1902 Encyclopedia > Siberia


SIBERIA (Russ. Sibir, a word of unknown origin, probably Permian) in the 16th century indicated the chief settlement of the Tatar khan Kutclium,—Isker on the Irtish. Subsequently the name was extended so as to include the whole of the gradually increasing Russian dominions in Asia, and in the first half of the 19th century it was applied to the immense region stretching from the Ural Mountains to the Pacific, and from the Arctic Ocean to the Chinese frontier and the Kirghiz steppes. This region, however varied in its separate parts, constituted a geographical whole having its own characteristic physical

Features. The divisiom into Western and Eastern Siberia which naturally came into general use had also a geogra-phical meaning. In 1856, after the annexation of the Amur and Usuri regions, Eastern Siberia was extended so as to include the Russian dominions on the Pacific, although these latter in reality belong climatically and physically to a quite separate region,—that of the North Pacific littoral; and, as the Russian dominions extended into the Kirghiz steppes, these last were also reckoned to Siberia, although mostly belonging in their physical features to another geographical domain,—the Aral-Cas-pian depression. Later on these steppes were transferred to the "Orenburg region," or to the "steppe region"; but, on the other hand, some districts which really belong to Western Siberia were included under this new denomination. What is now called "Siberia" has thus lost its geographical unity. There still remains, however, for the geographer a vast tract of northern Asia which might be included under this general name, as representing some special features characteristic of the region. It would be limited by the Ural Mountains on the west, by the Arctic and North Pacific Oceans on the north and east respect-ively, and on the south by a line broadly corresponding to the 50th degree of latitude, running f rom the sources of the river Ural to the Tarbagatai range (thus separating the steppes of the Irtish basin from those of the Aral and Balkash basins), thence along the Chinese frontier as far as the south-east corner of Transbaikalia, whence it might be drawn to the Great Khingan, and along it to the upper Zeya (tributary of the Amur) and Udskoi Ostrog on the

Sea of Okhotsk. This wide area would be naturally subdivided into Western Siberia (basins of the Ob and Irtish) and Eastern Siberia (the remainder of the region). Western Siberia would include the governments of Tobolsk and Tomsk, as well as the parts of Perm situated to the east of the Ural Mountains, and those northern parts of Semi--palatinsk which belong to the basins of the Irtish and the Tobol1; while Eastern Siberia would include the govern-ments of Yeniseisk and Irkutsk, the provinces of Yakutsk and Transbaikalia, together with the north-western part of the province of Amur and the northern parts of the Maritime Province. In fact, the north-western parts of Manchuria situated between the Argun and the Great Khingan, as well as the upper parts of the Selenga and the Yenisei (Shishkit) belonging to Mongolia, are so intimately, connected with Eastern Siberia as regards their physical features that it is difficult for the geographer to separate them.

Since the inclusion of Uralsk, Turgai, Akmolinsk, and Semipalatinsk within the governor-generalship of the steppes, the present administrative subdivision stand as follows:—

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It is evident that a territory so immense—covering more than 25 degrees of latitude and 120 degrees of longitude—must include a great variety of orographical and climatological characters, and that the popular conception which persists in representing Siberia as a snow-clad desert is erroneous. In fact—not to speak of the rich prairies of the middle Amur and the Usuri region, where the wild vine grows freely—we find in Siberia proper the very fertile black earth prairie steppes, or rather pampas, of the Tobol and Ishim,—not mere patches of fertile land, but plains covering some 25,000,000 acres and ready to receive millions of inhabitants; the highlands of the Altai, with their rich valleys, alpine lakes, glaciers, and snow-clad peaks,—a country three times as large as Switzerland and presenting almost the same variety of aspects; the high plains of Eastern Siberia, where water-melons are grown in the fields during the short but hot summer; the rich steppes of Minusinsk, profusely adorned with flowers; the lower plateaus of Transbaikalia, embellished with the beautiful Daurian flora and supplying food to hundreds of thousands of cattle; the high inhospitable marshy plateaus of the Selenga and Vitim; vast hilly tracts densely covered with forests, and visited only by hunters and gold-diggers; and beyond these the frozen tundras of the north,—all these constitute an immense world, with the most striking contrasts of scenery and vegetation, of manners and customs. In one direction only is the popular conception true: throughout its extension Siberia is the coldest country of the world in consequence of its protracted and exceedingly severe winter. This variety of characters will be best understood from the following brief sketch of the orography.

The leading features of the orography of Siberia are so much at variance in our best maps that a few words are necessary to explain the views taken in what follows. The inhabited districts are well laid down; but the immense areas between and beyond these have only been visited by geographers and are mapped only along a few routes hundreds of miles apart. The intermediate spaces are filled according to information derived from native hunters. With regard to a great many rivers we know only the position of their mouths and their approximate lengths estimated by natives in terms of a day’s march. Even the hydrographical network is very imperfectly known, especially in the uninhabited hilly tracts.2 The orographical representation of Siberia is nothing more than a combination of a few surveys and journeys, in which conscious or unconscious hypothesis is resorted to in order to connect the isolated facts. As soon as the river systems of Siberia began to be approximately known, chains of mountains were drawn in all hilly tracts,—higher ones on the chief watersheds and lower ones along the secondary ones. This representation conveyed quite a false idea as to the surface configuration of Siberia. The immense plateaus which play so predominant a part in the structure of Asia (as they also do in the western parts of North America) were quite overlooked. Chains of mountains were drawn as if they rose in the midst of plains, where in reality we have either the slopes of one side of the plateaus or border-chains. Lofty mountains appeared where none exist, as, for instance, in those parts of Yakutsk where tributaries of the Lena and the Amur start from common marshes; and some of the highest chains were represented as minor upheavals because they are pierced by rivers descending from. the high plateaus to the lowlands. It was only by making use of rich unpublished collections of barometric observations for the calculation of hundreds of heights that many sections of Siberia could be drawn,3 and by going into a minute study of topographical materials scattered through the bulky literature of Siberia and certain MS. field-books—the whole controlled by personal journeys—that it became possible to arrive at the following general conclusions as to the structure of the country, which may be of service until more complete surveys shall have given more reliable data.4 This study has shown how predominant has been the part played in the formation of Siberia by huge swellings of the earth’s crust (plateaus), and how subordinate that played by isolated chains of mountains, which latter are regulated in their direction in north-eastern Asia by the border ridges of the plateaus; and it has enabled us to make out a close connexion between the structure of Central Asia and Tibet and that of northeastern Asia, and to establish a link between the two.

A vast plateau, beginning in the south at the foot of the gigantic semicircular border range of the Himalayas, and having the lofty plateau of Pamir in the west and the little-known higil tracts of the upper Hoang-ho and Yang-tse-kiang in the east, extends towards the north-eastern extremity of Asia. Broadly speaking, it has the shape of a South America pointed towards Behring Strait. It attains a width of no less than 1800 miles and an altitude of from 11,000 to 14,000 feet in the south; but both width and altitude diminish towards the north-east. In northwest Mongolia the average height is but 4000 to 5000 feet, and this diminishes to 3500 feet in the Vitim plateau; while its width is not more than 700 miles in the latitude of Lake Baikal. On the 50th parallel of latitude there occurs in the plateau a broad lateral indentation, occupied by Lake Baikal and the plains of Kansk, and this renders the resemblance of the plateau to South America still more striking. This immense plateau is the remainder of a vast and very old continent, which, so far as we know, has not been submerged since at least the Devonian period.5 It extends from the Himalayas to the land of the Tchuktchis, but does not of course present a plane surface of the same altitude in all its parts. It is diversified in the following ways. (1) Like other plateaus, it has on its surface a number of gentle eminences (angehäufte Gebirge of Ritter), which, although reaching great absolute heights, are relatively low. These chains for the most part follow a northeasterly direction in Siberia; but in the southern parts of the plateau, as we approach the Himalayas, they seem to assume a direction at right angles (fiwards, the north-west). (2) On the outskirts of the plateau there are several excavations which can best be likened to gigantic trenches, like railway cuttings when with an insensible gradient a higher level has to be reached. These trenches for successive geological periods have been the drainage valleys of immense lakes (probably also of glaciers) which formerly spread over the plateau, or fiords of the seas which surrounded it. Now the chief commercial routes have been made to follow these trenches to reach the higher level of the plateau. Their steep excavated sides, which have the appearance of chains of mountains to the traveller who follows the bottom of the trench, have often been described as such; in reality they are merely unilateral slopes, which may best be compared with the steep slope of the Jura turned towards the Lake of Geneva. We have examples of such trenches in the valley of the Uda to the east of Lake Baikal (route to the Amur); in the valley of the Orkhon, leading to Urga and Mongolia (route to Peking), with a branch up the DJida; in the broad depression of the Ulungur leading from Lake Zaisan to Barkul; and in a few others which have been utilized as routes from the Lena to the Sea of Okhotsk. (3) There are, moreover, two terraces in the plateau,—a higher and a lower, which are very well pronounced in TRANSBAIKALIA (q.v.) and in Mongolia. The Yablonovoi range and its south-western continuation the Kentei are border-ridges of the upper terrace. Both rise very gently above it, but have steep slopes towards the lower terrace, which is occupied by the Nertchinsk steppes in Transbaikalia and by the Gobi in Mongolia (2000 to 2500 feet above the sea). They rise to from 5000 to 7000 feet above the sea; the peak of Sokhondo in Transbaikalia reaches nearly 8500 feet. Several low chains of mountains have their base on the lower terrace and run from south-west to north-east; they are known as the Nertchinsk Mountains in Transbaikalia, and their continuations reach the northern parts of the Gobi.1

The great plateau is fringed on the north-west by a series of high border-ridges, which have their southern base on the plateau and their northern at a much lower level. They may be traced from the Thian-Shan to the arctic circle, and have an east-north-easterly direction in lower latitudes and a north-easterly direction farther north. Both the Alai ridge of the Pamir, continued by the Kokshaltau range and the Khan-Tengri group of the Thian-Shan, and the Sailughem range of the Altai (see TOMSK), which is continued, in the opinion of the present writer, in the yet unnamed border-ridge of West Sayan (between the Bei-khem and the US),2 belong to this category. There are, however, in these border-ridges several breaches of continuity,—broad depressions or trenches leading from Lake Balkash and Lake Zaisan to the upper parts of the plateau. On the other hand,there are on the western outskirts of the plateau a few mountain chains which take a direction at right angles to the above (that is, from the north-west to the south-east), and parallel to the great line of upheavals in south-west Asia. The Tarbagatai Mountains, on the borders of Siberia, as well as several chains in Turkestan, are instances of these upheavals. But, notwithstanding these complications, it remains certain that the Alai Mountains, the Khantengri group, the Sailughem range, and the West Sayan are border ridges of the high plateau fringing it from 70º to 100º E. long. These border-ridges contain the highest peaks of their respective regions; they are immense walls which render access to the high plateau extremely difficult, unless the traveller follows the above mentioned trenches. Beyond 100º E. long. the above structure is complicated by the great lateral indentation of Lake Baikal. But around and beyond this lake we again find the same huqe border-ridge fringing the plateau and turning its steep north-western slope towards the valleys of the Irkut, the Barguzin, the Muya, and the Tchara, while its southern base lies on the plateaus of the Selenga (nearly 4000 feet high) and the Vitim (see TRANSBAIKALIA). The peaks of the Sailughem range reach from 9000 to 11,000 feet above the sea, those of West Sayan about 10,000. In East Sayan is Munku-Sardyk, a peak 10,000 feet high, together with many others from 8000 to 9000 feet. Farther east, on the southern shore of Lake Baikal, Khamar-daban rises to 6900 feet, and the huge-dome-shaped, bald summits of the Barguzin and Southern Muya Mountains attain an elevation of 6000 to 7000 feet above the sea level. The orography of the Aldan region is but little known; but travellers who journey from the Aldan (tributary of the Lena) to the Amur or to the Sea of Okhotsk have to cross the same plateau and its border-ridge, the former becoming narrower and barely attaining an average altitude of 3200 feet. Whether it projects farther into the land of the Tchuktchis remains unsettled, although the probability is that it does.

