.This expedition to Mongolia focuses on the conceptual foundations of paleontology and specifics of the evolutionary history of the Nemegt Basin in the Gobi Desert, and offers a practical introduction to field work using Cretaceous period (~145-65 million years ago) sediments to train participants in field research methods. Participants analyze the literature on Cretaceous dinosaur paleobiology and apply this knowledge doing fieldwork in the Gobi while learning paleontological techniques. Also includes basic grounding in traditional and modern cultures of the Gobi and discussions of the intercultural skills needed to successfully carry out research in international settings. The course is led by vertebrate paleontologists from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and CWRU faculty.
|May 22 Ulaanbaatar
Arriving in the morning, you will be met at the airport and travel into the heart of Mongolia’s cosmopolitan capital to check into the four-star Ramada Ulaanbaatar City Center, then begin examining dinosaur specimens.
|May 23 Ulaanbaatar
Hands-on analysis of Gobi Desert dinosaur fossils from the collection of the Mongolian Museum of Natural History with an expert from the Paleontology and Geology Department Laboratory of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences. Discover other highlights of Ulaanbaatar, visiting Sukhbaatar Square, the city’s central plaza, and exploring the nation’s rich history at the National Museum of Mongolia.
|May 24 Hustai National Park
Travel west out of the city to Hustai National Park, the home of the world’s last species of wild horse. See Przewalski’s horses, formerly extinct from the wild, but reintroduced to Hustai by an international effort in the 1990s. Spend your first night in a ger (nomadic dwelling) at a ger camp.
| May 25 Baga Gazryn Chuluu
Travel southeast to Baga Gazryn Chuluu at the edge of the Middle Gobi, where dramatic pluton rock formations shelter ancient grave sites.
|May 26 Del Uul Petroglyphs
Continue south across the gravely expanse of the Middle Gobi, reaching the painted limestone cliff of Tsagaan Suvarga. Explore the Bronze Age pet-roglyphs at Del Uul, one of Mongolia’s most sig-nificant rock art sites.
|May 27 Yolyn Am Canyon
Begin your exploration of the famed South Gobi Desert by visiting the oasis of Yolyn Am Canyon, whose high walls and the stream at the canyon’s base provide a sanctuary for life in the forbidding desert landscape, and keep an ice sheet frozen well into summer. Then, continue across the de-sert to a ger camp near Hongoryn Els, Mongolia’s tallest dunes.
|May 28 Nemegt Valley
Set out early across the desert for the Nemegt Valley, one of the most remote corners of the Go-bi Desert. For the past seventy years, Nemegt has been one of the most active areas of paleontologi-cal exploration in the Gobi. Dr. Ryan will guide us in searching for dinosaur fossils. Continue fur-ther west into the desert and spend the first of three nights at a basic ger camp.
|May 29 Dragon’s Tomb
Explore the Dragon’s Tomb, located deep in the maze of sandstone cliffs and canyons in the shad-ow of remote Mt. Altan. Dr. Ryan, who has made important discoveries at this site, will guide us in searching for dinosaur fossils.
|May 30 Khermen Tsav
Day trip to the Khermen Tsav canyon, the most dramatic of the Gobi’s badlands landscapes. Be-cause of its remote location, few non-local people have laid eyes on this remarkable canyon, except, of course, hardy paleontologists searching for fossils!
|May 31 Hongoryn Els Sand Dunes
Head back east to the Hongoryn Els Sand Dunes. Climb the mountains of sand and ride one of the desert’s famed two-humped Bactrian camels.
|June 1 Alag Teg and Tugrugiin Shiree
Continue east and explore Alag Teg, a locality rich in ankylosaurs, as well as Tugrugiin Shiree, a white sandstone formation most famous as the site of the 1971 discovery of the Fighting Dino-saurs, a velociraptor and protoceratops locked in combat.
|June 2 Flaming Cliffs
Explore the Gobi’s most legendary paleontological site: the Flaming Cliffs. After stumbling upon the red sandstone cliffs in September 1922, the explorers of the American Museum of Natural History’s Central Asiatic Expeditions, led by Roy Chapman Andrews, returned the next year and made the world’s first discovery of a nest of dino-saur eggs. Over ninety years later, protoceratops fossils are still abundant here.
|June 3 Ulaanbaatar
Fly from the Gobi town of Dalanzadgad to Ulaanbaatar. Visit Gandantegchenlin Monastery, the center of Mongolian Buddhism, attend a folk music and dance performance by the renowned Tumen Ekh Ensemble, and enjoy a farewell dinner with Drs. Ryan and Princehouse.
| June 4 Departure from Ulaanbaatar
Return to the Ulaanbaatar airport for departure
Reading: (most are available in both print and electronic form):
Sourcebook: A compilation of peer-reviewed scientific articles from the primary literature
Cope, Tim. On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads. Bloomsbury USA (2013)
Goldstein, Melvyn C., and Cynthia M. Beall The Changing World of Mongolia’s Nomads University of California Press (1994) (and online at www.case.edu/affil/tibet/booksAndPapers/nomads/01index.htm)
Novacek, Michael. Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs. Anchor Books (1996)
Novacek, Michael. Time Traveler: In Search of Dinosaurs and Other Fossils from Montana to Mongolia. Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2002)
Powell, James Lawrence and Warren Farrell. Night Comes to the Cretaceous: Dinosaur Extinction and the Transformation of Modern Geology. Amazon Digital. (2016)
Weatherford, Jack The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire. Broadway Books. (2011)
|Copyright Blue Silk Travel. Used by Permission||Copyright Blue Silk Travel. Used by Permission|
and/or email Patricia Princehouse firstname.lastname@example.org
Luggage space in expedition vehicles is limited. Please keep your bags below 25 lbs total per person. It is important that you bring soft-sided bags only – 1 soft-sided duffle bag (2 if very small).
Tour size is limited, so reserve asap.