Scholars urge to take Khoridol Saridag under protection

2019-08-19 15:49:53

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. Previously we have reported that the ‘Umard Mongol’ joint research team of the National Museum of Mongolia, the University of Pittsburgh of the U.S, and the American Center for Mongolian Studies discovered a rare finding of three vases full of clotted cream and one vase with yellow butter that were frozen in glacial about 700-800 years ago at a site named Khorig in Ulaan-Uul soum of Khuvsgul aimag. During a press conference where the scholars of the research team reported about their findings and research works they highlighted the necessity of putting the entire region of the Khoridol Saridag Mountains under special national protection.


The research team leader and Head of the Research Center at the National History Museum, Dr. J.Bayarsaikhan said, “First of all, I must highlight that the archeological findings that we discovered were found in tombs that had been already looted. It has become very rare to find tombs that have not been looted in the depression of Darkhad. We first heard about tomb looters when we were gathering information about the regional ethnography from the locals of Mungar bagh in 2016. Thus, when we arrived at the ‘Khorig’ site, we found over 100 tombs that were looted, with human skeleton and items scattered all around. After acquiring permission for archeological excavation, we have found these artifacts during the course of two years. Of the various artifacts that were discovered, the clotted cream and yellow butter that were completely frozen are currently attracting the most interest. We revealed about 10 vases that had not been discovered by looters as they use metal detectors. We detected items that are speculated to have been a wick for butter lamp from two of the vases, which could have been used to light eternal butter lamps in the vase. The vase lip having been broken and making it wider further proves that it might have been a butter lamp. It was by luck that we came across these very rare findings. If we had been late by one or two years, the glacier would have melted, and we would not have found the clotted cream and yellow butter.”


Leader of the US side of the ‘Umard Mongol’ joint research team Dr. Julia Clark said, “Although Mongolia is rapidly developing in recent years, the historical and cultural heritage artifacts are at risk due to physical factors as well as global warming. However, despite the conditions, we managed to take these valuable archeological findings under protection. A tomb of a child of 5-6 years that lived in the depression of Darkhad 800 years ago was found during our excavation. The child was buried with a traditional deel at a beautiful site in northern Mongolia. However, I was very sad to find that looters had moved the child corpse from the place where it had been put to rest for hundreds of years, having scattered the bones everywhere. It is important that not only the professional organization, but also individuals contribute to the protection of cultural heritage by stopping such robbery.”


Despite archeological findings being fully preserved for several hundreds of years in the cool climate of the depression of Darkhad, looters continue to profit off of the artifacts. Aside from 100 tombs at Khorig, many more tombs of Nomt, Ongon and Tsagaan Mountains are known to have been looted so far. Thus, the scholars urge to put the entire region of the Khoridol Saridag Mountains under Specially Protected Area.