A typical feature of the north-eastern border of the high plateau is a succession of broad longitudinal3 valleys along its outer base, shut in on the outer side by walls of wild mountains having a very steep slope towards them. Formerly filled with alpine lakes, these valleys have now a flat alluvial soil occupied by human settlements, and are watered by rivers which flow along them before they make their way to the north through narrow gorges pierced in the mountain-wall just mentioned. This structure is seen in the valley of the Us in West Sayan, in that of the upper Oka and Irkut in East Sayan, in the valley of the Barguzin, the upper Tsipa, the Muya, and the Tchara, at the foot of the Vitim plateau, as also, probably, in the Aldan.4 The chains of mountains which fringe these valleys on flie norfh-west belong to the wildest parts of Siberia. They are named the Usinsk Mountains in West Sayan and the Tunka Alps in East Sayan ; the latter, pierced by the Angara at Irkutsk, in all probability are continued north-eastwards in the Baikal Mountains, which run from Irkutsk to Olkhon Island and the Svyatoi Nos peninsula of Lake Baikal, thus dividing the lake into two parts, the great and the little.5 The Barguzin Mountains (on the right bank of the Barguzin river) and the Northern Muya range continue them farther to the north-east, and most probably they are prolonged still farther on the left bank of the Aldan.

A strip of alpine region, 100 to 150 miles in breadth, fringes the north-western border of the plateau beyond the ridges just mentioned. This constitutes what is called in Eastern Siberia the taiga: it consists of separate chains of mountains whose peaks rise from 4800 to 6500 feet above the sea, beyond the upper limits of forest vegetation (the goltsy); while the narrow valleys afford diffi-cult means of communication, their floors being thickly covered with boulders, or else swampy; the whole is clothed with thick impenetrable forests. The orography of this alpine region is very imperfectly known; but the chains have a predominant direction from south-west to north-east. They are described under different names in Siberia:—the Altai Mountains (see TOMSK) in Western Siberia, which also belong to this category, the Kuznetskiy Ala-tau and the Us and Oya Mountains in West Sayan (see YETNTISEISK), the Nijne-Udinsk taiga or gold-mine district, several chains pierced by the Oka river, the Kitoi Alps in East Sayan, the mountains of the upper Lena and Kirenga, the Olekminsk gold-mine district, and the yet unnamed mountains which protrude north-east between the Lena and the Aldan.

A broad belt of elevated plains, ranging between 1200 and 1700 feet above the sea, extends beyond these alpine regions. These, plains, which are entered by the great Siberian highway about' Tomsk6 and extend farther in a south-westerly direction, fringing the Altai Mountains, are the true abodes of Russian colonizers; they are fertile for the most part, although sometimes dry, and are rapidly being covered with Russian villages. About Kansk in rapidly being covered with Russian villages. About Kanst in Eastern Siberia they penetrate in the form of a broad gulf southeastwards as far as Irkutsk. Those on the upper Lena, having a somewhat greater altitude and being situated in higher latitudes, are almost wholly unfitted for agriculture. The north-western border of these elevated plains cannot yet be determined with exactitude. In the region between Viluisk (on the Vilui) and Yeniseisk a broad belt of alpine tracts, reaching their greatest elevation in the northern Yeniseisk taiga (between the Upper and the Podkameniiaya Tunguzka) and continued to the south-west in lower upheavals, separates the elevated. plains from the lowlands which extend towards the Arctic Ocean. In Western Siberia these high plains seem to occupy a narrower area towards Barnaul and Semipalatinsk, and it is difficult to say whether they are separated by an abrupt slope from the Aral-Caspian depression.

Farther to the north-west, beyond these high plains, we find a broad belt of lowlands extending as far as the Ural Mountains and the Arctic Ocean. This vast tract, which is now only a few dozen feet above the sea, and most probably was covered by the sea during the Post-Pliocene period, stretches from the Aral-Caspian depression to the lowlands of the Tobol, Irtish, and Ob, and thence towards the lower parts of the Yenisei and the Lena. Only a few separate mountain ranges, like the Byrranga on the Taimyr peninsula, the Syverma Mountains, the Verkhoyansk and the Kharaulakh ranges, diversify the monotonous surface of these lowlands, which are covered with a thick sheet of black earth in the south and assume the character of barren tundras in the north (see TOBOLSK and YENISEISK).

The south-eastern slope of the agreat plateau of Asia cannot properly be reckoned to Siberia, alhough parts of the province of Amur and the Maritime Province are situated on it; they have quite a different character, climate, and vegetation, and ought properly to be reckoned to the Manchurian region. As already said, we have to the east of the Yablonovoi border-ridge the lower terrace of the high plateau, reaching about 2000 to 2500 feet in Transbaikalia and extending farther to the south-west through the Gobi to East Turkestan. The south-eastern edge of this lower terrace is fringed by a massive border-ridge—the Khingan—which runs in a north-easterly direction from the Great Wall of China to the sources of the Nonni-ula. The traveller crossing, it from the west is hardly aware of its existence; but it has a very steep slope towards the east, and forms a most important boundary for Manchurian flora, which does not extend over the plateau. The northern parts of the Khingan are quite unexplored; the most northerly point that has been visited is the sources of the Gan, where the present writer crossed it on his way to Mergen; and we have no direct data for determining where it is crossed by the Amur. But, considering the structure of the country on the left bank of the Amur, it appears probable that this river crosses it below Albazin (between Tolbuzina and Kuznetsova, where it makes great windings), and the Zeya where it is joined by the Gilui,— the upper parts of the Zeya flowing on the plateau, while the Ud flows at its base; so that, as shown elsewhere with greater detail,1 we must admit the Okhotsk coast-range to be a continuation of the Great Khingan. The Stanovoi range was drawn on old maps to connect the Okhotsk range with the Yablonovoi; but the journeys of the great Siberian expedition have shown that in reality no such range exists,—the upper tributaries of the Gilui (tributary of the Amur) and those of the Konam (basin of the Lena) having their sources in common marshes on the plateau.

A narrow alpine region (40 to 50 miles), consisting of a series of short secondary ridges parallel to the border-ridge, fringes this latter on its eastern slope. Two such plications may be distinguished, corresponding on a smaller scale to the belt of alpine tracts fringing the plateau on the north-west. The resemblance is further maintained by a broad belt of elevated plains, ranging from 1200, to 1700 feet, which follow the eastern border of the plateau. The eastern Gobi, the occasionally fertile and occasionally sandy plains between the Nonni and the Sungari, and the rich plains of the Bureya and Selimja in the Amur province belong to this belt, 400 miles in breadth, the surface of which is diversified by the low hills of the Ilkhuri-alin, the Khulun, and the Turan. These high plains are bordered on the south-east by a picturesque chain of mountains (the Amur gorge of which has been often described),—the Bureya Mountains (also Little Khingran). It extends, with unaltered character, from Moukden and Ghirin (Kirin) to Ulban Bay in the Sea of Okhotsk (close by the Shantar Islands), its peaks covered from top to bottom with a rich forest vegetation rising to a height of 4500 to 6000 feet. A lowland belt about 200 miles broad runs in the same direction from south-west to north-east along the outer border of the above chain. The lower Amur occupies the northern part of this broad valley. These lowlands, covered with numberless marshes and lakes, seem to have emerged from the sea at a quite recent geological period; the rivers that lazily flow over their surface are still excavating their valleys. They are shut off from the Pacific by an alpine belt as yet but imperfectly known, in which at least two separate high chains (the Pribrezhnyi and the Tatar) can be distinguished—their continuations probably appearing in SAGHALIN (q.v.), while Kamchatka contains several chains, the orography of which is almost quite unknown.

