The final resting place of great military leader Genghis Khan is shrouded in complete mystery – but legend says that opening his tomb will spark World War 3 when it’s found.
According to chronicles revealed Great Mongol Ruler and War Lord Genghis Khan never wanted his tomb to be found after his death. The Mongolian government has even created a forbidden zone to stop invasive archaeologists digging for the tomb. However, researchers from various countries have been exerting themselves to spot the tomb for decades, but so far with little success.
Some historians and conspiracy theorists connect the search for Khan’s tomb with the discovery of the resting place of another ancient ruler – Timur – who claimed to be the restorer of the Mongol Empire and a descendant of Khan himself. It is believed the find of his tomb in the 1940s triggered some of the biggest struggles of World War 2. And it’s feared it would be even worse if Khan’s remains are ever found.
Some horrified Mongolians suggest that opening Genghis Khan’s tomb it will unleash a globally destructive curse even worse than Timur’s.
Who is Genghis Khan?
Few will know that Genghis Khan was born in the Trans-Baikal area, specifically in the Delyun-Boldok district on the Onon River, in the south of Russia’s current Chita region, supposedly in October 1155. His father Yesugei was the head of a clan of great antiquity. What is known of Genghis Khan’s infancy and adolescence has more to do with inventions and myths than hard facts. Temujin, which was Genghis Khan’s original name, had obviously defeated his main rivals during their struggle for power between 1183 and 1204, so when the chieftains of steppe tribes and clans met in a Kurultai, their council, in 1206, they acknowledged him “Khan” of all Mongols, and he took a new title Genghis, which is the Turkic for sea, or ocean. Genghis Khan means an absolute ruler, the one with ocean-wide powers, who governed from sea to sea. Following the required reorganization of his country and the Army he launched, within several years of the 1206 Kurultai, his invasions and conquests that actually shook the whole of the 13th century Eurasia. Genghis Khan died in the Tangut land known as Xi Xia during the invasion of that land that he started in 1226. Since by then he had been invariably escorted by his life chroniclers, the date of his death was accurately registered as the 25th of August, 1227.
After that his body was secretly taken to some place in Mongolia or China, with several such places officially named in the two countries to date. However, the surviving sources fail to report the exact location and none of the allegedly official whereabouts has offered final confirmation.
Burial place at the Onon River
The team of Mongolian scientists has suggested that burial place with the numerous skeletons found at the Onon River, Mongolia may belong to Genghis Khan.
68 skeletons found at the site could be the slaves who built the tomb and killed later on to keep the secret of the location. The remains of twelve horses were also found on the site, certainly sacrificed to accompany the Great Khan in afterlife.
The content of the tomb was scattered and badly deteriorated, presumably due to the fact that the site was located beneath the river bed for hundreds of years until the course of the Onon river changed in the 18th century. The remains of a tall male and sixteen female skeletons were identified among hundreds of gold and silver artifacts and thousands of coins. The women are presumed to have been wives and concubines of the leader, who were killed to accompany the warlord in the afterlife.
The amount of treasure and the number of sacrificed animals and people have immediately led the archaeologists to consider that the site was certainly the burial site of a really powerful Mongol warlord. After realizing an extensive set of tests and analysis, they were able to confirm that the body belonged to a man aged between 60 and 75, who died between 1215 and 1235 AD. Both the age, the date, the location and the opulence of the site seem to suggest that the tomb might belong to Genghis Khan.
Since Genghis Khan’s death many attempts have been made to find the tomb, whether because of curiosity and adventure or great wealth. But somehow expeditions have been stopped by a string of unfortunate “accidents,” which many think prove the existence of the curse. American expedition took place in 2002 failed after few members were bitten by poisonous snakes living in a two-mile-long wall thought to protect the tomb site.
Other workers on the trip fell foul of deadly creatures and cars rolled off hillsides for no apparent reason. After numerous strange events the former Mongolian prime minister called a halt to the search and banned anyone from entering the Forbidden Zone.
Mongols truly fear the tomb’s finder would be cursed and hope its location will remain a mystery.