AGRICULTURE IN MONGOLIA
The origin of agriculture in Mongolia dates back to archaic times of Stone Age and the earliest finding related to agriculture are the stone hand mill and mortar found in Tamsagbulag in eastern Mongolia. Similar findings were found also in the soums of Matad in Dornod province, Dariganga in Sukhbaatar, Lun in Tuv provinces, Bayanzag in Umnugobi and Dulaangobi in Dornogobi. More advanced cultivation equipments and tools were found from the sites of Bronze and Iron Age.
The Huns planted crops at least in 7"' century BC, which is proved not only by historical recordings, but also the findings from the Hum graves, including agricultural tools and vases with many kinds of wheat seeds. Researcher S.Dorjsuren noted in his article 'Monument of Northern Hans' that … stone mortars are the common findings in the Hun period graves dating back to 3-7th century BC. In the 23rd grave of Noyon Uula, there was plenty of wheat seed and grain..., these date backto 2-3rd century BC...". In many historical recordings, the ancient Mongols were named differently as 'forest people', steppe nomads and people who are engaged in agriculture as well as 'Mongol Shivei tribes plant wheat and millet'. Russian researcher N.Y.Bichurin wrote that 'Bayegu (Bayud) tribe had their cultivation field near Bargujin tukhum'.
In the book of 'Brief History of Mongol Nation" it says "The Onguts and Khongirats grow maize and Merkits plant wheat barley" and Russian researcher B.Y.Vladimortsov also noted that 'Merkit tribe planted wheat in the Selenge basin and used flour in 12"' century'. It's proven in the 'Mongolian Secret History' book, written in 1240s, that says "The king Van of Khereid was arrested by merkits when he was 7 and used to make flour in mortar at Buur kheer in Selenge'.
The Chinese tourist Chan Da Khui travelled in Mongolia in 12th century and wrote "The citizens of Kharakhorum plant -wheat and potatoes in ditch field" and
G.Rubruck, who came to Kharkorum in 1253 recorded that 'The Mongol kings and khans have cultivation land in the south and bring millet from there'. There are traces of crop plantation in the land area of present Gobi-Altai and Zavkhan province, that relate to the period of this spoken time.
The Yuan Empire recordings say that there were about 4600 peasant families in Kharkorum in 1320, who distilled vodka of wheat besides supplying for food for military force and therefore being banned several times. There are no clear recordings about the agriculture development during the period of late 14th century to late 16th century, but the only recording of Manchus in 1600 say 'Mongols in liven area know very well about crop plantation and building water and hand mill'.
The Russian messenger V.Turskii who came to Mongolia in 1687 wrote that 'he saw the wheat field of Bogdo, Mongolian Buddhist leader, in the area between Khiagt and Khuree' and Chinese tourist Syao-De-Khan also wrote 'The way Mongolians plant crop is not that different than of the area near Great Wall.
Their equipment is mainly horse or cattle haressed plow. They plant wheat and barley. Their tradition 1ms ancient origin, but not only starting recently'. In the book 'Livelihood diaries' by Bayanchuulgan, written also in this period of time says 'Plowing land with wooden plow, threshing grain with stone roller with haressed cattle, threshing grain in wind mill, to use sieve in threshing grain and to grind flour with mill were common'.
The crop plantation was common in the areas in Tusheet khan, Tsetsen khan, Zasagt khan and Sain Noyon khan provinces and it could supply the local demand and consumption. The agriculture in Mongolia was developed in very unique way as Mongols used the advantage of animal husbandry in crop plantation, including the making and utilization of agricultural tools and equipments, fertilization, processes of cultivation, harvesting and threshing.