LOS ANGELES, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Scientists at the
University of California in San Diego (UCSD) are using advanced visualization
technologies to locate the tomb of Mongolian emperor Genghis Khan, the UCSD said
in a press release on Monday.
;"As outrageous as it might sound,
we're looking for the tomb of Genghis Khan," Dr. Albert Yu-Min Lin, an
affiliated researcher for UCSD's Center for Interdisciplinary Science in Art,
Architecture and Archaeology (CISA3), said in the release e-mailed to Xinhua.
With advanced visualization and analytical
technologies available at the California Institute for Telecommunications and
Information Technology (Calit2), Lin and his colleagues are hoping to pinpoint
Khan's tomb and conduct a non-invasive archaeological analysis of the area where
he is believed to be buried, according to the release.
Lin plans to establish a position at UCSD that will
allow him to spearhead the three-year Valley of the Khans project, which will
require 700,000 dollars in funding for eight researchers, including all
expedition costs, said the release.
According to legend, Genghis Khan lies buried
somewhere beneath the dusty steppe of Northeastern Mongolia, entombed in a spot
so secretive that anyone who made the mistake of encountering his funeral
procession was executed on the spot. Once he was below ground, his men brought
in horses to trample evidence of his grave, and just to be absolutely sure he
would never be found, they diverted a river to flow over their leader's final
Genghis Khan was one of the most exceptional men in
all of history, but his life is too often dismissed as being that of a
bloodthirsty warrior. Few people in the West know about his legacy- that he
united warring tribes of Mongolia and merged them into one, that he introduced
the East to the West making explorations like those of Marco Polo possible, that
he tried to create a central world currency, that he introduced a written
language to the Mongol people and created bridges that we still use today within
the realm of international relations.
"But as great a man he was, there are few clues and
no factual evidence about Genghis Khan's burial, which is why we need to start
using technology to solve this mystery," Lin said.
Khan's grave is presumably in a region bordered by
Mongolia's Onon River and the Khan khentii mountains near his birthplace in
Khentii Aimag, and some experts believe his sons and other family members were
later buried beside him.
Directly following Khan's death in 1227, the area
around his tomb was deemed forbidden by the emperor's guards, and later in the
20th century, by strict Russian occupation, which prohibited Mongolians from
even talking about Genghis Khan because they felt it might lead to nationalist
uprising. Only since the 1990s have researchers been allowed in the area, and
several other research teams have tried unsuccessfully to locate the tomb.
Lin said hopes of success are based on his access to
unparalleled technology at Calit2 and CISA3 to pinpoint the area where Khan
might have been laid to rest, find the tomb itself and then develop a virtual
recreation of it using various methods of spectral and digital imaging.
Explained Lin: "If you have a large burial, that's
going to have an impact on the landscape. To find Khan's tomb, we'll be using
remote sensing techniques and satellite imagery to take digital pictures of the
ground in the surrounding region, which we'll be able to display on Calit2's
287-million pixel HIPerSpace display wall."
"Once we've narrowed down this region in Mongolia to
a certain area," Lin continued, "we'll use techniques such as ground penetrating
radar, electromagnetic induction and magnetometry to produce non-destructive,
non-invasive surveys. We'll then work with people in UCSD's electrical
engineering department to develop visual algorithms that will allow us to create
a high-resolution, 3-D representation of the site."