Karakorum, Mongolia, a complex urban site in a non-urban society

Author(s): Jan Bemmann; Susanne Reichert

Year: 2017


It is undisputed that Karakorum was founded by the Mongol Emperor/Khan, saying this means we analyze a top-down planned large city in a non-sedentary, non-urban society. Therefore we will address the question of the layout of the city and the spatial organization. How are activities and people ordered, is there common space, what kind of infrastructure is provided by the city founders and how is it maintained during the nearly 200 years of the existence of the city. At which areas were landmark buildings erected, where did the emperors place public monuments like propaganda stelae, how did they use architecture as a symbol of power? Are there any changes in the layout of the city, traces of decay? Was the master-plan of the city planners ever finished or do we see a rapid decline after the city lost its status as a capital? What criteria do we have to differentiate town quarters? Where are the cemeteries and are there any indicators for elite burials? Share locals and foreigners the same cemetery or has each ethnic or religious group its own cemetery? What social status did the inhabitants had and where did they come from?

Cite this Record

Karakorum, Mongolia, a complex urban site in a non-urban society. Jan Bemmann, Susanne Reichert. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431707)


Mongolia Urbanism

Geographic Keywords
East/Southeast Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15062