Monday, August 17, 2009

A couple of days ago, the new District Young Men’s Presidency went to a place about 80 kilometers from here, called “13th Century” as a way to help us get to know each other. 13th Century is an area where they have found artifacts left from seven camps occupied during the days of Chinggis Khan. It has been fascinating to learn about him while we have been here.
Chinggis Khan was very intelligent and thorough. This 13th Century park has recreated the area of his encampments here in Mongolia.

He was the first to organize the Mongolian people who had previously pretty much kept to themselves in separate tribes. He brought them to this area and set up these different camps, each having it's own purpose and each about .5 to 1.0 km apart. We visited all seven camps.

Camp #1 was the guard camp, set at the entrance to the area and intended to, well, guard. Anyone who wanted to enter the camp, would enter here – at least theoretically. It was also here that training was held for the soldiers. The structure underneath the larger ger is where training took place during the winter. If you look close enough you will see animal statues on top of the poles. Each represent a different tribe.

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Next, was the Craft Camp (Camp #2). As Chinggis Khan conquered an area, he would bring the best artisans and craftsmen back to this camp and would quickly adopt any new and advantageous abilities the conquered people possessed. The advantages of doing so would be obvious.

Everything in the way of supplies that were needed to be made, were created here, including tools, containers, gers, etc. A variety of wild animals were also kept in this camp (wolves, eagles, etc.).

There was one master craftsman with as many laborers as he needed in order to get the work done.

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Camp #3 was the Education camp. In one of the conquered territories, they took a highly educated man and brought him to this camp. It was under Chinggis’ rule, that the first Mongolian written language was developed. They would also bring children to this camp to receive formal educational training.

The main ger in this educational complex was larger than a normal ger, as you can see from the inside panorama. Not too bad, really but it still lacks indoor plumbing!

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Nomad
Camp #4 was the Nomad camp. Here, all of the livestock was cared for. That
included horses, goats, sheep, yaks, camels.

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Oh! Did I say camels?! I did! And, of course, we had to ride them while we were there! So here’s the part you are all really wanting to see! Sister Caldwell riding a camel! By the way, most of the high pitched screeching in this one, is NOT the camel!

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Way to go Sister Caldwell!!

Around the perimeter of the camp, these towers were built to monitor the wind. The construction is such that wind produces sound as it blows through the top part of the tower. Differing sounds would tell them the direction and strength of the wind.

Next post: We finish our visit to the 13th Century with some surprises you’re not going to want to miss, including more on the Mongolian/American connection!
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4 comments:

The Cowley Clan said...

Yay Grandma! We're so proud of you! That windmill thing is pretty cool!

meglex said...

That looks like a really neat place to visit, full of a lot of history.
The girls LOVED the video! Pretty funny! Way to go Grandma!

Lindsie, DJ and Jarod said...

Were you clapping because you rode a camel, or because it was over?

It's interesting that ger's were used in the 13th century, and are still used today. You don't find people here living like they did back then.

Marcia said...

Riding a camel is something you did that I wouldn't do. We had the chance in Egypt to ride the camel, but I was afraid, so I went to Pizza Hut and got pizza for everyone in the tour, and watched the spinyx from the window of Pizza Hut. Way to go, Sis!