The province of Dorno-Gobi (Eastern Gobi) encompasses a unique natural region of the Mongolian Gobi, rich in ancient archaeological and paleontological remains. The provincial history museum displays more than 5000 objects presenting the natural and human history of the region, beginning with the age of the dinosaurs and continuing to the present day.
The first section of the museum displays dinosaur bones and eggs, petrified wood, fossil shells, coral, and other paleontological remains. Beginning with the American expedition led by R.C. Andrews in 1924, extensive paleontological fieldwork has been carried out by Russian, German, Polish, and Bulgarian teams at Ergeliin Zoo, Gua Teeg, Khoyor Zaany Khundii, Khamaryn Khural and other locations in the province.
In addition, the museum introduces aspects of the Gobi's contemporary geography, flora and fauna, and mineral resources. Dorno-Gobi province is abundant in Gobi and steppe wildlife. Among the local wildlife specimens on display are rare and endangered species such as the wild mountain sheep and goat, wild ass, and black-tailed gazelle, as well as more common species of mammals and birds including the wolf, fox, rabbit, swallow, vulture, falcon, and eagle.
The Gobi is rich in stone, bronze, and iron-age archaeological remains, attesting to the extensive habitation of this region by early humans. The museum's displays include stone-age artefacts such as cutting and scraping tools, arrowheads, mortar and pestles, stone surfaces for drying grain, early pottery samples, and stone knives. Bronze age artefacts in the museum include bronze tools, decorative objects, various forms of knives and arrowheads, and a particularly interesting bronze dagger. Artefacts related to the iron age and the following early states period include petroglyphs, steles, statues of human figures, and remains of early cities, presented here through both photographs and physical remains. Among the later objects of particular interest are a 17th-century saddle recovered from the Khetsuu Te cave in the Airag district, and a soldier's armour and helmet believed to date from the 13th or 14th century, found in the Arvan Naimyn Bogd mountains in Mandakh district.
The ethnography section of the museum interprets the traditional camel-based nomadic lifestyle of the Gobi people. Among the objects on display are bridles and saddle-pads designed for camels, camel-drawn carts, and saddles, bridles, tethers, and other accessories used with horses. Alongside these are examples of the traditional food containers, flasks, pots, buckets, and similar items traditionally used throughout Mongolia. The area defined today as Dorno-Gobi province was, during the period of Manchu control of Mongolia in the 18th and 19th centuries, known as the Mergen Van khoshuu (district) of Tusheet Khan province. The "great white totem", a horse-hair totemic flag kept and worshipped by the khoshuu prince Gursikhei, was placed on display in the museum in 2001; it was originally one of the nine flags constituting Chinggis Khaan's great totem. Also on display in this room are traditional toys made and used by Gobi people, reading and writing accessories, and handcrafts, as well as two outstanding embroideries by the well-known artist Amaakhuu.