Archaeologists have excavated an ancient palace that could allegedly belong to Hulagu Khan. Hulagu Khan was the warrior grandson of Genghis Khan.
The excavation site lies in eastern Turkey’s Van province. Historical documents say that Hulagu Khan built a summer palace near the Caldiran district. In addition, the Armenian historian Grigory of Akancʿ (lived circa A.D. 1250 to 1335) mentioned that the Ilkhanid constructed a summer capital northeast of Lake Van at Ala Taq, which likely included a palace.
Hulagu Khan was the ruler of the Mongol Ilkhanid State in the Middle East. He lived from 1217 to 1265 and famously remembered for sacking Baghdad in 1258. At its peak, he ruled a vast territory. Also, his empire would span Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Syria, Armenia, Georgia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
It is not definite that the site is the summer home. Excavations reveal that the ancient palace was heavily looted. However, discoveries like shards of glazed ceramics and pottery have fuelled speculations. Other archaeological discoveries like porcelain, bricks, and roof tiles have also added to the optimism.
The excavation team is quite excited about the findings. They say that they have found the first known architectural remains of the Ilkhanid State. Also, the team is led by Ersel Çağlıtütuncigil of the Izmir Katip Çelebi University.
S-shaped symbols on roof-ending tiles point to Hulagu Khan’s association with the site. These symbols are called “svastika pattern or tamga”. However, they symbolize the power and glory of the Mongol Khan dynasty.
The Discovery of the artifacts supports historical records mentioning a strong Mongol presence in the area. This has led researchers to believe that the ancient palace dates to the time of the Ilkhanid.
The site also houses the ruins of a caravanserai. However, these were the resthouses for travelers along the Silk Road. The Silk Road was an important ancient trading route.
The excavators are also looking for a church at the site. Historical records say that Hulagu Khan built a church for his wife. This will confirm the true identity of the palace.