The geology of Siberia is still but incompletely known; some detached regions have been explored, while the vast intermediate spaces remain untouched. Viewed broadly,2 the great plateau with the alpine tracts fringing it on the north-west and south-east is built up of Palaeozoic rocks. Oil the Vitim and Selenga plateaus immense tracts are composed exclusively of granite, grenatite, and syenite, with subordinate layers of gneisses, which very often are mere modifications, more or less stratified, of the granites and syenites. In some of the ridges that run over the surface of the plateau we find a variety of metamorphic slates, with subordinate layers of crystalline limestones. Extensive beds of lava occur in some parts of the plateau, and in the valleys of the rivers layers of Tertiary sands with petrified wood (Cupressonoxylum aleuticum). The plateaus of the Vitim and the Selenga are covered with erratic boulders brought from great distances and show unmistakable traces of glaciation; and immense lakes—small in comparison with their former size—and extensive marshes cover large areas. Besides older metamorphic slates and granites, Silurian and most probably Devonian rocks are widely spread on the lower plateau and in the low chains of mountains which rise above its surface. Silver, lead, gold, and iron are found in these mountains, as also precious stones. Jurassic deposits, yielding many species of fossil insects and plants, occupy several large depressions. They are all of fresh-water origin and were deposited in great lakes. Like the Jurassic beds of China and Turkestan, they contain layers of coal. The alpine tracts in the north-west of the plateau are built up of granites, syenites, gneisses, and chiefly of metamorphic slates, the age of which cannot yet be precisely ascertained (Laurentian, and possibly also Silurian, or even Devonian). Talc schists, and especially clay slates, both intersected with veins of quartz, have also a very great development here. The alluvial and glacial deposits of the valleys contain a rich percentage of gold, derived from the trituration of the clay slates and their quartz veins. Conglomerates, belonging probably to the Tertiary period, fill several valleys. Unmistakable traces of glaciers have been found in West and East Sayan, as also in the Olekma and Vitim regions. In the Altai the mountains are built up of granites, syenites, and diorites covered with metamorphic slates belonging to the Laurentian, Silurian, Devonian, and Carboniferous periods. The Jurassic strata on the outskirts are all fresh-water deposits and contain coal, as in Eastern Siberia and China. The Ala-tau are of more modern origin, containing extensive Jurassic beds, no longer deposited in depressions, but entering into the structure of the hills. The elevated plains of Western and Eastern Siberia have a more varied structure. Oil the Lena and the Yenisei we find Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, and Triassic marine deposits, covered here and there with fresh-water Jurassic. Immense tracts on the upper Lena are covered with horizontal sheets of red sandstone, the age of which is not yet determined, but seems to be Devonian; while in the government of Irkutsk large areas are covered with Jurassic coal-bearing sandstones. The same structure is found on the outskirts of the Altai, the Carboniferous and older slates having, depressions covered with. horizontal strata of Jurassic coal-bearing sandstones. The hilly tracts which rise amidst the Eastern Siberian plains on the Angara and Yenisei consist also of granites, syenites, and diorites covered with Palaeozoic rocks up to the Carboniferous, while Jurassic strata are found in the Vilui Mountains. The broad lowlands of Western Siberia are covered throughout with Post-Pliocene deposits which conceal the older rocks,—shells from this period having been found as far south as Omsk (55º N. lat.). The lowlands and plains of Eastern Siberia exhibit a greater variety of structure,—Carboniferous, Triassic, marine Jurassic, and Chalk deposits being met with both in the deeper ravines and in the few ridges which appear beyond 60º N. lat. Extensive layers of fresh-water Tertiary have been found in depressions of the plateau, in some valleys of the alpine region, and in the plains and lowlands.

There has been much discussion as to the extent of the glaciers in Siberia during the Glacial period,—the want of polished and scratched surfaces like those of Scandinavia having been urged as proof that they cannot have been considerable. It must neverthe-less be held that the high plateau was at one time covered with a vast ice-sheet, and that in the alpine regions of the Altai, Sayan, Olekma, and Aldan glaciers bad a much greater extension than at present, descending in the valleys to at least a level of 2000 feet above the sea, and covering the subordinate swellings between the mountain ranges. Thick layers of Post-Glacial deposits, indicating, a climate somewhat more genial than the present, and containing numberless remains of extinct mammals, are extensively spread both in valleys throughout the lowlands and on the islands of the Arctic Ocean; while in the tundras of the north well-preserved carcases of the mammoth and rhinoceros are occasionally found in the frozen soil.

Traces of Palaeolithic mail have not as yet been met with in Siberia; but relics of the Neolithic period are exceedingly numerous. One may almost say that they have been found wherever they were looked for, especially on the banks of the numberless lakes with which Siberia was dotted during the Lacustrine period (see below).

Volcanic formations, so far as is known, appear chiefly along the north-western border-ridge of the great plateau. Ejections of basaltic lava have been found on the southern slope of this ridge, extending over wide areas on the plateau itself, on a stretch of more than 600 miles,—namely, in East Sayan about Lake Kossogol, and in the valley of Tunka (river Irkut), in the vicinity of Selenghinsk, and widely spread on the Vitim plateau (rivers Vitim. and Tsipa). Extensive layers of trap cover more than 1200 miles along the Tunguzka; they appear also in the Noril Mountains on the Yenisei, whence they extend towards the Arctic Ocean. Basaltic lavas are also reported to have been found in the Aldan region. On the Pacific slope extinct volcanoes (mentioned in Chinese annals) have been found in the Ilkhuri-alin Hills to the east of Mergeñ

The mineral wealth of Siberia is considerable. Gold-dust is found in almost all the alpine regions fringing the great plateau, where clay slates, talc slates, and dioritic slates, intersected by quartz veins, make up the bulk of the, mountains. The chief gold-mining regions in these tracts are the Altai, the upper (or Nijne-Udinsk) and the lower (or Yeniseisk) taigas, and the Olekma region. Gold is found on the high plateau in the basin of the upper Vitim, on the lower plateau in the Nertchinsk district, and on the upper tributaries of the Amur (especially the Oldoi) and the Zeya, in the north-east continuation of the Nertchinsk Mountains. It has been discovered also in the Bureya range, and in its north-east continuation in the Amguñ region. Auriferous sands, but not very rich, have been discovered in the feeders of Lake Khangka and the Suifun river, as also on the smaller islands of the Gulf of Peter the Great. Silver and lead ores are found in the Altai and the Nertchinsk Mountains, as well as copper, cinnabar, and tin. Iron-ores are known at several places on the outskirts of the alpine tracts (as about Irkutsk), as well as in the Selenghinsk region and in the Altai. The chief ironworks of the Urals are situated on the Siberian slope (see URAL). Coal occurs in many Jurassic fresh-water basins,—namely, on the outskirts of the Altai, in south Yeniseisk, about Irkutsk, in the Nertchinsk district, at many places in the Maritime Province, and on the island of Saghalin. Beds of excellent graphite have been found in the Kitoi Alps (Mount Alibert) and in the Turukhansk district. Rock-salt occurs in thinner deposits at several places on the Lena and in Transbaikalia, and salt-springs are numerous,—those of Ust-kut on the Lena and of Usolie near Irkutsk being the chief. A large number of lakes, especially in Transbaikalia and in Tomsk, yield salt. Lastly, from the Altai region, as well as from the Nertchinsk Mountains, precious stones, such as jasper, malachite, beryl, dark quartz, and the like, are exported. The Ekaterinburg stone-polishing works in the Urals and those of Kolyvañ in the Altai are well known.

The orography sketched above explains the great development of the river-systems of Siberia and the uniformity of their course. The three chief rivers—the Ob, the Yenisei, and the Lena—take their rise on the high plateau or in the alpine regions fringing it, and, after descending from the plateau and piercing the alpine regions, flow for a few thousands of miles over the high plains and lowlands before they reach the Arctic Ocean. The three smaller rivers of north-eastern Siberia—the Yana, Indighirka, and Kolyma—have the same general character, their courses being, however, much shorter, as in these latitudes the plateau approaches the Arctic Ocean. The Amur, the upper tributaries of which rise in the eastern border-ridge of the high plateau, is similar. The Shilka and the Arguñ, which form it, flow first towards the northeast, through the bendings of the lower terrace of the great plateau; from this the Amur descends, traversing the Great Khingan and flowing down the terraces of the eastern slope towards the Pacific. A noteworthy feature of the principal Siberian rivers is that each is formed by the junction of a pair of great rivers. Examples are the Ob and the Irtish, the Yenisei and the Angara (itself a double river formed by the Angara and the Lower Tunguzka), the Lena and the Vitim, the Arguñ and the Shilka, uniting to form the Amur, which in its turn receives a tributary as large as itself,—the Sungari. Owing to this twofold composition and to the circumstance that, the alpine regions once crossed, their course lies over the high plains and lowlands and crosses the few ridges which rise above the plains (as, for example, the Yenisei below Yeniseisk), instead of following the valleys between them, the rivers of Siberia offer immense advantages for inland navigation, not only in the line of their main direction from north to south but also across it, i.e., from west to east. It is this circumstance that bas facilitated the rapid invasion of Siberia by Russian Cossacks and hunters: they followed the courses of the double rivers in their advance towards the east, and discovered short portages which permitted them to transfer their boats from the system of the Ob to that of the Yenisei, and from the latter to that of the Lena, a tributary of which—the Aldan—brought them close to the Sea of Okhotsk. At the present day steamers ply from Tyumeñ, at the foot of the Urals, to Semipalatinsk on the border of the Kirghiz steppe and to Tomsk in the very heart of Siberia. And the time is not far distant when the Ob and the Yenisei, both traversing the high plains on nearly the same level and separated only by low hills, will be connected by a canal, thus permitting steamers to reach Krasnoyarsk and, Irkutsk. As the population becomes denser no difficulty should be found in connecting some of the navigable tributaries of the Yenisei with one of those of the Lena, for they flow within a short distance from one another on the high plain, and Cossack boats have already been transported from the Yenisei to the Lena. An uninterrupted water communication will then have been established from Tyumeñ to Yakutsk, Aldansk, and the gold-mines of the Vitim. Owing to the great plateau separating the Lena from the Amur, no easy water communication can be established between the latter and other Siberian rivers. The tributaries of the Amur (the Shilka with its affluent the Ingoda) become navigable only on the lower terrace of the plateau. But the trench of the Uda to the east of Lake Baikal offers an easy access for a railway up to and across the high plateau; and at the very foot of its eastern border-ridge lie Tchita, whence boats are floated down (in spring) to the Pacific, and Nertchilisk, whence steamers may ply to the mouth of the Amur, as also up the Sungari to Ghirin and up the Usuri to Lake Kbangka. Unfortunately all the rivers are frozen for many months every year. Even in lower latitudes (52º to 55º N.) they are ice-bound from the beginning of November to the beginning of May1; while in 65º N. lat. they are open only for 90 to 120 days, and only for 100 days (the Yenisei) or even 70 days (the Lena) in 70º N. lat. During the cold winter the smaller tributaries freeze to the bottom, and about 1st January Lake Baikal becomes covered with a solid crust of ice capable of bearing files of loaded sledges.

