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Features May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Finding Genghis


According to legend, Genghis Khan lies buried somewhere beneath the dusty steppe of Northeastern Mongolia, entombed in a spot so secretive that his men brought in horses to trample his grave and then ­diverted a river to flow over it. Now, nearly 800 years after his death, scientists at UC San Diego’s Center for Interdisciplinary Science in Art, Archi­tecture and Archaeology (CISA3) ­believe they may be able to locate his tomb using advanced visualization technologies available at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2).

“A large burial is going to have an ­impact on the landscape,” explains Albert Yu-Min Lin, Ph.D., the principal investigator on the “Valley of the Khans” project. Lin plans to use remote sensing techniques and satellite imagery to look for such impacts in the Khan khentii mountain region, where legend has it Khan is buried. Once the CISA3 scientists have pinpointed the area, they will use ground-penetrating radar, electromagnetic induction and magne­tometry to produce non-destructive, non-invasive surveys to create a high-resolution, 3-D representation of the site.

For updates on the Valley of the Khans project go to: valleyofthekhans.org/

Contributors to Making Waves: Kim Edwards, Tiffany Fox, Raymond Hardie, Pat JaCoby, Annie Reisewitz