News | International
3 Aug 2020 22:02
NZCity News
NZCity CalculatorReturn to NZCity

  • Start Page
  • Personalise
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Finance
  • Shopping
  • Jobs
  • Horoscopes
  • Lotto Results
  • Photo Gallery
  • Site Gallery
  • TVNow
  • Dating
  • SearchNZ
  • NZSearch
  • Crime.co.nz
  • RugbyLeague
  • Make Home
  • About NZCity
  • Contact NZCity
  • Your Privacy
  • Advertising
  • Login
  • Join for Free

  •   Home > News > International

    Australian researchers find new clues to Genghis Khan's world

    Much of Genghis Khan's life remains a mystery, but Australian researchers think they have narrowed down where the Mongol conqueror spent the winter months.


    Much of Genghis Khan's life remains a mystery, but Australian researchers think they have narrowed down where the Mongol conqueror spent the winter months.

    Known as Chinggis Khan in Mongolia, Genghis Khan is believed to have lived between 1162 and 1227 and founded what would become the world's largest empire.

    Dr Jack Fenner from the Australian National University and his team used radiocarbon dating on animal bones and teeth unearthed at the archaeological site of Avraga, which has been excavated for years by a joint Japanese and Mongolian team.

    Japanese archaeologist Noriyuki Shiraishi suspected it was the site of Khan's winter camp, and Dr Fenner said his research, published in the peer-reviewed Archaeological Research in Asia, backs up the theory.

    "The dating coincided very closely with Chinggis Khan's lifetime," Dr Fenner told the ABC.

    But radiocarbon dates can be imprecise, giving a window of decades.

    Dr Fenner said to individually radiocarbon date an artefact could be 15 to 20 years off the mark, and the date "has to be calibrated against known changes to the atmospheric concentration of carbon", which could spread the window to between 50 or 75 years.

    "But what we did was take a series of radiocarbon dates from the same situation. And then we were able to use a statistical tool that allows us to project when the site as a whole — or at least the site is represented by our dates — was first occupied and then later abandoned," he said.

    He said his team then weighed up the probability of locations at the site being used during Genghis Khan's time.

    "It's not an exact science, but the overlap is such that it's very likely that it was first occupied during his lifetime and was abandoned either [after] or within a couple of decades [of his death]."

    Dr Fenner added there was more work to be done, as archaeologists had yet to unearth any artefact with a direct link toGenghis Khan at the site.

    Insight into daily life in the past

    Archaeologist Dr Joshua Wright from the University of Aberdeen said "the identification of Avraga with Genghis Khan has long been accepted" and was in fact first proposed by Mongolian archaeologists in the mid-20th century.

    "What is most interesting to me about the paper is its focus on diet and herding practices in Medieval Mongolia," he said.

    "Herding is an important part of the modern and past economies of Mongolia and reconstructing the skills and choices of historical herders really gives us insight into daily lives of people in the past. People who, in this case, lived and worked in proximity to the rulers of the Mongol empire.

    "This paper provides another piece for a complex and developing puzzle and is a welcome contribution."

    William Taylor, assistant professor and curator of archaeology at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, said while the Mongol Empire isn't his specialty, he thought the paper contained some interesting findings.

    "I think they've made quite a compelling argument that the site and the main burst of activity here, lines up very closely with what we would expect if this were fitting into the life and known trajectory of Chinggis Khan," Dr Taylor said.

    "You really can never be certain of anything when you talk about the ancient past, whether it's historical or archaeological, but they've made a strong argument here that the majority of animals that died at this site died within a particular window of time."

    "It's fantastic to see research projects that are integrating large radiocarbon and isotope datasets with historic records, giving us a really unique level of scientific detail into the lifeways of ancient Mongolia."

    Dr Fenner said Mongolians look toGenghis Khan's legacy for his political organisation, like the way he promoted people based on merit rather than clan, and established a rule of law.

    Dr Taylor said the public's enduring fascination with the Mongolian emperor comes down to the drama of a heroic or imposing hero, or anti-hero, depending on your perspective.

    "A lot of the world that we live in today was dramatically shaped by the development of the Mongol Empire," he said.

    © 2020 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved


     Other International News
     03 Aug: Coronavirus ripped through aged cared homes in the UK, but one managed to avoid disaster
     02 Aug: As Italy emerges from coronavirus COVID-19 catastrophe, families try to recover loved ones from a lonely grave
     02 Aug: Hydroxychloroquine is a poor coronavirus treatment but a perfect parable for our times
     02 Aug: In 1985, a third of the UK's population stopped to watch the World Snooker Championship Final
     01 Aug: PNG's coronavirus spike appears to have been triggered by a COVID-19 lab tester. Now a hospital is the epicentre
     01 Aug: The cancer costs of the coronavirus pandemic
     01 Aug: People urged to stay away from packed beaches as UK records third-hottest day ever
     Top Stories

    RUGBY RUGBY
    Julian Savea's committed to playing his rugby in New Zealand for the forseeable future More...


    BUSINESS BUSINESS
    The Government's funding an upgrade at the Chatham Islands airport runway, so larger aircraft can land More...



     Today's News

    Golf:
    Kiwi golfer Ryan Fox is looking forward to some restrictions easing inside his European PGA Tour bubble 21:57

    Entertainment:
    Bryan Cranston had a mild case of Covid-19 "a little while ago" and is currently donating his plasma 21:44

    Law and Order:
    Two Hawera police officers facing manslaughter charges are arguing to have their names suppressed 21:17

    Entertainment:
    Charlize Theron is dating herself 21:14

    Entertainment:
    Demi Lovato shared a message of support to young trans people at the 2020 GLAAD Media Awards on Thursday (30.07.20) 20:44

    Entertainment:
    Ellen Degeneres has apologised to staff of her talk show following allegations of a “toxic work environment” 20:14

    Entertainment:
    Garth Brooks’ youngest daughter had coronavirus 19:44

    Entertainment:
    Ice-T has lost eight loved ones to coronavirus 19:14

    Politics:
    More than 100-million-dollars is being invested into protecting six regions against climate change 18:57

    Entertainment:
    Heather Locklear has insisted James Naughton did “nothing wrong” when they filmed a scene together for ‘The First Wives Club’, after she recently claimed he had “groped” her 18:44


     News Search






    Power Search


    © 2020 New Zealand City Ltd