Albert Yu-Min Lin
For centuries, historians have wondered about the location of the tomb of Genghis Khan, the legendary ruler who united Mongolia’s feuding tribes and led them on a campaign of conquest unequalled in world history. Mongolian custom states that Genghis’s underground burial site was meant to stay hidden, and that disturbing his resting place would unleash a curse that would end the world. So the site has remained undiscovered, protected by a strong cultural taboo against disturbing what is viewed as a sacred place.
Enter Albert Yu-min Lin, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and pioneer of the use of digital technology to “crowdsource” scientific discovery. His Valley of the Khans Project uses satellite imagery, ground penetrating radar, and remote sensors to identify and investigate archaeological sites without disturbing them—thereby maintaining respect for local customs. Guided by the eyes of thousands of volunteers who have identified promising search locations via the Field Expedition: Mongolia website, Lin and his team have conducted several expeditions in Mongolia, and have zeroed in what they believe may indeed be the last resting place of Genghis Khan.
Lin was honored as National Geographic Adventure magazine’s “2010 Readers’ Choice Adventurer of the Year” and is a fellow of the prestigious Explorers Club.