Dragon City: Archaeologists found the capital of the Xiongnu Empire in Mongolia

Hyperaxion Jul 28, 2020

Archaeologists found the lost city of Luncheng in Mongolia, also known as the “Dragon City”, which was the capital of the Xiongnu Empire.

A team of archaeologists found a lost city, known as “Dragon City”, which was once the capital of the Xiongnu Empire, which played a very important role in the history of imperial China.

Dragon City: Archaeologists found the capital of the Xiongnu Empire in Mongolia
(Credit: Iderkhangai Tumur-Ochir / Heritage Daily).

The city was initially found in 2017, but due to a lack of funds, the investigation was stopped. It was only now that researchers were able to complete the identification of the site.

The scientists excavated a fragment of a roof decoration, with the phrase “Son of Heaven Chanyu”. Modu Chanyu was the founder and supreme leader of the Xiongnu Empire. This imperial title was used to indicate that the ruler had been appointed by the heavens, which legitimized his government.

The roof decoration. (Credit: Xinhua).

“This is the first time that an object with such an inscription has been discovered,” said the excavation leader, Tumur-Ochir Iderkhangai. It was also due to this inscription that experts associated the city with the Xiongnu Empire.

The Xiongnu fought a series of wars with Chinese dynasties, which they often defeated. Their relationship with the Chinese dynasties was complex, with periods of conflict alternating with tax exchanges, trade, and marriage treaties.

The empire was eventually defeated and, in 119 BC, it split between North and South. Eventually, the Xiongnu nomads established several states in Chinese territory after the fall of the Han dynasty.

One of the greatest mysteries of the Xiongnu Empire was the location of its capital, Luut or Luncheng, popularly known as the Dragon City.

The Xiongnu Empire and the long-lost Dragon City. (Credit: Khiruge / CC BY-SA 4.0 ).

According to Tumur-Ochir Iderkhangai, the decoration found in the excavations “is the first evidence found within the region to suggest the site is the Dragon City of Luncheng.”

Its location has been unknown for almost two thousand years, but now researchers are confident that they have found the long-lost Dragon City.

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