The chief rivers of Siberia are the following. (1) The Ob (Obi) is formed by the confluence of the Biya and the Katuñ (400 miles), both of which rise in the Altai Mountains ; it flows north-west and north for 2120 miles, past Barnaul, Tomsk, and Narym, and enters the great Ob Bay of the Arctic Ocean. Its tributary(2) the Irtish, which joins it in 60º N. lat., has an even greater length (2520 miles). It rises in the high plateau, under the name of Black Irtish (500 miles); then, desceilying from the highlands, it enters Lake Zaisan, whence it flows north and north-west, past Semipalatinsk, Oinsk, and Tobolsk, to join the Ob. It receives a great number of tributaries, the chief being the Tobol, the Ishim, and the Tara. Tyumeñ on the last-named will soon be connected by rail with Perm on the Kama, and is already the head of a great line of water communication; navigation is also open to Lake Zaisan and for a considerable distance up the Black Irtish. The chief tributaries of the Ob are the Anui (160 miles), Tcharysh (230), Tom (450), Tchulym (600), Ket (240), and Sosva (200),—all for the most part navigable. (3) The Yenisei rises on the high plateau in north-western Mongolia, where it is formed by the confluence of two great rivers—the Shishkit and the Bei-khem—and has the name of Ulu—khem. After descending the high plateau on the Chinese frontier, it flows north and enters the Arctic Ocean in a deep bay situated close by that of the Ob. The area of its basin is estimated at 1,380,000 square miles. It receives (4) the Upper Tunguzka or Angara (1100 miles), which itself has a basin of 275,000 square miles, (5) the Podkamennaya Tunguzka, and (6) the Lower Tunguzka. The Angara, whose tributaries on the left (Irkut, Oka, and Uda) are each large rivers, flows from Lake Baikal (40 miles above Irkutsk) and, describing a huge bend to the north-east, joins the Yenisei a little above Yeniseisk. (7) The Selenga, which enters Lake Baikal from the east, might be considered as the real source of the Angara. It is a very large river and rises on the high Mongolian plateau, entering Siberia about Kiachta. Its length may be estimated at more than 600 miles; it receives (8) the Uri (outflow of Lake Kossogol), (9) the Orkhon, (10) the Tchikoi (300 miles), (11) the Khilok (300), (12) the Uda (130), and (13) the Djida (200). Lake Baikal has two other considerable feeders—the Barguzin and the Upper Angara. (14) The Lena is also an immense river, having an estimated length of not less than 3000 miles. It rises in the Baikal Mountains, some scores of miles from the lake, and flows north and east past Kirensk, Olekminsk, and Yakutsk. Thence it turns to the north-west and enters the Arctic Ocean, forming a wide delta. It receives several large tributaries—(15) the Vitim, which has a greater length (about 1400 miles) than the Lena above the point of junction, (16) the Olekma (about 800), (17) the Aldan (about 1300)—which receives in its turn (18) the Utchur (350), (19) the Maya, and (20) the Amga—and (21) the Vilui (about 1300). (22) The Taz (about 750), (23) the Khatanga (400), (24) the Anabara (670), and (25) the Olenek (1200), which enter the Arctic Ocean to the west of the Lena, and (26) the Yana (1000), (27) the Indighirka (950), and (28) the Kolyma (1000) to the east of it are also considerable rivers, but small in comparison with the former. (29) The Anadyr enters the gulf of the same name in the Sea of Behring. (30) The Okhota (270) and (31) the Ud (350) are relatively small streams flowing into the Sea of Okhotsk. Of the rivers flowing to the Pacific the chief is (32) the Amur, which is navigable for more than 2400 miles from its entrance into the Tartar Strait (between the mainland and the island of Saghalin) to Sryetensk on the Shilka,—boats being floated from Tchita on the Ingoda. It bears the name Amur after the confluence of (33) the Shilka and (34) the Arguñ (see TRANSBAIKALlA) at Ust-Stryelka, and from this point flows east and south-east until its junction with its great tributary the Sungari; thence it flows nortl-east and north, and finally (for some 50 miles) east, before entering the Pacific. Its length, taking the Onon for its source, is about 2700 miles, and its basin is at least 785,000 square miles in area, but has diminished recently,—the waters of the Dalai-nor no longer reaching the Arguñ. It receives a great many large tributaries,—(35) the Zeya, whose affluent (36) the Selimja is itself a considerable river, (37) the Bureya, (38) the Kur, (39) the Gorin, and (40) the Im from the left; while from the right it receives (41) the Sungari and (42) the Usuri, whose affluent, the navigable Sungatcha, brings the Amur into steam communication with Lake Khangka. The rivers flowing into the Sea of Japan are mostly short, only (43) the Suifun being worthy of particular mention.

Numberless lakes occur in both Eastern and Western Siberia. There are wide areas in the plains of Western Siberia, or on the high plateau of Eastern Siberia, where the country may be said to be still passing through the Lacustrine period; but the total area now under water bears but a trifling proportion to the immense extent which the lakes had even at a very recent period, when Neolithic man already inhabited Siberia. All the valleys and depressions bear traces of immense Post-Pliocene lakes. Even within historical times and during the 19th century the desiccation of lakes has gone on at a very rapid rate.2 The chief lake is Lake Baikal, more than 400 miles long, from 20 to 53 broad, and 12,430 square miles in area. Its surface is 1560 feet above sea-level, and it reaches in its southwest part a maximum depth of 751 fathoms. Another great lake, Lake Kossogol, on the Mongolian frontier, is 120 miles long and 50 broad, 5000 feet above the sea. The large Lake of Oron on the Vitim has not yet been visited by geographers. Vast numbers of small lakes stud the Vitim and upper Selenga plateaus; the lower valley of the latter river contains the Goose Lake (Gusinoye). In the basin of the Amur are Lake Khangka (1692 square miles), connected with the Usuri; Lakes Kada and Kizi, by which the lower Amur once flowed to the Pacific; and very many smaller ones on the left bank of the lower Amur. Numerous lakes and extensive marshes cover the low plains of Western Siberia; the Baraba steppe is dotted with lakes and ponds,—Lake Tchany (1300 square miles) and the innumerable smaller lakes that surround it being but trifling remains of former lacustrine basins; while at the junction of the Irtish and Ob impassable marshes extend for many thousands of square miles. Several alpine lakes, of which the picturesque Telei-skoye may be specially mentioned, fill up the depressions of the valleys of the Altai.

The coast-line of Siberia is very extensive both on the Arctic Ocean and on the Pacific. The former ocean is ice-bound for at least ten months out of twelve; and, though navigation along its shores has been proved by Nordenskjöld to be possible, it is exceedingly doubtful whether it can ever become a commercial route, of any importance. The coast-line has few indentations, the chief being the double bay of the Ob and the Taz, separated from the Sea of Kara by an elongated peninsula (Samoyede), and from the bay of the Yenisei by another. The immense peninsula of Taimyr—a barren tundra intersected by the wild Byrranga Hills—projects in Cape Tcheluskin as far north as 77º 46' N. lat. The bay of the Yana, east of the delta of the Lena, is a wide indentation sheltered on the north by the islands of New Siberia. The bays of the Kolyma, the Tchaun, and Kolutchin are of little importance. The group of four larger and several smaller islands called New Siberia, situated off the mouth of the Yana, are occasionally visited by a few hunters, as is also the small group of the Bears’ Islands opposite the mouth of the Kolyma. Kellett’s or Wrangel’s Land is still quite unknown. The Strait of Behring at the north-east extremity of Siberia and the Sea of Behring between the land of the Tchuktchis and Alaska, with its great Gulf of Anadyr, are often visited by seal-hunters, and the Commander Islands off Kamchatka are valu-able stations for this pursuit. The Sea of Okhotsk, separated from the Pacific by the Kurile Archipelago and from the Sea of Japan by the islands of Saghalin and Yesso, is notorious as one of the worst seas of the world, owing to its dense fogs and its masses of floating ice. The Shantar Islands in the bay of the Ud are worthy of notice only for their geological interest. The double bay of Ghijiga and Penjinsk, as well as that of Taui, would be useful as harbours were they not frozen seven or eight months every year and covered with dense fogs in summer. The northern part of the Sea of Japan, which borders the shores of the Usuri region, has, besides the smaller Bays of Olga and Vladimir, the beautiful Gulf of Peter the Great, on which stands Vladivostok, the chief Russian naval station on the Pacific (see MARITIME PROVINCE). Okhotsk and Ayan on the Sea of Okhotsk, Petropavlovsk on the east shore of Kamchatka, Nikolaievsk, Konstantinovsk, and Vladivostok on the Sea of Japan, and Dui and Korsakovo on SAGHALIN (q.v.) are the only ports of Siberia.

Although Siberia is nearly all included between 50º and 72º N. lat.,1 its climate is extremely severe, even in its southern parts. This severity arises chiefly from the orographical structure: the vast plateau of Central Asia prevents the moderating influence of the sea from being felt. The extensive lowlands which cover more than one-half of its area, as well as the elevated plains, lie exposed to the influence of the Arctic Ocean. The warm south-west winds have to cross the elevated plateau of Persia before reaching the Aral-Caspian depression, and there they deposit nearly all their moisture. And, if a current of warmer air flows from the west over Siberia (several data, such as meteorological observations on Mount Alibert and at the Voznesensk mine in the Olekma region render its existence most probable in Eastern Siberia), it only makes its influence felt in the higher parts, of the hilly tracts, by raising the line of perpetual snow in Eastern Siberia to the unusual height of 10,000 feet,2 and by elevating by a few degrees the temperature of places situated in the alpine regions above the 3000 or 4000 feet level. The air, after being refrigerated on the plateaus during the winter, drifts, owing to its greater density, down upon the lowlands; hence in the region of the lower Lena we find an exceedingly low temperature throughout the winter, and at Ver-khoyansk, in 67º N. lat., the pole of cold of the eastern hemi-sphere.3 Nevertheless Siberia enjoys a warm summer; owing to the dryness of the climate, the unclouded sun fully warms the earth during the long summer days in those high latitudes, and gives a short period of warm and even hot days in the immediate neigh-bourhood of the pole of cold. The Siberian winter may be said to last from the end of October until March, and it is exceedingly severe. As early as November mercury freezes in the latitude of Irkutsk (51º to 52º N. lat.), while in December, January, and even February it remains frozen for weeks together in south Siberia. Frosts of - 13º to - 18º Fahr. are not uncommon at Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, and Nertchinsk; even in the warmer southern regions of Western Siberia and of the Amur the average winter temperature is respectively 2º·4 Fahr. and - 10º·2; while at Yakutsk and Verkho. yansk the thermometer occasionally falls as low as - 75º and - 85º Fahr. Trees, as observed by Middendorff, become frozen to their very heart, and the axe, which becomes as fragile as glass, can hardly make any impression upon them. Rivers are frozen to the bottom, and water flowing over the ice adds new layers. The soil freezes many feet deep over immense areas even in southern Siberia. The atmosphere becomes laden with frozen vapours. Man, however, successfully resists these rigours, provided he adopts the customary costume of Siberia (two dresses of fur, the upper of which has the hair turned outside), and this all the more as the hardest frosts occur only when an absolute stillness of the air prevails. More dreaded than the frosts are the terrible burans or snow-storms, which occur in early spring and destroy thousands of horses and cattle that have been grazing in the steppes throughout the winter. Although there are very heavy falls of snow in the alpine tracts-especially about Lake Baikal-on the other side, in the steppe regions of the Altai and Transbaikalia and in the neighbourhood of Krasnoyarsk, the amount of snow is so small that travellers use wheeled vehicles, and cattle can find food in the steppe. Spring, sets in with re-markable rapidity and charm at the end of April; but in the second half of May come the "icy saints’ days," so blighting that it is impossible to cultivate the apple or pear. After this short period of frost and snow summer comes in its full beauty; the days are very hot, and, although they are always followed by cold nights, vegetation advances at an astonishing rate. Corn sown about Yakutsk in the end of May is ripe in the end of August. Still, at many places night frosts set in as early as the second half of July. They become quite common in August and September. Nevertheless September is much warmer than May, and October than April, even in the most continental parts of Siberia. By the end of October the rivers begin to freeze, and in the first days of November they are all frozen; even the Amur becomes a high-way for sledges, while the Baikal is usually frozen before the middle of January. The isotherms are exceedingly interesting. That of 32º Fahr. crosses Western Siberia in its middle parts and Eastern Siberia in its southern parts, running through Bogoslovsk, Tobolsk, a little above Omsk and Tomsk, close by Irkutsk, Tchita, Nertebinsk, Blagovyeschensk, and Konstantinovsk. The isotherms of July run as follows. That of 68º Fahr., which in Europe passes through Cracow and Kaluga, here traverses Omsk, Krasnoyarsk, and Irkutsk, whence it turns north to Yakutsk, and then south again to Vladivostok. Even the mouths of the Ob, Yenisei, Lena, and Kolyma in 70º N. lat. have in July an average temperature of 40º to 50º. Quite contrary is the course of the January isotherms. That of 14º Fahr., which passes in Europe through Uleaborg, -only touches the southern part of Western Siberia in the Altai Mountains. That of - 4º Fahr., which crosses Nova Zembla in Europe, passes through Tobolsk, Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk, and Irkutsk, and touches 45º N. lat. at Urga, turning north in the Amur region and reaching the Pacific at Nikolaievsk. The isotherm of - 22º Fahr., which touches the north point of Nova Zembla, passes in Siberia through Turukhansk and descends as low as 55' N. lat. in Transbaikalia, whence it turns north to the Arctic Ocean. The following figures will give a more complete idea of the climate:—

