CHRONOLOGY OF THE GOLDEN HORDE IN KAZAKHSTAN: 14C DATING OF JOCHI KHAN MAUSOLEUM

Irina P. Panyushkina, Emma R. Usmanova, Kanat Z. Uskenbay, Mukhtar B. Kozha, Dzhambul A. Dzhumabekov, Gaziz A. Akhatov, A. J.Timothy Jull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We present accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon (AMS 14C) dating results of the “Jochi Khan Mausoleum”—the proposed burial place of the oldest son of Gengghis Khan in Ulytau, Kazakhstan. The Ulytau region retains 34 burial complexes of Islamic tradition associated with the Golden Horde history (1221-1438 CE). However, there is no calendar-dated chronology of the medieval mausoleums in this region, which complicates their historical interpretation. Three 14C dates from construction timbers and burial of the Jochi Khan mausoleum are calibrated to 1220-1400 CE interval (95.4% range) with the mid-point at 1245 CE for the coffin, 1330 CE for the entry door, and 1350 CE for a masonry wall. The 14C-calibration suggests that the mausoleum was built about 100 years after the death of Jochi (1225 CE) and renovated at least once in the middle of the 14th century. Apparently, the wood for the coffin was harvested sometime in the interval 1220-1270 CE. The calendar ages of the coffin and the mausoleum are ca. 75 years apart. It is possible that the old coffin was placed into a newly constructed mausoleum. However, there is no historical evidence confirming this important re-burial of Jochi. The dating results challenge the attribution of the mausoleum to Jochi Khan. This study demonstrates that the age of the Islamic mausoleums in Ulytau can be successfully dated with 14C. While requiring further data assembly, this first 14C dataset can form the basis of the calendar chronology of the Golden Horde in Kazakhstan. Historical attribution of the mausoleums must be collaborated with the calendar chronology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-331
Number of pages9
JournalRadiocarbon
Volume64
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 27 2022

Keywords

  • Genghis Khan Dynasty
  • Medieval Central Asia
  • Ulytau
  • carbon-14 dating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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