Looking for the Great Uighur Empire Capital Part 2

Continuing from Part 1.

Khara Khoto, identified by James Churchward as the location of the capital of the Great Uighur Empire in his books, is also translated as “Black City” from Mongolian and is mentioned by Marco Polo with the name of Etzina. Khara Khoto was founded in 1032 and lasted some 342 years.

Kozlov believed that Khara Khoto was the capital of the Tangut empire of Xi Xia, however the real capital was in the location of today’s Yinchuan in Ningxia, China. Khara Khoto was a third-rank town and a place of exile for hard labor.

The Mongols under Chinghis Khan subjugated the Xi Xia in 1210, but after the Tangut leaders failed to send troops to assist the conquest of the Khwarazm, Chinghis Khan swore revenge and the Mongols annihilated the Xi Xia in 1227. Subsequently, the Mongols took over all of China (and a lot more) and installed themselves as the Yuan (Golden) Dynasty. After the fall of the Yuan, the Ming Dynasty assumed control and eventually Khara Khoto perished in 1374 in a battle between the Mongols and the Ming. Local legends say that the Chinese forces diverted the Ejin River that was the city’s water source and after so long, the occupants made a hole and escaped through the city wall. Another version says that Khara Bator, the city’s leader, killed his family and then himself, leaving the other inhabitants to be slaughtered. This legend says that Khara Bator’s treasure has never been found…

Google Earth’s view of Khara Khoto is shown below:

Google Earth view of Khara Khoto

Google Earth view of Khara Khoto

In addition to Kozlov, many other explorers visited Khara Khoto including Aurel Stein. Some came to find Khara Bator’s treasure and quite a bit of excavation has been undertaken. So, where did James’ assertion that Koslov was not allowed to take anything except pictures come from? (see Looking for the Great Uighur Empire Capital Part 1) Many articles from the Black City have been recovered and are on display in museums.

In the next part, we will examine an undated and unattributed newspaper article in one of James’ scrapbooks for some answers…


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