== TABLE ==

The flora of Siberia presents very great local varieties, not only on account of the diversity of physical characteristics through this wide territory, but also in consequence of the intrusion of new species in various proportions from the neighbouring tracts, as widely different as the arctic littoral, the dry steppes of Central Asia, and the wet monsoon regions of the Pacific littoral. A com-plete description of the flora of Siberia would have to treat of (1) the high plateau; (2) the alpine tracts—(a) the Altai and (b) East Sayan, with a sub-region to the east of Lake Baikal; (3) the steppe regions of Western Siberia; (4) the Ishim and Baraba plains of the same; (5) the high plains of Eastern Siberia, with the sub-region (6) of Minusinsk ; (7) the Daurian flora of the lower terrace of the plateau in Transbaikalia; (8) the Amur; (9) the Usuri and Pacific littoral region; (10) the arctic tundras, which, as shown by the "Vega" expedition, may be subdivided into those (a) west of Yenisei and (b) east of the same to Behring, Strait; and (11) Kamchatka. Each of these has distinct features; neverthe-less, if the basin of the Amur and Kamchatka be set aside, all have so much in common that the "Siberian flora " may be spoken of as a whole. Siberia is situated for the most part in the great domain which Grisebach describes as the "forest region of the Eastern continent." The northern limit of this region must, however be

drawn nearer to the Arctic Ocean. Only a narrow strip, 60 to 200 miles wide (becoming broader in the Taimyr and Samoyede penin-sulas), is totally devoid of tree vegetation. The last trees, it is true, which struggle for existence on the edge of the tundras are crippled dwarfs and almost without branches; a few buds each summer are the only evidence that life has not left their frozen stems; and trees a hundred years old are only a few feet long and a few inches thick, concealed amidst lichens.2 Some 200 species of flowering plants are still found in the tundra region,—the frozen ground and the want of humus militating more against them than the want of warmth.3 From this northern limit to the Aral-Caspian and Mon-golian steppes we have all over Siberia the forest region, where, however, forests are very unequally distributed, covering from 50 to 99 per cent. of the areas of the separate districts. In the hill tracts and the marshy depression of the Ob they are unbroken, except by the bald summits of the loftier mountains (goltsy); they have the aspect of agreeable bosquets in the Baraba; and they are thinly scattered through the south-eastern corner of Transbaikalia, where the dryness of the Gobi steppe is so much felt; while immense marshy plains covered with the dwarf birch take their place in the north as the tundras are approached. Over this immense area the trees are for the most part the same as we are familiar with in Europe. The larch becomes predominant and presents itself in two new species (Larix sibiHca and L. dahurica). The fir appears in the Siberian varieties Picea obovata and P. ayanensis. The silver fir (Abies sibirica, Pinus Pichta) and the stone-pine (P.Ceinbra) are quite common; they reach the higher summits, where the last-named becomes a recumbent specie’s (Cembra pumila), while the larch and the silver fir also acquire a tendency to spread their side branches instead of rising in height. The willow at high altitudes grows only two inches high, but still bears a few leaves and fully de-veloped flowers. The birch in the loftier alpine tracts and plateaus becomes a shrub (Betula nana, B. fruticosa), or in Transbaikalia assumes a new and very elegant aspect with a dark bark (B. dahu-rica). In the deeper valleys or on the lowlands of Western Siberia the larches, pines, and silver firs, mixed with birches and aspens, reach a great size, and the streams are fringed with thickets of poplar and willow. The alpine rose (Rhododendron dahuricum) flourishes in large masses on the higher mountains; Juniper, Spiraea, Sorbus, the pseudo-acacia (Caragana sibirica and arbor-escens, C. jubata in some of the higher tracts), various Rosaceae-—Potentilla fruticosa and Cotoneaster uniflora—the cherry-plum (Prunus Padus), and many other shrubs fill up the spaces between the trees. Berry-yielding plants are found everywhere, even on the goltsy, at the upper limit of tree vegetation; on the lower grounds they are an article of diet to the hunter, and even to the agriculturist. The red whortleberry (Vaccinium Vilis idaea), the bog whortleberry (V. uliginosum), the bilberry or cowberry (V. Myrtillus), and the arctic bramble (Rubus arcticus) extend very far northwards; raspberries and red and black currants form a rich undergrowth in the forests, together with the Ribes dikusha in Eastern Siberia. The oak, the lime, the maple, disappear to the east of the Urals, to reappear, however, in new varieties on the eastern slope of the border-ridge of the great plateau (timidly pene-trating west for some little distance up the valleys of the Amur and the Arguñ).4 There we have the oak (Q. mongolica), the maple (Acer ginala, Max.), the ash (Fraxinus manchurica), the elm (Ulmus montana), the hazel (Carylus heterophylla), and several other Euro-pean acquaintances. Farther east, in the Amur region, a great number of new species of European trees, and even new genera, such as the cork-tree (Phellodendron amurensis), the walnut (Jrugtans manchurica), the acacia (Maackia amurensis), the graceful climber Haximowimia amurensis, the Japanese Trochostigma, and many others—all unknown to Siberia proper—make their appearance.

The greatest uniformity prevails on the high plateau, where the larch predominates over all other species of conifers or deciduous trees; the wide and open valleys—or rather shallow depressions—are covered with Betula nana and B. fruticosa in the north and with thick grasses (poor in species) in its southern and drier parts. The same Siberian larch covers the alpine tracts fringing the plateau on the north; but the tree assumes different characters in development and growth according to the physical features of the region; and the fir, the stone-pine, the aspen, and the birch also become mixed with it; in the narrow sheltered valleys the forests attain their full development. In the drier parts, on the slopes covered with sand or with a richer soil, the Scotch fir (Pinus sylvestris) makes its appearance. In the alpine tracts of the north the narrowness of the valleys (padi) and the steep stony slopes covered with débris, on which only lichens and mosses can grow, make each green plot of grass (even if it be only of Carex) valuable to the gold-diggers and hunters. For days consecutively the horse of the explorer can get no other food than the dwarf birch. But even in these districts the botanist and geographer can easily distinguish between the tcherñ of the Altai and the taiga of different parts of Eastern Siberia. The lower plateau exhibits, of course, new characteristics. Its open spaces are lovely prairies, on which the Daurian flora appears in its full beauty. In spring the traveller crosses a sea of grass from which the flowers of the paeony, aconite, Orobus, Carallia, Saussurea, and the like rise to a height of 4 or 5 feet. As the Gobi desert is approached the forests disappear, the ground becomes chiefly covered with dry Gramineae, and Salsolaceae make their appearance on a gravelly clay impregnated with salt. The high plains of the west slope of the plateau are also covered with rich prairies diversified with woods. Nearly all the species of these prairies are common also to Europe (paeonies, hemerocallis, asters, pinks, gentians, violets, Cypripedium, Aquilegia, Delphinium, aconites, irises, and so on); but here the plants attain a much larger size,—so large indeed that a man standing erect is concealed by the grasses. The flora of Minusinsk—the Italy of Siberia—is well known; the prairies on the Ishim and of the Baraba (see TOMSK) are adorned with the same rich vegetation, so vividly described by Middendorff and Finsch. Farther north we again reach the domain of forests; but these once more present new characteristics. They are the urmans of Western Siberia, into which the hunter does not venture to penetrate far from his village,—Immense tracts covered with thickets of trees closely packed and therefore poor in aspect, and often rising from a treacherous carpet of thickly woven grass which conceals deep marshes (zybuny), where even the bear has to tread circumspectly. The prairies of the middle Amur and the rich plains of the Selimja and Zeya, where Russian Raskolniks are so successful as agriculturists, belong to Manchuria.

