_ws) February 28, 2015

The team leader Koichi Matsuda of Osaka International University and his colleagues discovered the fortress located in southwestern Mongolia in 2001. The landscape nearby the site was same in line with a description of the fortress made by a Tao spiritual leader in a book written at the same time. Its location was nearly 880 kilometers west of Ulan Bator, the capital city of Mongolia.

From the site the team uncovered some artifacts, such as animal bones and Chinese pottery as well as wood fragments. By examination of carbon dating, such items were believed to be ranged from the 12th through 14th centuries. Measuring 170 meters by 200 meters, the fortress had walls built up with soil. It is said that the fortress was established in 1212, and it was possibly commissioned by one of top officials from Genghis Khan’s regime.

In the interview with the Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shinbun, Matsuda said that the fortress was a powerful stronghold at that time. Named as Chinkai Castl, the fortress was located close to farmland on the silk trade routes, which would be much helpful for the Mongolian army in forging west. In addition, it would also help the army have easy access to necessary provisions available and useful information carried by travelers.

As the Mongol Empire collapsed, ChinkaiCastle had fallen into ruins during the 14th century, and finally disappeared in history. It is believed that rediscovery and confirmation of its identity would consist of an important part of Asian history, from which historians could learn more about the westward expansion of the unbeatable army of Genghis Khan.