Genghis Khan: Part Five
The Prolific Patriarch
Not only did Genghis Khan conquer much of the world, he may have helped populate it. Recent genetic studies indicate that at least 16 million men living today are descendants of a Mongolian male who lived around 1,000 years ago. That’s one in every 200 males who have identical Y chromosomes, a block of DNA passed on unchanged from father to son through generations. They all share the same random mutations. How do we know it started with Genghis Khan? Actually, the lineage may have started with one of his ancestors. But genetic testing points to Mongolia as the focus and most of the descendants live in lands conquered by the Mongols. And, remember that the Great Khan had many wives and concubines as well as first pick of maidens in newly conquered territories. For the most part, the cultures conquered by Genghis Khan, his sons, and his grandsons favored multiple wives. With each new generation the number of descendants would have increased exponentially.
The Death of Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan enjoyed a long life for his time – 65 years. He died while supervising his troops in the conquest of the Xixia people of Western China. He instructed his troops to keep his impending death a secret so as not to embolden his enemies. But how Genghis died and where he is buried remain mysteries. According to some legends, he bled to death from an arrow wound in the leg. In other accounts he died from a fall from his horse. And the Xixia people preferred a version in which Genghis was killed by the mother of a princess he had stolen for his harem. Genghis’s burial was made into an elaborate mission according to the Secret history f the Mongols, written shortly after Genghis’s death. His body was taken to a resting place in Mongolia. So that his grave would remain hidden, all people and animals along the route were killed, as were the soldiers who accompanied his corpse. Only a pregnant camel was left at the grave – camels return each year to where they gave birth. By following the camel, his offspring could worship at his grave. Many expeditions have searched for Genghis’s tomb and hidden treasures within. The searches have centered on Burkham Khaldun, the forested Mongolian mountain near where he was born. None have succeeded. Wherever Genghis is buried, it is quite possible that here is no treasure buried with him. Genghis disdained personal wealth, dressing plainly, and giving away his belongings. What Genghis coveted (other than women) was an eternal, peaceful Mongol Empire.
This is the end of the Genghis Khan photos. Hope you enjoyed the photographs.