Search for the Valley of the Khans: A high-tech approach to solve an ancient mystery Presented by: Dr Albert Yu-Min Lin – University of California, San Diego, USA

Cape Town Science Centre  SCIENCE OUT LOUD  talk series

Genghis Khan. The name echoes through the history of Europe and Asia with a drumbeat of horse-hooves. In just 25 years, Genghis Khan’s horsemen formed a hammer that forged the greatest military domination the world has ever seen, and accomplished more than the Roman Empire did throughout its entire existence.

The death of this great leader is shrouded in mystery, and even less is known about what happened to his body, or that of the 33 khans who followed him. The Valley of the Khans Project aims to shed light on this mystery through a non-invasive archaeological search for the tombs of the khans. Field expeditions to Mongolia led by Principle Investigator, Dr Albert Yu-Min Lin, have utilised satellites, aerial remote sensing and advanced ground penetrating radars to define the landscape of a region deemed “forbidden” for nearly 800 years. Crowd sourcing, or public participation on a massive scale to analyse ultra-high resolution satellite imagery and aerial photography, is helping identify anomalies in the expansive, uninhabited wilderness.

Dr Albert Yu-Min Lin is a Research Scientist at the University of California, San Diego and an Emerging Explorer of the National Geographic Society. Albert is the founder and co-director of the UC San Diego, National Geographic Engineers for Exploration Program, and is also co-founder of California based Tomnod Inc., a company that specialises in crowd sourcing. His research has earned him recognition as National Geographic Adventure Magazine’s 2010 Readers Choice Adventurer of the Year and the 2011 Lowell Thomas Medal for Exploration. Albert’s Chinese name (Yu-Min) roughly translates to ‘Citizen of the universe’.

Date:    Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Time:    18:00 for 18:30
Venue:  The BIG room, CTSC
Cost:    R25 includes entrance to the Main Exhibition Floor
RSVP:   021 300 3200 (max: 60 people)

SciCafe Special:  Beef Lasagne and Salad R35 – you can book your meal in advance

The series of popular science talks, Science Out Loud, is jointly hosted by the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS). From time to time talks will also take place at AIMS based in Muizenberg.