Cities in the Heartland of the Mongol Empire

Author(s): Jan Bemmann

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "From Campsite to Capital – Mobility Patterns and Urbanism in Inner Asia" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

From 2016 to 2018 the two largest cities of the Mongol Empire, 13/14th century, in nowadays Mongolia were mapped using a SQUID-(Superconducting Quantum Interference Device)-magnetometer coupled with a DGPS. Thanks to this pioneering technique it was possible to create a high precision topographic and magnetic map in one go. For the first time it is possible not only to compare the maps of two cities – Karakorum the first capital of the Mongol Empire and Khar Khul Khan Balgas – but also to analyze the function of the city, its size, the density and size of buildings, the infrastructure (roads, fortification, gates, markets), the spatial organization of religious activities, the connection and dependence of the city from the moving court of the emperors, the social organization that means the question of different quarters, and not the least to deal with the question where the cemeteries are. Thanks to these new maps it is also possible to differentiate between four types of permanent settlements or settlements with permanent structures in contrast to campsites in Inner Asia.

Cite this Record

Cities in the Heartland of the Mongol Empire. Jan Bemmann. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452151)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 46.143; min lat: 28.768 ; max long: 87.627; max lat: 54.877 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23901