The Mongols did not have their own artisan class in traditional
times because they migrated from place to place and could
not carry with them the supplies needed by artisans. They
were thus dependent upon the sedentary world for crafts, and
they prized artisans highly.
For example, during Chinggis Khan's attack on Samarkand,
he instructed his soldiers not to harm any artisans or craftsmen.
Craftsmen throughout the Mongol domains were offered tax benefits
and were freed from corvée labor (unpaid labor),
and their products were highly prized by the Mongol elite.
The Mongol's extraordinary construction projects required
the services of artisans, architects, and technocrats. When
Chinggis Khan's third son and heir, directed the building
of the capital city at
Khara Khorum, the first Mongol capital, or when Khubilai
Khan directed the building of Shangdu (also known as "Xanadu"),
his summer capital, as well as the building of the city Daidu
(the modern city of Beijing), all required tremendous recruitment
of foreign craftsmen and artisans [also see The
Mongols in China: Civilian Life under Mongol Rule].