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The Treasure of the Golden Horde

The "Genghis Stone"


Great Mongol State


This stele is a rare example of a monumental artefact belonging to the Mongol culture. It was found not far from a site that formed part of the territory of Yesungke. Yesungke (1190-1270) was the son of Hasar and a confidant of his uncle Genghis Khan, carrying out secret missions for the Great Khan. Later he was a close associate of other Mongol khans - Ogedei (1186-1241), Mungke (1208-1270) and Kubilai (1215-1294).
To mark the successful conclusion of the campaign against Khwarezm, Genghis Khan organized a feast and martial contests. The inscription on the stone is in the Uighur-Mongul script and states "When, after the conquest of the Sartaul people, Genghis Khan assembled the noyans of all the Mongol ulus in the place called Bukha-Sujihai, Yesungke shot an arrow 335 sazhens." (Sartaul was the Mongol term for followers of Islam; 335 sazhens were about 400 metres.) The outstanding researcher of Siberia G.S. Spassky was first to report about the stele, in the Sibirsky Vestnik newpaper in 1818. The lamas and interpreters of Transbaikalia could easily read the name of Genghis Khan on the stone and so it became associated with his name. In 1829 the artefact was moved from Nerchinsk to St Petersburg where it was given to the Asiatic Museum of the Academy of Sciences. In 1936 the stone came into the Hermitage.




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