The fauna of Siberia is closely akin to that of central Europe; and the Ural Mountains, although the habitat of a few species which warrant the naturalist in regarding the south Urals as a separate region, are not so important a boundary zoologically as they are botanically. As in European Russia, so in Siberia, three great zones—the arctic, the boreal and the middle—may be distinguished; and these, according to M. Syevertsoff,5 may be subdivided into several sub-regions. The arctic (byperboreal) zone has the same characters as the tundra zones of European Russia. The boreal (circumboreal) zone, which corresponds to the forest region of Russia, embraces Western Siberia, with the exception of the Urals and the southern steppes, and a notable part of Eastern Siberia,—Transbaikalia and the hilly tracts to the north of it being distinguished as a separate "Eastern Siberian" sub-region. The middle zone, extending from south Russia to south Siberia, has two separate sub-regions,—the Ural-Baraba and the Daurian. The zone of the steppes extends from the Caspian Sea through Central Asia, only touching Western Siberia and the neighbourhood of the Gobi in Transbaikalia. Finally, the Amur region shares the characteristics of the north Chinese fauna. On the whole, we may say that the arctic and boreal faunas of. Europe extend over Siberia with a few additional species in the Ural and Baraba region—a number of new species also appearing in Eastern Siberia, some spreading along the high. plateau and others along the lower plateau from the steppes of the Gobi. The arctic fauna is very poor. According to Nordqvist,6 it numbers but twenty-nine species of mammals, of which seven are marine and only seventeen or eighteen may be safely considered as living beyond the forest limit. Of these, again, four are characteristic of the land of the Tchuktchis. The wild reindeer, the arctic dog (Canis lagopus), the fox, the hare, the wolf. the lemming (Myodes obensis), the collar-lemming (Cuniculus torquatus), and two species of voles (Arvicolae) are the most common on land. The avifauna is very rich in migratory water and marsh fowl (Grallatores and Natatores), which come to breed in the coast region; but only five land birds—the ptarmigan (Lagopus alpinus), the snow-bunting, the Icelandic falcon, the snow-owl, and the raven—are permanent inhabitants of the region. The boreal fauna is of course much richer; but here also the great bulk of species, both of mammals and birds, are common to Europe and Asia. The bear, the badger, the wolverene, the pole-cat, the ermine, the common weasel, the otter, the wolf, the fox, the lynx, the mole, the hedgehog, the common shrew, the water-shrew, and the lesser shrew (Sorex vullgaris, fodiens, and pygmaeus), two bats (the long-eared and the boreal), three species of Vespertilio (V. daubentoni, nattereri, and mystacinus), the flying and the common squirrel (Tamias striatus), the brown, common, field, and harvest mouse (Mus decumanus, musculus, sylvaticus, agrarius, and minutus), four voles (Arvicola antphibius, ritfocanus, rutilus, and schistocolor), the beaver, the variable hare, the wild boar, the roebuck, the stag, the reindeer, the elk, and the Phoca annelata of Lake Baikal,—all these are common alike to Europe and to Siberia; while the bear, the musk-deer (Moschus moschiferus), the ermine and the sable, the ground squirrel (Spermophilus eversmani), Arvicola ob-scitrus, and Lagomys hyperboraeus, also spread over Siberia, may be considered as belonging to the arctic fauna. In addition to the above we find in Eastern Siberia Mustela alpina, Canis alpinus, the sable antelope (Aegocerus sibiricus), several species of mouse (Mus gregatus, aeconomus, and saxatilus), two voles (Arvicola russatus and macrotus), Syphneus aspalax, and the alpine Lagomys, which penetrate from the Central Asian plateaus; while the tiger makes incursions not only in the Amur region but occasionally as far as Lake Baikal. In all, of fifty-seven species of Siberian mammals forty-one are common also to Europe, twenty-seven common to the arctic region, and only sixteen special to Asia. On the lower terrace of the great plateau we find an admixture of Mongolian species, such as Canis corsac, Felis manul, Spermophilus dauricus, the jerboa (Dipus jaculus), two hamsters (Cricetus songarus and furunculus), three new voles (Arvicolae), the Tolai hare, the Ogotona hare Lagomys ogotona), Aegocerus argali, Antilope gutturosa, and Equus hemionus (jighitai); while the number of species common to Asia and Europe diminishes notably. The same is true with respect to birds. No less than 285 species have been observed in Siberia, but of these forty-five only are absent from Europe. In south-east Siberia we find forty-three new species belonging to the north Manchurian or Amur fauna; and in south-east Transbaikalia, on the borders of the Gobi steppe, only 103 species were found by Radde, among which the most numerous are migratory birds and the birds of prey which pursue them. The rivers and lakes of Siberia abound in fish; but little is known of their relations with the species of neighbouring regions.1

The insect fauna is very similar to that of Russia; but a few genera, as the Tentyria, do not penetrate into the steppe region of Western Siberia, while the tropical Colasposoma, Popilia, and Lan-guria are found only in south-eastern Transbaikalia, or are confined to the southern Amur. Oil the other side, several American genera (Cephalaon, Ophryastes) extend into the north-eastern parts of Siberia.2 As in all uncultivated countries, the forests and prairies of Siberia become almost uninhabitable in summer on account of the mosquitoes. Eastern Siberia suffers less from this plague than the marshy Baraba; but on the Amur and the Sungari large gnats become an unsupportable plague, and travellers who have had experience of the mosquitoes of the tropics readily admit that they yield to those of Siberia. Burning the prairie is the only expedient for destroying them, and is freely resorted to, with the result that the forest is frequently set on fire.

In Molluscs Siberia is much richer than had been supposed. The dredgings of the "Vega" expedition iii the Arctic Ocean dis-closed an unexpected wealth of marine fauna, and those of L. Schrenck in the north of the Japanese Sea have led to the dis-covery of no fewer than 256 species (Gasteropods, Brachiopods, and Conchifers). Even in Lake Baikal Dr Dybowski and Dr Godlewski have discovered no fewer than ninety-three species of Gammarides and twenty-five of Gasteropods.3 The Sea of Okhotsk is very inter-esting in this respect, owing to its local species and the general composition of its fauna (70 species of Molluscs and 21 of Gastero-pods). The land Molluscs, notwithstanding the unfavourable con-ditions of climate, number about seventy species,—Siberia in this respect thus being not far behind north Europe.

The Siberian fauna is very unequally distributed. The alpine tracts of Eastern Siberia and the urmans of Tobolsk are from the zoologist’s point of view exceedingly poor, owing to the want of grass and of a mouldy soil. It is oil the plateau, and especially oil the lower plateau, as well as oil the high plains, where the graz-ing grounds become numerous, that the fauna appears in its full richness. Much remains to be done in the way of investigating the distribution of animals over Siberia with reference to the physi-cal conditions of its different parts. Although differing little from the European, the fauna of Siberia possesses great interest for the zoologist and geographer. The increase of Lily animals in size (becoming twice as large as in Europe); the appearance of white varieties among both mammals and birds, and their great prevalence among domesticated animals (Yakut horses); the migrations of birds and mammals over immense regions, from the Central Asian steppes to the arctic coast, performed not only in connexion with the usual rotation of seasons but also as a result of occasional climacteric con-ditions which are not yet fully known (e.g., the occasional migration of thousands and thousands of roebuck from Manchuria across the Amur to the left bank of the river, or the migration of reindeer so well related by Wrangel); the various coloration of many animals according to the composition of the forests they inhabit (the sable and the squirrel are well-known instances); the mixture of northern and southern faunas in the Amur region and the remarkable con-sequences of that mixture in the struggle for existence;—all these render the study of the Siberian fauna most attractive. Finally, the laws of distribution of animals over Siberia cannot be made out until the changes undergone by its surface during the Glacial and Lacustrine periods are well established and the Post-Tertiary fauna is better known. The remarkable finds of Quaternary mammals about Omsk and their importance for the history of the Equideae are but a hint of what may be expected in this field.

The great bulk of the population are Russians, whose number has increased with great rapidity during the 19th century: although not exceeding 150,000 in 1709 and 500,000 a century later, they now (1887) number more than 3,000,000, and not far from 4,000,000 if the eastern slopes of the Urals are reckoned to Siberia. At the same time the entire indigenous population does not exceed 700, 000 if the Kirghizes of Semipalatinsk are reckoned to Turkestan, and many indigenes are rapidly dying out. The Russians, issuing from the middle Urals, have travelled as a broad stream through south Siberia, sending lateral branches to the Altai, to the Ili river in Turkestan, and to Minusinsk, as well as down the chief rivers which flow to the Arctic Ocean, the banks of which are studded with vill-ages 15 to 20 miles apart. As Lake Baikal is approached the stream of Russian immigration becomes narrower, occupying only the valley of the Angara, with a series of villages up the Irkut; but it widens again in Transbaikalia, sending lateral branches up the Selenga and its tributaries. It follows the course of the Amur, again in a suc-cession of villages some 20 miles apart, and can be traced up the Usuri to Lake Khangka and Vladivostok, with an extension of villages on the plains between the Zeya and the Selimja. Small Russian settlements also occur on a few bays of the North Pacific and the Sea of Okhotsk, as well as on Saghalin (see SAGHALIN). The Russians have thus occupied all the best agricultural tracts in Western and Eastern Siberia.

As to the indigenous races, the Ugrian stocks which occupy the north-west of Siberia are represented by (1) the Voguls (about 6400), on the eastern slopes of the Urals, in Perm and Tobolsk, extending partly over the western slope; they closely resemble the Ostiaks, in some features approximating the Mongol race, and speak the same language; (2) the OSTIAKS (q.v.); and (3) the SAMOYEDES (q.v.).

Survivals of Turkish stocks, once much more numerous, are spread all over south Siberia as far as Lake Baikal. Their territories are rapidly being occupied by Russians, and their settlements are cut in two by the Russian stream,—the Baraba Tatars and the Yakuts being to the north of it, and the others having been driven back to the hilly tracts. According to M. Radloff,4 they are as follows:- (1) the Karagases in the Yeniseisk and Irkutsk spurs of the Sayan. Mountains (about 500); (2) the Abakan Tatars (about 10,000),-driven from the Irtish, they occupied the Abakan steppes after the emigration of the Kalmucks; (3) those of the Tcholym scattered amidst Russians (500); (4) the Tatars of the north and north-east Altai, in all about 20,000,—(a) the Kumandintsy, (b) the Lebed Tatars, (c) the tcherñ or forest Tatars, (d) the Shorghintses; (5) those of the Altai proper,—(a) Altaians (11,800), (b) Dvoedantsy (2000), who until 1865 paid tribute to both Russia and China, and (c) the Teleutes (5800), mostly Russified; (6) the Soyotes and Uryankhes of East Sayan, of whom a few families are in Siberian territory; (7) the Baraba Tatars (4650), mostly driven northwards to the forest and marsh region; (8) the Irtish and Tobolsk Tatars (some 7000 to 10,000 on the Tara and 15,700 in the Tobolsk dis-trict). In all they number about 78,000, to whom should be added a number of Kirghiz from Turkestan. The great Turkish stock of the Yakuts (see YAKUTSIC) in the basin of Lena numbers about 200,000. Most of these Turkish stocks live by cattle--breeding and some by agriculture, and are a most laborious and honest population.

The Mongols (about 350,000) extend into Western Siberia from the high plateau,—nearly 20,000 Kalmucks living in the eastern Altai. In Eastern Siberia the Buriats occupy the Selenga and Uda, parts of Nertchinsk, and the steppes between Irkutsk and the upper Lena, as also the Baikal Mountains and the island of Orkbon; they support themselves chiefly by stock-breeding, but some of them, especially in Irkutsk, are agriculturists (see TRANSBAIKALIA).On the left of the Amur there are about 10,000 Chinese and Manchurians about the mouth of the Zeya, and nearly 3000 Coreans on the Pacific coast. The Tunguses, although few in numbers (50,000), occupy as their hunting-grounds an immense region on the high plateau and its slopes to the Amur, but their limits are yearly becoming more and more circumscribed both by Russian gold-diggers and by Yakut settlers.

Finally, in the north-east we find a group of stocks whose ethno-logical place is not yet accurately determined. They are united into a separate North Asian linguistic group, and include the Tchuktchis, who may number 12,000, the Koryaks (5000), and the Kamchadales (3000), the Ghilyaks (nearly 5000) of the lower Amur and north Saghalin, and the Ainos (3000) of south Saghalin. The Yukaghirs (1600) seem to be merely Tunguses. Some 5000 Gipsies wander about Siberia.

