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Expedition may have found Genghis' grave

ULAN BATOR, Mongolia -- An American-Mongolian expedition believes it may have uncovered the burial ground of legendary conqueror Genghis Khan.

The New York Times reports the expedition has uncovered a walled burial ground some 200 miles northeast of the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator.

According to legend, all those in attendance at the funeral of Genghis Khan in 1227 were killed to preserve the secrecy of the tomb site.

The site has remained a mystery ever since.

The newspaper reports that in a joint announcement, made at the University of Chicago and in Ulan Bator, scholars did not claim that the tomb had indeed been found.

But its location is important because of its proximity to Genghis' birthplace and the site where he was proclaimed ruler of all Mongols in 1206.

A stone wall, and tombs Asia
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The expedition has found a stone wall between 9 feet and 12 feet high, and 2 miles around. The wall encloses at least 20 unopened tombs near the top of the hill.

"It is a very intriguing discovery because of the site's proximity to places important in Genghis' life,'' the NY Times quotes Dr. John Woods, a history professor at Chicago and the expedition's academic director, as saying in a telephone interview.

The expedition has yet to receive permission to excavate any of the stone-bordered graves.

Genghis is considered one of history's greatest conquerors, and the empire helped to build remains the largest the world has ever known.

At one time, Genghis ruled over everything that lay between the eastern coast of China and the Caspian Sea.

His grandson, Kublai Khan, expanded the rule of the Mongols into Central Asia, Russia and the Middle East. The latest expedition to find the site of Genghis' burial ground is being led by Maury A. Kravitz, a former commodities trader and lawyer in Chicago.

Second time lucky

The NY Times says the Genghis Khan Geo-Historical Expedition failed to find anything of significance in its first sortie last year.

But under the guidance of Mongolian geographer Dr. D. Bazargur it has found the mysterious burial ground.

Bazargurt has prepared an authoritative atlas of the places in Genghis Khan's life.

After several days of study, the newspaper quotes Dr. Woods as saying, "Bazargur declared outright, 'These are the tombs we have been looking for.'"

• The University of Chicago
• The New York Times on the Web

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