In the province of Van, in eastern Turkey, remains of an ancient palace have been discovered during archaeological excavations. According to the researchers, these vestiges could correspond to the summer palace of Houlagou Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan. This descendant of the founder of the Mongol Empire lived from 1217 until 1265, and led many military expeditions to the Middle East. He is notably responsible for the destruction of a large part of the city of Baghdad in 1258 which was at that time the heart of the Muslim world.
After the unity of the Mongol Empire ended in 1259, upon the death of his brother Möngke Khan, Houlago Khan took control of the domain of the Ilkhans in the south-west of the empire, and created a smaller one. named “Ilkhanata”. This small empire lasted only about a century, and the majority of the vestiges disappeared with it. But the Houlagou summer palace, described in historical documents as having been built between 1260 to 1265 in eastern Turkey, had never been found.
Other excavations should confirm that it is indeed the palace of Houlagou Khan
The remains excavated by archaeologists not only match those of a summer palace, but those of an entire city, reports livescience. In particular, they unearthed a veritable caravanserai there, a reception structure to shelter passing merchants and pilgrims. But there is almost nothing left of the old palace belonging to the city discovered by the researchers: only a few bricks or even pottery could be saved.
Among some of the roof tiles also preserved is an ‘s’-shaped symbol, which corresponds to “one of the symbols of power of the Mongol khans”, explains archaeologist Munkhtulga Rinchinkhorol, a member of the excavation team. . These artefacts lead us to think that this palace would indeed be that of Genghis Khan’s grandson. However, more information is needed to confirm that this is indeed the case: research on the site continues.