Sunday, 10 February 2013

The Gold Trader Who Spent Millions Searching

While the French,Germans, Japanese, Americans, Russians, and Brits have all been determined to find Genghis Khan’s Tomb none did. But no chronicle of  the searches for Khan’s treasure would be complete without discussing Maury Kravitz, a multimillionaire of Jewish Russian heritage. Kravitz while dimly viewed by some was no slug. He had attended the University of Illinois and The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. An extremely successful gold merchant, attorney, Army veteran and amateur historian he had done his homework over the years. The Chicago Tribune stated “Mr. Kravitz assembled a library of more than 400 volumes on Genghis Khan and the Mongolian Empire”.

In the earlier 1994 Chicago Tribune story it was reported that “his admiration for Genghis Khan grew out of his ability to overcome obstacles to become the most important ruler of his era”. He was convinced that the Great Conqueror had taken it with him and was buried with the most immense treasure ever accumulated. Subsequently he spent forty years and led four expeditions trying to get it. Maury Kravitz had carefully examined the words of a 15th century Jesuit who wrote about the details of a battle. Genghis Khan was reported to have said that battleground near the Bruchi and Kherlen rivers was his favorite place. Kravitz believed that was where he had chosen to be buried.

Kravitz sought out support in the person of John Woods. The Chicago Tribune article recounted that relationship "I got a call in early 1995 … about some cockamamie scheme to look for a burial site in Mongolia of Genghis Khan," said John Woods, a professor of history at the University of Chicago, adding that the call led to a lunch with Mr. Kravitz.
"Although the scheme seemed strange, he was so magnetic that I couldn't turn away," said Woods, who soon got involved in an effort to raise funds for an expedition. Though that early effort didn't raise any money, Mr. Kravitz by 2000 had convinced a small group of investors to put $1.2 million into funding expeditions over four summers.
The expedition located a grave site in Mongolia with artifacts from Genghis Khan's time, Woods said. But the professor also said he didn't know if it is "the right place." Woods said that if time, money and the political climate had allowed, there were other likely sites to explore.

Maury Kravitz died at the age of 80 in 2012. He had befriended Mongolia and its people.

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