Tomb of Genghis Khan

The Idea | The Expedition | Denoument | Controversy | Movie? | Lastly…

The Idea

"Genghis On My Mind" by Michael McRae, Outside magazine (July 1996). A long, wonderful article on Maury Kravitz and his obsession, before he went to Mongolia. You emerge from reading it with a real sense for what drives Kravitz—clearly a compelling personality. At the same time, he comes across as a classic autodidact, convinced for no good reason that his drive and outsider status give him unique advantages over insider academics.

The Search For Genghis Khan, Current Events (Sept 29, 2000). Cover's Genghis Khan's death, Kravitz's expedition.

"Digging up Genghis Khan: Chicago lawyer heads quest for the Mongolian warlord" by J.A. Getzlaff, (February 28, 2000). Short.

The Expedition

Interview with Prof. Woods, the academic director, without Kravitz (indeed Kravitz isn't even mentioned!), "Newly discovered tombs may hold Genghis Khan." CBC Radio program "As it Happens" (August 20, 2001). Excellent long interview. Woods is much more cautious about his conclusions than Kravitz, for example volunteering the objection that the long wall around the burial enclosure doesn't chime with an effort to keep the grave secret.

CNN: Expedition may have found Genghis' grave (August 17, 2001)

ABC News report (August 16, 2001)

CBS News: "Genghis Khan Tomb Found?" (August 17, 2001). Quotes expedition leader, Chicago lawyer Maury Kravitz: "My considered opinion is that we are very, very close to the tomb of Genghis Khan."

University of Chicago Press Release: "American-Mongolian team finds tombs near birthplace of Genghis Khan" (Aug. 16, 2001)

Australian Broadcasting News (August 18, 2001)


2002 start-of-season "Research team to resume its search for burial site of Mongol ruler Genghis Khan" by Josh Schonwald, University of Chicago Chronicle (April 11, 2002). Apparently a Syrian archaeologist will be leading the effort. Says Woods, ³There are many other large burial sites in Mongolia,² said Woods, ³but we don't know of any others that have an enclosing wall.² Exactly why a unique (but hardly very impressive) wall would indicate an intentionally hidden tomb is certainly a mystery. Might I also ask: if Genghis is one of the graves the others either came before or after; if before, Genghis's tomb was "hidden" in plain sight, a world conqueror amid various shmoes—seems unlikely; if after, who did the others think they were burying themselves with.

Kravitz and Woods's expedition thrown out of Mongolia. Details from article "Genghis Khan's curse strikes dig in Mongolia" by Damien McElroy, Scotsman (August 17, 2002)

Interview of Maury Kravitz and John Woods, Chicago Public Radio show Eight Forty-Eighy, Shirley Jahad (September 30, 2002). Lengthy interview after the expedition was halted. Kravitz and Woods describe the walled burial ground, and its perils—flies, snakes, an anthrax outbreak and, "the final plague" politicians. Kravitz is toned down somewhat—the enclosure holds Mongol nobles certainly, very possibly Genghis. But he's still hoping for "The greatest single treasure trove ever amassed on this planet." No wonder the Mongolian politicians were scared! Woods, by contrast, touts the expedition's ability to raise consciousness of the Mongol Empire.

Long verbatim interview with Maury Kravitz taken by Allen Campbell, covering gold-trading, Kravitz's father. The Mongolian expedition is mentioned in passing, but a lot of space goes into the trials of getting his life story into film.


"Chingis Khaan's Spirit Disturbed" from Mongolia Today (August 2001?). Much interesting detail about Mongol legends and local attitudes towards the graves.

"'True Tomb' of Ancient Mongolia Founder Discovered" People's Daily Online (September 14, 2000)

"The Great Taboo: Is Ghengis Khan for Sale?" by J. T. McAlister, from the online magazine Echoed Voices.

"The financial temptations of buried treasure, scholarly research and increased tourism may be overwhelming despite the weight of tradition."

"'Real tomb' of Genghis Khan found in China" (Sept 19, 2000). This article appears on a half-dozen websites, never with clear indication of its source. Chinese archaeologists claim the tomb is in the Uygur Autonomous Region. There's a clear Nationalist agenda at play here.

"Genghis Khan: More Tombs to Plunder" intemperate rant against hunt for Genghis Khan's tomb, thoughfully presented as black text on red background. Expect a headache.


Genghis Haunts MGM: Studio acquires pitch about the search for the conquerer's remains by Claire Runitz, Film Stew (October 17, 2001).


Nostradamus page (high conspiracy content), with articles on various topics, but including a half-dozen articles on Genghis Khan's tomb and it's "discovery."

LibraryThing: Catalog your books online.

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