Yusupova T.I. P.K. Kozlov’s Mongolia and Sichuan Expedition (1907-1909): the Discovery of Khara-Khoto // Russian Expeditions to Central Asia at the Turn of the 20th Century / Collected articles. Edited by I.F. Popova. St Petersburg, Slavia Publishers, 2008. P. 112-129.
Destiny can play strange games with archaeological discoveries. One can spend half his life studying a scientific problem or looking for traces of vanished civilizations, but all the efforts prove futile: the long and arduous
labours remain unrewarded, whereas somebody else makes an
unexpected discovery without ever thinking of it — while
addressing entirely different tasks. This was the case with
P.K. Kozlov, who made an outstanding contribution to archaeology
without being a qualified archaeologist. The traveller and
geographer gained world renown for his excavations carried out
in 1908—09 in Khara-Khoto buried in the Gobi sands, and in
1924—25 in the Hun (xiongnu) burials in the Noyon Uul
Mountains in Mongolia. Was it a sheer chance or ‘planned’
luck? Let us try to sort this out...