Colorful Dragon Heads Found in Xanadu

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June 8, 2015

Archaeologists have discovered three colorful dragon heads in the remains of Kublai Khan’s famed Xanadu palace.

The dragon heads are made of red clay and are painted in colors of black, blue, white, and yellow. They would have adorned the tops of beams, as decorations, the archaeologists said. Also found were tiles and stones decorated with bird-like and dragon-like shapes.

Xanadu was built in the 13th Century and abandoned in the 14th Century. Excavations at the site have been going on for many years. Earlier finds included remains of more than 1,000 houses, 30 roads, five stagnant lakes, and countless relics.

Also among the recent finds are a ramp called a “mandao,” that would have been used by horses and vehicles entering and leaving the palace. Horses were vital to the Mongols’ conquest of much of Asia, including China.

Xanadu itself was a 100,000-square-foot palace begun by one grandson of Genghis Khan, Mongke, and completed by another grandson, the famous Kublai, who used the Xanadu palace as his summer capital.

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