Eight hundred years ago, relatively small armies of mounted warriors suddenly exploded outward from the cold, arid high-elevation grasslands of Mongolia and reshaped world geography, culture and history in ways that still resound today. How did they do it?
The group traveled by boat, motorcycle and finally by foot through the forest to reach cliffs where burials lay. At one site, 20 feet off the forest floor was a ledge protected by an overhang, where lay a row hollowed-out logs, along with ceramic jars.
As we in North America emerge from a remarkably mild winter, the brief and sunny summer in the world’s deep south is drawing to a rapid close. Antarctica’s days are becoming shorter, and come the vernal equinox the South Pole will enter into its yearly hibernation—six months of dusk and night. Researchers from Columbia University and elsewhere have spent these bright months bearing the chill in pursuit of access to a realm deep beneath the soaring, scathing surface of the glacier.