Who was Genghis Khan: a fierce conqueror, a unifying leader, or a visionary inventor? Decide for yourself as you learn more about his life, his land, his people, his culture—and his enduring legacy.
Take a look at some of the exhibition videos to explore a world of conquest, diplomacy, innovation, and destruction.
Genghis Khan Overview (4:01)
Get a quick overview of Genghis Khan’s life, from his humble beginnings as a nomad on the grasslands of Asia to his meteoric rise to power as the most successful military commander the world has ever known.
Take a moment to learn more about the amazing but true story of the man who changed the map of the world.
Explore the interior of a Mongol ger—a low, cylindrical structure made of felt, supported by a wooden, accordion-like frame. Genghis Khan grew up in a dwelling such as this, and today, about one third of the Mongolian population still lives in gers.
Take a moment to learn more about the grace, beauty, comfort, and mobility of a ger.
Find out more about the Mongol warrior’s most important weapon—the recurved bow. The Mongol army was often outnumbered two to one on the battlefield, but their unusual bows leveled the playing field, firing arrows 100 yards farther than the longbows or crossbows of their enemies.
Take a moment to learn more about how recurved bows are made, a process that took a warrior up to a year to complete.
Relive the terror and destruction that reigned down upon cities as Genghis Khan’s army laid siege to the walls. Although nomads, the Mongols quickly learned the tools and techniques of siege warfare from the Chinese and conquered capitals all across Asia and Eastern Europe.
Take a moment to learn more about Genghis Khan’s battle tactics and technologies.
Check out recent finds during the excavation of Mongolia’s ancient capital, Karakorum. Although Genghis Khan had no use for cities, his son decided the Mongols needed a base from which to administer their widespread empire and entertain foreigners.
Take a moment to learn more about the groundwork and grandeur of Karakorum.
Discover how scientists tracked down the DNA of Genghis Khan and determined that at least 16 million men are his descendants. How is this possible? He had five wives and hundreds of concubines who bore him children, while his troops decimated the populations of those outside Genghis’s gene pool.
Take a moment to learn more about how scientists learned of this highly unusual representation of Genghis’s genes.