Ancient Mongolia

Ancient Mongolia dates back to the third century B.C. when the Huns (Xiongnu) came to power among many other nomadic tribes in Central Asia after iron weapons entered the area. They stayed in power until roughly 74 BC. However, according to scientific calculations Mongolia has been inhabited for over 800,000 years.

The most important prehistoric sites are the cave drawings. The Khoid Tsenkheriin Agui in Mankhan village, Khovd province has numerous drawings of animals like ostrich aka camel birds, bactrian camels, mammoth, and buffalo.

The other ancient cave in Mongolia was discovered in about 40 km northeast from the center of Bayanlig village, Bayankhongor province in mountain range called Ikh Bogd. The cave was named White after the name of the mount itself.

It is very interesting that the farming settlements has been found in far eastern part of Mongolia in Dornod Province and in the far west of Mongolia archeologists discovered the encampments of hunters and fishers.

Again even the population during the Copper Age has been categorized as paleo-mongolid in the east of what is now Mongolia, and as europid in the west of the country. Due to illiteracy and nomadic lifestyle, little was recorded by Huns of themselves except they first appear in Chinese history as Barbarians against whom the walls were built which later became known as Great Wall of China. Read about the recent discovery of two stone inscriptions found in the heartland of Mongolia.

The struggle for mere existence and power over other tribes kept going till the time of Genghis Khan. He was able to unite these warring tribes under his leadership and established the biggest Empire in the history of the World, Great Mongol Empire. Fourteen years after his coronation as 'Universal' King, he made Kara Korum the capital. Mongol Empire reached its' height in terms of the land conquered during Genghis Khan's grandson Kublai Khan.

Books on Ancient Mongolia

I recommend to everyone who is genuinely interested in Mongolia The Secret History of the Mongols by Mongolian professor Onon. I have not read it in English but every Mongolian read the book in modern Mongolian language. This is probably the oldest book Mongolia has, there are vivid similarities with the Bible in literary style, wordings and story tellings.

It is speculated that the author could have been a Christian or at least was very knowledgeable with the Bible. Hugh Kemp in his book, Steppe by Step, says that Qadag is the most likely candidate on authorship of Secret History of the Mongols.

I like the way he writes the history of ancient Mongolia and connects the modern reality with the ancient world. Even though his book is about the history of Christianity in Mongolia, he covers much more in a very interesting way. His book will help you to see the picture of ancient Mongolia from the height of 21st century.

Click here to learn about Mongolian clothing or Mongolian armor of Mongol Empire.

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