Much has been written of late about the sad state of the indigenous populations of Siberia.1 They are pitilessly deprived of their hunting and grazing grounds and compelled to resort to agriculture,—a modification exceedingly hard for them, not only on account of their poverty but also because they are compelled to settle in the less favourable regions. European civilization has made them familiar with all its worst sides and with none of its best. Taxed with a tribute in furs (yasak) from the earliest years of the conquest, they often revolted in the 17th century, but were cruelly reduced to obedience. The tribute was never great (about 11/4 roubles per head); but the official valuation of furs was always only one-third to one-fourth of their real value and the exactions of the authorities trebled it again. In 1824 the settled indigenes had to pay the very heavy rate of 11 roubles per head, and the arrears, which soon became equal to the sums levied, were rigorously exacted. It must be fully acknowledged that severe measures taken by the Govern-ment in the last two centuries prevented the growth of anything like legalized slavery on Siberian soil; but the people, ruined as they were both by the intrusion of agricultural colonists and by the exactions of Government officials, fell into what was practically a kind of slavery (kabala) to the merchants. Even the best-inten-tioned Government measures, such as the importation of corn, the prohibition of the sale of spirits, and so on, became new sources of oppression. The action of missionaries, who cared only about nominal Christianizing, had no better effect. It is worthy of notice that the spread of Mohammedanism among the Tatars and Kirghizes and of Lamaism among the Buriats took place under the Russians and was favoured by the Government.

The Russians of Siberia differ to some extent from those of the mother-country. They might have been expected to intermix largely with the Finnish, Turkish, and Mongol elements with which they came in contact; but, in consequence of causes already mentioned under RUSSIA (vol. xxi. p. 78), the mixture is much less than might be supposed; and the continuous arrival of new immigrants con-tributed to lessen the effects of mixtures which really took place. One is accordingly struck to find in Western Siberia compact masses of Russians who have lost so little of their primitive ethnographical features, and to hear throughout Siberia a language which differs

from that of northern Russia only by a slight admixture of words borrowed from the natives (mostly relating to hunting or cattle--rearing), and a few expressions of Polish origin. The case is other-wise, however, on the outskirts. Castrén characterized Obdorsk (mouth of the Ob) as a true Samoyedic town, although peopled with "Russians." The Cossacks of Western Siberia have the features and customs and many of the manners of life of the Kalmucks and Kirghiz. Yakutsk is thoroughly Yakutic; marriages of Russians with Yakut wives are common, and some forty years ago the Yakut language was predominant among the Russian merchants and officials. At Irkutsk and in the valley of the Irkut the admixture of Tungus and Buriat blood is obvious, and still more in the Nertchinsk district and among the Transbaikalian Cossacks settled for the last two centuries on the Arguñ. They speak the Buriat language as often as Russian, and in a Buriat dress the Arguñ Cossack can hardly be distinguished from a Buriat. In separate parts of Siberia, on the borders of the hilly tracts, the mixture with Tatars was quite common. Of course, it is now rapidly growing less, and the settlers who entered Siberia in the 19th century married Russian wives and remained thoroughly Russian. There are accordingly parts of Siberia, especially among the Raskolniks, where the north Russian, the Great Russian, and the Ukrainian types have maintained themselves in their full purity, and only some differences in domestic architecture, in the disposition of their villages, and in the language and character of the population remind the traveller that he is in Siberia. The Russians in Siberia have emigrated from all parts of European Russia; but the special features of the language and partly also of the national character are due to the earliest settlers, who came mostly from northern Russia.

The natural rate of increase of population is very slow as a rule, and does not exceed 7 or 8 per 1000 annually. The great mortality, especially among children, is one of the causes of this, the birthrate being also lower than in Russia. In Western Siberia the former is 38 per 1000 in towns and 30 in villages, while the births are 43 in towns and 44 in villages. The climate of Siberia, however, cannot be called unhealthy, except in certain localities where goitre is common (on the Lena, in several valleys of Nertchinsk, and in the Altai Mountains). The rapid growth of the actual population is chiefly due to immigration.

Agriculture is the chief occupation both of the settled Russian and of the native population. South Siberia has a very fertile soil and yields rich crops, but immense tracts are utterly unfit for tillage. In the lowlands of Western Siberia it is carried on up to 61º N. lat.2 On the high plains fringing the alpine tracts on the northwest it can be carried on only in the south, farther north only in the valleys, reaching 62º N. lat. in that of the Lena, and in the alpine tracts in only a few valleys, as that of the Irkut. On the high plateau all attempts to grow cereals have failed,—only the wide trenches (Uda, Selenga, Djida), already described, giving encouragement to the agriculturist. On the lower plateau, in Transbaikalia, grain is successfully raised in the Nertchinsk region,—with serious risks, however, from early frosts in the valleys of the mountain-ridges which rise above its surface. South-east Transbaikalia, suffers from want of water, and the Buriats irrigate their fields. Although agriculture is carried on the upper Amur, where land has been cleared from virgin forests, it really prospers only below Kumara and on the rich plains of the Zeya and Selimja. In the depression between the Bureya range and the coast-ranges it suffers greatly from the heavy July and August rains, and from inundations; while on the lower Amur the agriculturists barely maintain themselves by growing cereals in clearances on the slopes of hills, so that the settlements on the lower Amur and Usuri continually require help from Government to save them from famine. The chief grain-producing regions of Siberia are—the Tobol and Isbini region, the Baraba, the region about Tomsk, and the outskirts of' the Altai, which cover an aggregate of 330,000 square miles (155,000 in the Altai); they have a thoroughly Russian population of nearly 2,000,000 inhabitants, and nearly 8,600,000 acres are under crops. The Tobolsk region, mostly covered with urmans, but having nearly 1,000,000 acres cultivated, and the northern districts of Semipalatinsk, which are being rapidly colonized, must be added to the above. On the whole, in the basins of the Ob and Irtish, the annual yield is about 2,350,000 quarters of summer wheat, 1,260,000 of summer rye, 3,240,000 of oats, and 6,000,000 bushels of potatoes. The figures for Eastern Siberia are not so reliable—about 1,100,000 quarters of various grains in Irkutsk (one-third raised by the Buriats), 400,000 in Transbaikalial 40,000 in Yakutsk, about 100,000 in the Amur province, and 25,000 in the Maritime Province; and the Yeniseisk peasants sell every year about 700,000 cwts. of corn. The Munusinsk district, one of the richest in Siberia (45,000 inhabitants, of whom 2800 are settled and 24,000 nomadic), has more than 45,000 acres under crops; and in the whole province of Yeniseisk about 3,000,000 acres are cultivated.

Cattle-breeding is extensively carried on in many parts. In the Ob and Irtish region of Western Siberia there are about 2,000,000 horses, 1,500,000 head of horned cattle, 3,000,000 sheep, and 100,000 reindeer; for Eastern Siberia the figures are approximately 850,000 horses, 1,100,000 horned cattle, 1,120,000 sheep, and about 50,000 reindeer. The industry is, however, carried on in the most primitive manner. In Transbaikalia little hay is made, and the Buriat horses seek their food throughout the winter beneath the thin sheet of snow which covers the steppes. A single snowstorm in spring sometimes destroys in a few days thousands of horses thus weakened. In Western Siberia the "Siberian plague" makes great ravages, and the average losses are estimated at about 37,600 head of cattle annually.

Bee-keeping is widely diffused, especially in Tomsk and the Altai. Honey is exported to Russia. The seeds of the stone-pine are collected for oil in Western Siberia.

Hunting still continues to be a profitable occupation, the male population of whole villages in the hilly and woody tracts setting out in October for a month’s hunting. The sable, however, which formerly constituted the wealth of Siberia, is now so scarce that four sables per man is the maximum in the best districts. Squirrels, bears, foxes, snow-foxes, antelopes, and especially deer in spring are at present the principal objects of the chase. But even in Yakuts the total produce of hunting was in 1879 only 65 sables, 2360 snow-foxes, 23,440 ermines, 140,550 squirrels, 1780 foxes, 145 bears, 1310 reindeer, and 26,780 bares. The forests on the Amur yielded a rich return of furs during the first years of the Russian occupation, and the Amur sable, although much inferior to the Yakutsk and Transbaikalian, was largely exported. In 1862 1800 sables and 40,000 squirrels were killed in the province of Amur, and 9300 in the Maritime Province; but in 1877 the total export from the former did not exceed in value £1700 to £2000.

The same falling-off is observable in the fisheries,—one species -at least, the Rhytina stelleri, having completely disappeared within' the 19th century. Fishing is still a valuable source of income on the lower courses of the great rivers, especially the Ob, where the yearly earnings amount to about £30,000. The fisheries on Lake Baikal supply cheap food (the omul) to the poorer classes of Irkutsk and Transbaikalia. The native populations of the Amur—Golds and Ghilyaks—support themselves chiefly by their fisheries, when the salmon enters in dense masses the Amur and its tributaries.

Though Siberia has within itself all the raw produce necessary for prosperous industries, it continues to import from Russia without exception all the manufactured articles it uses. Owing to the distances over which they are carried and the bad organization of trade, all manufactured articles are exceedingly dear, especially in the east. The manufactories of Siberia employ less than 15,000 workmen, and their aggregate production does not exceed £1,600,000 in value; of these 11, 500 are employed in Western Siberia, the yearly production being about £1,200,000. Nearly one-third of the total represents wine-spirit, 23 per cent. tanneries, 18 per cent. tallow-melting, and a considerable sum cigarette-making. The villages of Siberia do not carry on a variety of petty trades like the villages in Russia, except in the districts of Tobolsk nearest the Urals, where tanning, boot-making, carpet-making, and the like are prosecuted.

Mining is in the same backward state as manufacturing industry. The chief attention is given to gold-mining. But the use of improved machinery is far from common, and the condition of the workmen wretchedly bad,—insufficient food, bad lodgings, and overwork under the most unsanitary conditions. As the geology of the gold-mining districts is quite unknown, immense sums are sunk in futile search. The amount of gold obtained has much increased since mining was begun in the Nertchinsk district and parts of the Altai (a right formerly reserved for the imperial Government), and since the discovery of auriferous deposits in the basin of the Amur and in the Maritime Province. It reached in 1882 4563 lb in Western Siberia (nearly all in the Altais), and 58,420 lb in Eastern Siberia (about 27,000 in Yakutsk, more than 10,000 in Nertchinsk, and about 8000 in the province of Amur). The Altai mines (12,000 workmen) yielded in 1881 16,670 1b of silver (13,310 in 1882), 13,140 cwts. of lead, 6700 of copper (the last two decreasing items), 3200 of iron, 240,000 of coal, and about 320,000 of salt. Silver-mining is almost entirely abandoned in Nertchinsk, and in 1882 only 1900 lb were extracted.

