Archaeology news: Climate change and not Genghis Khan responsible for societal collapse

10 Brutal Facts About Genghis Khan

The Mongolian warrior and ruler Genghis Khan is one of the most feared people to have ever lived. He and his band were known to be the ultimate conquerors, helping to establish the largest land empire in human history.

Khan and the Mongols conquered land all across Asia and are believed to have been responsible for millions of deaths.

Khan was one of the ultimate rulers, taking land far and wide, but new research has suggested that he may have been given too much credit.

It was believed that the Mongols invasion led to the demise of central Asian medieval river civilisations throughout the 13th century.

But new research suggests the peoples’ of central Asia and their habitats may have actually been destroyed by climate change.

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The Aral Sea basin in Central Asia and the major rivers flowing through the region were once home to advanced river civilisations which used floodwater irrigation to farm.

New analysis from the University of Lincoln shows that properties around the region were abandoned more likely as the rivers stopped flowing.

Khan and his army seemingly moved in as the rivers began drying up, which allowed them to take control of the area more easily.

Ultimately, the research shows that climate change was to blame for the downfall of the river civilisations, and not Genghis Khan.

The analysis focused on the Arys river, whose water fed the canals which was key to the farming irrigation system.

The research showed that between the 10th and 14th century CE, there was riverbed erosion which is consistent with a low amount of water flow.

As the water stopped flowing, the civilisations moved on, allowing the Mongol invasion to take place easily.

Mark Macklin, author and Distinguished Professor of River Systems and Global Change, and Director of the Lincoln Centre for Water and Planetary Health at the University of Lincoln said: “Our research shows that it was climate change, not Genghis Khan, that was the ultimate cause for the demise of Central Asia’s forgotten river civilisations.

“We found that Central Asia recovered quickly following Arab invasions in the 7th and 8th centuries CE because of favourable wet conditions.

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“But prolonged drought during and following the later Mongol destruction reduced the resilience of local population and prevented the re-establishment of large-scale irrigation-based agriculture.”

Genghis Khan is considered one of the greatest military leaders in history, if not the greatest.

While building one of the biggest empires the world has ever seen, his genocidal regime is also believed to have killed some 40 million people.

Many scholars believe he was killed in battle or later died from a wound sustained in the fighting.

His body was allegedly taken back to Mongolia by a procession of soldiers who slaughtered anyone or anything they encountered on the way to the grave, to keep the location secret.

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