Saturday, 18 August 2007

Genghis Khan's missing grave

On August 18, 1227, during his last campaign against the coalition of Jin Dynasty and Western Xia, the Mongol leader Genghis Khan died. It has been speculated that he fell off his horse, due to old age and physical fatigue (he was about 65 at the time). The Galician-Volhynian Chronicle alleges he was killed by the Tanguts. But there are persistent folktales that a Tangut princess, to avenge her people and prevent her rape, castrated him with a knife hidden inside her and that he never recovered. Like ouch! After he died, his body was returned to Mongolia and, according to legend, the funeral escort killed anyone and anything across their path to conceal where he was finally buried in accordance with his wish for an unmarked grave. Legends state that his grave was stampeded over by many horses and then had trees planted over it with the permafrost also doing its bit in hiding the burial site. But local folklore says that a river was diverted over his grave to make it impossible to find (the same manner of burial of Sumerian King Gilgamesh of Uruk.)

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