What is it about?

April 19 2022 marked the 100th anniversary of the Third Asiatic Expedition led by Roy Chapman Andrews (1884-1960) into Mongolia. As it is almost 100 years since Andrews introduced Mongolia to the rest of the world as the land of the dinosaurs, it is an opportune time to examine the contribution Andrews made to palaeontology plus investigate Mongolia's fossilised heritage along with contemporary threats to it like fossil poaching.

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Why is it important?

Our research examines Mongolia's contemporary efforts to protect its vast fossil beds from illegal fossil poachers and international criminal gangs. The work of Mongolian law enforcement in the repatriation of illegally exported fossils from Mongolia is discussed within the context of the successful repatriation of Tarbosaurus bataar. Today, Tarbosarus bataar along with other repatriated fossils from around the world are housed in the Central Museum of Mongolian Dinosaurs. This purpose-built museum for Mongolia's repatriated dinosaur fossils was opened in 2013. The dinosaur museum is in the former Lenin Museum, built in 1979 to display pictures of the Soviet dictator's childhood and history. The new museum's collection of rare and irreplaceable fossils communicates a clear message that dinosaurs are part of the cultural identity of Mongolia.


The discipline of palaeontology is presented from both a historical and international perspective underpinned by an examination of contemporary challenges in policing the Gobi. I hope this article illustrates Andrews’ contribution to the scientific discipline of palaeontology in Central Asia as well as highlighting the need to protect the Gobi's vast fossil beds for future generations.

Dr Kim Victoria Browne

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Mongolia’s Fossilised Heritage, Inner Asia, April 2022, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/22105018-02302020.
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