Baibalyk: An Early Fortified Town and Trading Center in a Nomadic Pastoral Landscape on the Mongolian Steppe
Mongolia is well known for its history of nomadic pastoralism and Bronze and Early Iron Age burials and monuments. It wasn’t until later in the Iron Age that the first large fortified towns and urban centers were built by the Uygher and Khitan Khanates. One of these, Baibalyk is believed to have been established in 758 CE by the Uyghur khagan, Bayanchur Khan, as a ceremonial and trading center in the fertile and strategically located Selenge Valley. Later in the 17th Century, Baibalyk is known to have been the site of a Buddhist monastery. Although prominent on the Mongolian landscape, Baibalyk has received little systematic attention from archaeologists. To address this deficiency, members of the Mongolian International Heritage Team have recently begun a long-term program of investigation to gain a better understanding of the role centers such as Bai Balik played in a nomadic pastoral economy. Preliminary investigation suggests Baibalyk has had a long history of use including Uyghur, Mongolian Empire, Buddhist, and recent historical occupation. In this presentation, we compile existing knowledge concerning Baibalyk and provide the results of a recent reconnaissance of the site and its environs.
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Baibalyk: An Early Fortified Town and Trading Center in a Nomadic Pastoral Landscape on the Mongolian Steppe. Richard Ciolek-Torello, Jeffrey Altschul, B. Gunchinsuren, T. Amgalantugs, John Olsen. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443054)
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min long: 34.805; min lat: 39.096 ; max long: -169.102; max lat: 77.157 ;
Abstract Id(s): 22513