Thousands of artifacts recovered from ruins of 17th-century Saridag Monastery on display

2019-10-02 17:26:47

On September 27, National Museum of Mongolia launched an exhibition “Saridag Monastery”, co-organized by the Institute of History and Archaeology of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences (MAS) and the Bogd Khan Palace Museum. The Saridag Monastery, now lying in ruins, is proven to be a creative palace of the Undur Gegeen Zanabazar, built by himself. 


The exhibition displays the whole complex of the Saridag Monastery, officially Ribogejailin Monastery, what it looked like before being completely destroyed during the wars between Khalkha Mongols and Oirat Mongols in the XVII century. The Monastery is thought to be built between 1654 and 1686 for 32 years and was destroyed under fire only two years after it was constructed. 


For six years since 2013, a national team of the Institute of History and Archaeology, MAS, established a project entitled "A Seventeenth Century City" and has conducted excavations and archaeological research on the remnants of the monastery located on the territory of Erdene soum, Tuv aimag in the Khan Khentii mountain range that includes Chinggis Khaan's sacred birthplace Burkhan Khaldun.  


Throughout the six-year excavation and research, a total of three thousand item were discovered from the excavated ruins of the monastery, including more than three thousand clay Buddha statues of the Five Tathāgatas that are all similar in style, construction, and size, ten large-sized Buddha sculptures and other rare religious and cultural artifacts made of clay and other materials, created by Under Gegeen Zanabazar. 


From them, around 1300 clay Buddha statues of the Five Tathāgatas are put on demonstration at the exhibition along with the 17th century Mongolian bronze figure – Green Tara by Undur Gegeen Zanabazar and other valuable historical exhibits kept at the Bogd Palace Museum. 


Ph.D. D.Munkhtogoo, Senior methodologist and curator of the National Museum of Mongolia:A scale model of Tsogchin Dugan – a main temple of the Saridag Monastery in the main hall of the exhibition as well as a part of foot of ‘Buddhas of Three Times’ displayed here are what make the exhibition more remarkable. The size of the foot shows how enormous was the statue of Buddhas

The upper frame of Mongolian Ger exhibited here belongs to the XVII century and it is the oldest one to be found to date. Moreover, a door of a temple in the Saridag Monastery, which was unearthed fully intact by the excavation, is now put on view at the exhibition after being renovated”.

The opening ceremony of the exhibition was attended by Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh. The exhibition runs until December 20, 2019 at the National History Museum, Ulaanbaatar.