Isotope Analysis of Human Remains from Several Mongolian Regions: Discovering the Relationship between the Desertification, Climate Change Impact and the Rise and Fall of the Mongolian Dynasty

Mao, Xiadong, Environmental Sciences - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Macko, Stephen, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia

The historically successful Mongolian dynasty was highly sensitive to desertification resulting from climate change affecting their traditional agricultural systems (Neff et al. 2001; Fleitmann et al. 2003). There was a relationship between the Mongolian region’s evolution and the desertification cycle since it could lead to decreases in biological productivity. The dynasty would experience either prosperity or collapse when desertification was declining or expanding (Wang 1996). This paper presents strong evidence for a relationship between the rise and fall of the Mongolian dynasty and the historical desertification cycles, as well as the isotope analysis for several naturally mummified bodies collected from the southern Mongolian Gobi Desert area: the Hets Mountain Cave. Estimating these individuals’ residential origins and dietary habits could help evaluate the political and economic turmoil due to the desertification impact on this area.

MA (Master of Arts)
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Issued Date: