Mongols in World History | Asia for Educators

The Death of Chinggis Khan

Chinggis Khan (b. 1162?) died in 1227 while on campaign against the Tanguts, who had established a Chinese-style dynasty in northwest China known as the Xia.

Before their exposure to the tomb culture of China, the Mongols simply allowed a body to remain where it had fallen and let it be consumed by animals. With greater contact with the sedentary world, however, the Mongols began to bury their dead in elaborate tombs.

According to one account of Chinggis's death, a funeral cortege escorted his body to northeast Mongolia, where he was buried in an undisclosed location along with 40 horses and 40 virgins.

About the Japanese effort in the early 1990s to locate Chinggis's tomb:
In Search of Genghis Khan, by Tim Severin (New York: Atheneum, 1992)