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Archaeological Site at Khuduu Aral and Surrounding Cultural Landscape




Khuduu Aral is a plain about 30 kilometres long and 20 kilometres wide on the meander of the Kherlen river, west of the Kherlen Toono, and south of the mountain of Kherlen Bayan Ulaan, at the altitude of 1.300 m above sea level. The site of Ikh Aurug (palace) of Chinggis Khaan is on this plain. This site is closely connected with the historical work "The Secret history of the Mongols" because it was finished exactly here. To honour the 750th anniversary of this event , a historic monument was erected here in 1990. Hereabouts are places such as Doloon Boldog and Shilhentseg, mentioned in " The Secret history of the Mongols ".

Khuduu Aral of Kherlen river and surrounding cultural landscape covers the most part of Delgerkhaan soum of Khentii province and lays between Kherlen river (from west and south), and Tsenkher river (from east) and covers over 100.000 hectare area.

The cultural landscape of Khuduu Aral draws boundary between mountainous zone and dry steppe zone. This area is very famous with its pleasant pasture land, verified therapeutical mineral water of Avarga spring and Toson Lake, and rare animals and endemic plants and beautiful natural landscape.

The Mt. Kherlenbayan-Ulaan (elongates 30-40 km) is situated at the north of Khuduu Aral and has a considerable number of historical and archaeological sites from the Stone Age to the 18th century CE. The valuable findings discovered from the sites associated with the period of the Mongolian Empire are considered very important for study. The Mountain bears a testimony of the traditional sacrificial and ritual practices, nomadic culture, and pasture use and protection. It is also famous with its, rare in the world, stipa steppe.

Proposed property Archaeological Site at Khuduu Aral and Surrounding Cultural Landscape is the cradle land of the Mongolian Empire. The Avargiin Balgas (Ruins of Avarga) ancient ruins, formely called Ikh Aurug Ordo (Great Aurug Palace) was a main palace, built during the Chinggis Khaan time, is located at the Khuduu Aral. It was not only the palace of Chinggis Khaan, but also the place where some of his successors were enthroned, and was political and economic centre of the Great Mongolian Empire during its first stage.

At Khuduu Aral Mongolian kings Chinggis, Ugudei, Munkh, Esuntumur and so on took their thrones and state affairs were negotiated and settled by the Supreme Counsel (Ikh Khuraldai). Also an outstanding historical and literary work the Secret History of Mongols was finished writing and the Eight Ceremonial White Gers (traditional Mongolian dwelling) stayed and worshipped until the 15th century.

All of these statements have been verified by written historical sources and archaeological materials and findings. The Ikh Aurug Ordo was initially a seasonal encampment but over time it grew and became a city. The palace was a dignified one from other palaces of Chingis khaan and was controlled by Queen Burte of Chinggis Khaan. The word Aurug latter became Avarga.

The Ruins of Avarga covers approximately 60 hectare area that measures 1200m from west to east and 500m from north to south. There are the remains of semi-circular earthen wall in the northern part. Two sides of the main street that went through the eastern and western parts are occupied with several building ruins of which some are hardly recognized with small earth mounds on the surface while over 10 (buildings with and without walls) are clearly recognizable. Big palace, forges, reservoirs, agricultural areas and other small manufacture places have been brought to light through archaeological excavations. Geophysical and radiolocation analyses showed that there are many sacrificial pits around palaces. Moreover, thorough investigations are being conducted on recently found semi-concealed burials at the Kherlenbayan-Ulaan mountain (part of the proposed property) are dated back to the period of Mongolian Empire.

Also, from the region, researchers have registered hundreds of monuments and archeological sites starting from prehistoric settlements: from the Bronze and Iron Age, Xiongnu, Turk, Kidan and Great Mongolian Empire.

The protection zone of the Ruins of Avarga, which covers 1230 hectare area, was set by the 190th decree of the Government of Mongolia in 2003. And dozens of burial sites from different time periods and Stone Age settlement sites and other immovable cultural sites at Ikh Khailant and Khanangyn Enger are protected by the state.

In 2014, the protection zone of Kherlen Toono Mountain was assigned by the Government. In 2011, Delgerkhaan soum became the first soum to have no mining licenses on its territory this is accomplished by the enormous efforts of soum citizens and it is a good example of how people can protect their historical and natural heritage. The Khuduu Aral research center and museum building was opened in 2007, and approximately 3 km fence around the Ruins of Avarga was built.

Photo. Khuduu Aral and Surrounding Cultural Landscape. Khentii aimag.

Photo. Khuduu Aral and Surrounding Cultural Landscape. Khentii aimag.

Photo. Khuduu Aral and Surrounding Cultural Landscape. Khentii aimag.

Photo. Khuduu Aral and Surrounding Cultural Landscape. Khentii aimag.

Photo. Khuduu Aral and Surrounding Cultural Landscape. Khentii aimag.

Photo. Khuduu Aral and Surrounding Cultural Landscape. Khentii aimag..

Photo. Khuduu Aral and Surrounding Cultural Landscape. Khentii aimag.

Photo. Khuduu Aral and Surrounding Cultural Landscape. Khentii aimag.


Chinggis City

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- Burkhan Khaldun Mountain

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- Khuduu Aral and Surrounding Cultural Landscape.

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