Posts Tagged ‘mongolia’

What’s New in Mongolia

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Maybe you haven’t thought about Mongolia lately, but we’ve been keeping track of the news from the steppes.

Sunrise over a Mongolian ger camp. Photo: David Chang

Sunrise over a traditional Mongolian ger camp. Photo: David Chang

 

  • Nomadic herders are embracing solar energy for their ger tents, helping in the fight against climate change.
  • British adventurer Ripley Davenport will walk 1700 miles across Mongolia, from east to west, starting in April 2010. His expedition will be the longest solo and unassisted walk ever attempted and will raise funds for UNICEF’s children’s programs.
  • Made in Mongolia, a line of handmade felt clothing, accessories, toys, and housewares, has launched  and grown with the assistance of the Irish government. MIM aims to allow Mongolian women and their communities greater self-sufficiency while preserving traditional crafting skills.

 

What intrigues you about Mongolia?

Travel Hit List: Mongolia

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
Sunrise over a Mongolian ger camp. Photo: David Chang

Sunrise over a Mongolian ger camp. Photo: David Chang

Mongolia is one of the world’s last untamed frontiers…. The nomadic culture, wild horses, and desert scenery are just the beginning of what’s on offer there for adventurous travelers.

Read: about renewed interest in Khara Khorum, the first capital of the Khan empire.

Hear: music from across the Silk Road.

Watch: what the Smithsonian is doing to preserve Przewalski Horses, a 250,000 year-old species native to Mongolia, but now extinct in the wild.

Eat and Drink: curds, lamb, and Sueeti Tsai (sweet tea).

Check out: an update on some fascinating anthropological work in Mongolia as Smithsonian scientists excavate Bronze Age burial mounds.

Go: Now is a great time to book a journey to Mongolia.

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What interests you most about Mongolia? Share below.

SI Research Notes: Bronze Age Burials of Mongolia

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Linda Stevens is Field Notes Coordinator for Smithsonian Journeys. Combing the Institution for interesting projects happening around the world, she prepares these research notes especially for travelers. Learn more about Linda here.

This typical Bronze Age mound contains the remains of a newborn infant, only. The burial site consists of a central pile of rocks covering the burial chamber and a circular stone fence. Photo: Bruno Frolich, NMNH

This typical Bronze Age mound contains the remains of a newborn infant, only. The burial site consists of a central pile of rocks covering the burial chamber and a circular stone fence. Photo: Bruno Frohlich, NMNH

Since 2003 physical anthropologist Bruno Frohlich has led a team of international scientists on a National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) Department of Anthropology survey and excavation of Bronze Age burial mounds (3500 to 2700 B.P.) in the steppe environment of Hovsgol Aimag of Mongolia. Of the 2,000 mounds the research team has recorded and surveyed, they have excavated 35, and in summer 2008, the team uncovered seven additional burial mounds.

During the 2003 field season in Mongolia, researchers were also made aware of a newly discovered mass burial within the Buddhist Gandan Monastery in Ulaanbaatar (Hambiin Ovoo). About 1,200 bodies, all of Buddhist monks, had been removed for cremation, which took place under the direction of Lam Purevbat, who kept about 80 skulls and some femora as physical evidence. Apparently most of the victims were executed by the Soviet regime in the years leading up to World War II. (more…)

Photo: Traditional Mongolian Ger

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
Photo: Global Adrenaline

Photo: Nomadic Expeditions

Mongolia is the most sparsely populated independent nation in the world. While almost 40% of Mongolians live in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital, a more traditional way of life is also practiced there. The ger, above, is a portable, felt-covered dwelling that has been used for more than 2,500 years by nomads on the steppes of Mongolia. Gers are very useful to the nomads for their ease of portability. The door of the ger typically faces south to let in the most light and prevents the northerly winds from entering inside.

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My Mongolia Adventure

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

A friend asked me why I wanted to visit Mongolia, and my response was, “why not?” A fair question, but Mongolia is one of those places where you have to visit and experience in order to provide a better explanation. For starters, the country is full of rich history, culture, and unique customs. Also, there are no shortages of adventure opportunities in Mongolia. But any expectations I had of Mongolia prior to visiting were blown away after I got there.

A traditional Mongolian horseman rounds up some goats out on the Gobi Desert. Photo: Global Adrenaline

A traditional Mongolian horseman rounds up some goats out on the Gobi Desert. Photo: Global Adrenaline

After arrival, our group headed north to our ger camp located on the shores of pristine Lake Hovsgol. In the days that followed, we enjoyed kayaking and horseback riding. Our horse wranglers would whistle old Mongolian folk songs as we trekked on horseback through the beautiful, peaceful scenery. They taught us how to ride the horses the Mongolian way, which wasn’t easy, but it was certainly an adventure! (more…)