It is said that man was slave to nature until the horse made him king. Mongolia is an ancient land where west met east more than once. The first ever empire formed out of the steppe nomads was Hunnu (the Huns). After the Hunnu empire, over the millennia the country that is now Mongolia was dominated by Turkic tribes, and the Uigurs and the Kidans.
By the late 12th century the land we now call Mongolia was peopled by related warring tribes. And then came Chinggis (Genghis) Khan – the great unifier, law giver and leader. Within a century the Mongol Empire became the largest contiguous land empire in all of history. (P.S. Jack Weatherford’s “Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World”, and “The Secret History of the Mongol Queens” are good references for those who would like to know more about this history).
Because of rich and long history, Mongolian territory is dotted with archeological sites and undisturbed ancient tombs.
In the south of the country, the winds of spring sandblast ancient cliffs exposing each season fresh fossils of ancient mammals and dinosaurs. All fossils are protected by law. In Ulaanbaatar, in June 2014 the first dinosaur museum will be open. It will be a must-see for visitors and locals alike. Ulaanbaatar’s National History Museum contains exhibits ranging from the earliest human habitations to the present – including a section on tribal dress.