Off the coast of the Japanese island of Kyushu, a team of archaeologists are battling against the changing seas. Why? Because beneath the surface, they have discovered an ancient shipwreck that sank more than seven centuries ago. Could the vessel be evidence of a thwarted invasion by the infamous Mongol Empire? And what might it tell us about this forgotten time?
When Temüjin Borjigin was born sometime in the mid-12th century in what is now Mongolia, his homeland was troubled by violence between its clans. Furthermore, when Borjigin was just a young boy, his father was killed by a group of enemy Tatars. And the tragedy subsequently led to Borjigin’s entire family being abandoned by their community.
Despite these early hardships, though, Borjigin ultimately made his name by forging allegiances between different tribes. Apparently, he came to believe that leaders should earn power rather than inherit it – something that may have helped him gather great support from the lower classes. Then, in 1186, he became the elected leader, or Khan, of the Mongol people.