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Archaeologists Map Ruins of Karakorum, Capital of the Mongol Empire, for the First Time | Smart News

Karakorum served as the capital of the Mongol Empire during the 13th century. In the 16th century, the Buddhist Erdene Zuu monastery (pictured) was erected on the ruins of the city.
Aloxe via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA 3.0

The ruins of Karakorum, the 13th-century capital of the Mongol Empire, are still visible on the Earth’s surface today. But scholars have long ignored this physical evidence. Instead, descriptions of the city—located in what is now central Mongolia—have relied largely on written accounts by European travelers.

Archaeologists’ understanding of Karakorum, in other words, is overdue for an update. Now, for the first time ever, researchers have drawn on advanced geophysics methods to publish a detailed map of the capital. The findings, published this week in the journal…

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