Trade is in the hands of a few merchants. The chief market is the Nijni-Novgorod fair, where Siberian merchants get twelve or eighteen months’ credit at correspondingly high rates.1 Prices on the Amur are not more favourable, since the trade by sea is prevented from developing owing to the facility with which great profits are made by the exchange of wine-spirit and sables for whisky. The villages are in a still worse condition, whole populations being dependent for the necessaries of life upon a few merchants. The foreign trade is insignificant, and the hundred merchant ships (thirty English) which visited the port of Vladivostok in 1883 came chiefly for the needs of the garrison. The imports of manufactured wares from Russia amount to an annual value of £12,000,000 ; the corresponding exports of raw produce are only about £4,000,000,—tallow, hides, furs, and grain being the chief items. There are several great fairs in Siberia, that of Irbit (with an annual turnover of £5,000,000 to £7,000,000) being the most important. Those of Ishim, Tomsk, Irkutsk, and Verkline-Udinsk deserve mention. In the north and north-east several fairs, where natives gather to pay tribute, to sell furs, and to purchase food and necessaries for hunting, have a local importance.

The main line of communication is the great Moscow road. It starts from Perm on the Kama, and, crossing the Urals, reaches Ekaterinburg—the centre of mining industry—and Tyumeñ on the Tara, whence steamers ply via Tobolsk to Tomsk. A railway has of late been constructed between Perm and Ekaterinburg, touching the chief ironworks of the eastern slope of the middle Urals, and has been continued via Kamyshloff to Tyumeñ. From Tyumeñ the Moscow road proceeds to Omsk, Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk, and Irkutsk, mmding off from Kolyvañ a branch south to Barnaul in the Altai and to Turkestan. From Irkutsk it proceeds to Transbaikalia, and Lake Baikal is crossed either by steamer or (when frozen) on sledges, in either case from Listvenitchnaya to Posolskoye. A route was laid out about 1868 round the south shore of Lake Baikal in order to maintain communications with Transbaikalia during the spring and autumn, which were frequently interrupted when the old route from Selenghinsk across the Khamar-daban had to be resorted to. From Posolskoye on Lake Baikal the great road proceeds to Verkhne-udinsk, Tchita, and Sryeteilsk on the Shilka, whence steamers ply to the mouth of the Amur and up the Usuri and Sungatcha to Lake Khangka. When the rivers are frozen communication is maintained by sledges on the Amur; but in spring and autumn the only continuous route down the Shilka and the Amur, to its mouth, is on horseback along a mountain path (very difficult across the Bureya range). On the lower Amur and on the Usuri the journey is also difficult even on horseback. On the whole the steamer communication is in an unsatisfactory state, and when the water on the upper Amur is low vessels are sometimes unable to reach the Shilka. The Yenisei is navigated as far as Minushisk, and communication is maintained along its banks in the summer by boat and horse. The Angara offers great difficulties to navigation on account of its rapids; regular water communication begins only below these and is continued to its mouth. On the Lena, which is an important waterway from Kirensk, merchandise is shipped for the gold-mining companies on the Lena below the Vitim, and sometimes up the lower Vitini. Another route of importance before the conquest of the Amur is that which connects Yakutsk with Okhotsk or Ayan. Regular postal communication is maintained by the Russians between Kiachta and Kalgan (close by Peking) across the desert of Gobi. Owing to the relatively good condition of the great highway the journey to Siberia is not so difficult or formidable as is generally supposed. As a rule the Siberians travel freely, and long journeys are undertaken more readily than short railway journeys are in Europe.

Siberia has been colonized in two different ways. On the one hand, the Government sent parties (1) of Cossacks to settle on the frontiers, (2) of peasants who were bound to settle at appointed places and maintain the communications along the routes, (3) of stryeltsys to garrison forts, (4) of yamschiks—a special organization of Old Russia intrusted with the maintenance of horses for postal communication, and finally (5) of convicts. Even so recently as 1856-57 a good deal of the Amur region was peopled in this way. Serfs in the imperial mines were liberated and organized in Cossack regiments (the Transbaikalia Cossacks); some of them were settled on the Amur, forming the Amur and Usuri Cossacks. Other parts of the river were colonized by peasants who emigrated with Government aid, and were bound to settle in villages, about 20 miles apart, on the Amur, at spots designated by officials. As a rule, this kind of colonization has not produced the results that were expected. On the other hand, free colonization has been more successful and has been undertaken on a much larger scale. Soon after the first appearance of the Cossacks of Yermak in Siberia thousands of hunters (promyshlonyie), attracted by the furs, immigrated from north Russia, explored the country, traced the first footpaths, and erected the first houses in the wilderness. Later on serfdom, religious persecutions, and conscription were the chief causes which led the peasants to make their escape to Siberia and build their villages in the most inaccessible forests, in the prairies, and even on Chinese territory. The severe measures of the Government against such "runaways" could not prevent their immigration to Siberia. While governmental colonization studded Siberia with forts, free colonization filled up the intermediate spaces. This free colonization has continued throughout the 19th century, occasionally assuming larger proportions, as in 1848-55. Since the emancipation of the serfs it has been steadily increasing. In spite of the involved formalities which the peasants have to go through before emigrating, and the great expense, whole villages emigrate from Russia to Siberia. During the twenty-five years ending 1879 no fewer than 100,000 persons crossed the Urals; and in 1882 the Ural Railway conveyed 7025 emigrants, while the total number of emigrants to Siberia in the same year was estimated at not less than 40,000.2

Siberia is a great penal colony. Exile to Siberia began in the first years of its discovery, and as early as 1658 we find the Nonconformist priest Avvakum3 following in chains the exploring party of Pashkoff on the Amur. Raskolniks in the second half of the 17th century, rebel stryeltsy under Peter I., courtiers of rank during the reigns of the empresses, Polish confederates under Catherine II., the "Decembrists" under Nicholas I., nearly 50,000 Poles after the insurrection of 1863, and later on whole generations of socialists were sent to Siberia; while the number of common-law convicts and exiles transported thither has steadily increased since the end of the 18th century. No exact statistics of Siberian exile were kept before 1823. But it is known that- in the first years of the 19th century nearly 2000 persons were transported ever year to Siberia. This figure had reached an average of 18,250 in 1873-77 and rose above 20,000 in 1882. Between 1823 and 1877 the total was 393,914,4 to which, ought to be added the families of many exiles, making more than 600,000 men, women, and children transported since the beginning of the 19th century. Of 151,584 transported during the ten years 1867-76 18,582 were condemned to hard labour, 28,382 to be settled with loss of civil rights (ssylno-poselentsy), 23,383 to be settled without loss of rights (na vodvorenie), 2551 to live nearly free (na jitie), while 78,686 were transported simply by orders of the administration or decisions of the village communities. In 1884 21,104 exiles, followed by 1752 women and 3631 children, were transported to Siberia. Their distribution under different heads was nearly the same as the above. The hard-labour convicts (some 1800 or 1900) sent every year are distributed among several prisons in Western and Eastern Siberia, the imperial gold-washings at Kara on the Shilka, and the salt-works of Usolie and Ust-Kut; but, as these prisons and works cannot take more than 10,000 in all, the surplus have to be sent to SAGHALIN (q.v.), where they are employed in the coal-mines, or settled. After liberation the hard-labour convicts enter the category of ssylno-poselentsy, and are settled in villages. It appears from recent inquiries that nearly all are in a wretched condition, and that of the 200,000 on the official registers more than one-third have disappeared without being accounted for. Nearly 20,000 men (40,000 according to other estimates) are living in Siberia the life of brodyaghi, trying to make their way through the forests to their native provinces in Russia. The exile population of Siberia is much smaller than is generally supposed, being—in Tobolsk, 59,000, 4·6 per cent. of population; in Tomsk, 29,800, 2·6; inYeniseisk,45,000,10·6; in Irkutsk, 40,000, 10; in Transbaikalia, 21,335, 4·3; in Yakutsk, 3000, 1·2; total, 198,153 or 4·9 per cent.

Education stands at a very low level. The chief town of every province is provided with a classical gymnasium, where the sons of the local officials prepare for the university, and a gymnasium or progymnasium for girls; but the education there received is not of a high grade, and the desire of the local population for "real schools" is not satisfied. The sum of £10,000 bequeathed by Demidoff in 1817 for the foundation of a university in Siberia, together with an additional £40,000 raised by subscription, remains unemployed, and, although the Government finally permitted the erection of buildings for a university at Tomsk, it again decided (1885), for political reasons, to postpone its opening. In 1883 there were in Western Siberia only 534 schools of all descriptions, with 14,097 male and 4915 female pupils. Transbaikalia had in 1881 108 schools of a very inferior kind, with 3828 pupils; Yakutsk, 23 schools, with 633 pupils in 1882. There are in all five gymnasia and five progymnasia for boys, three gymnasia and two progymnasia for girls two "real schools" and three normal schools; but many vacant teaching posts in gymnasia remain unoccupied. Primary education is in a very unsatisfactory state, and primary schools very scarce.

Siberia is divided into four governments,—Tobolsk, Tomsk, Yeniseisk, and Irkutsk,—and four provinces,—Yakutsk, Transbaikalia, Amur, and Maritime or Primorskaya. The first two are under governors, like Russian governments; the next four are under the governor-general of Eastern Siberia, who resides at Irkutsk; the Amur and Maritime provinces are under the governor-general of the Amur, who resides at Khabarovka, at the junction of the Amur and the Usuri. The respective chief towns areTobolsk, Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Yakutsk, Tchita, Blagoveschensk, and Khabarovka. The provinces of Akmolinsk (chief town, Akmoly) and Semiryetchensk (chief town, Vyernyi) are now parts of the steppe governor-generalship. Each government and province is subdivided into districts; the administrative head is a civil governor in the governments and a military governor in the provinces. By the regulations of 1834 each governor and governor-general is assisted by a council composed of chiefs of several departments (nominated by the governor-general), and several officials depending directly upon the respective ministries. The council has only a consultative voice, the final decision resting with the administrative head. The governors-general and military governors command the military forces of the provinces,—Cossacks and regulars. The new system of legal procedure introduced in Russia in 1866 has not yet been extended to Eastern Siberia, where the old courts are still in force. It has been introduced in Western Siberia, but without juries. The towns have received the, new municipal organization. The zemstvo is not yet organized. The districts are under the control of ispravniks and zasedatels, who have very extensive powers, and are not controlled by self-government of the peasantry. The Cossacks—the Siberian on the Kirghiz frontier (90,000 persons, stretching in villages along a line of 1200 miles), the Transbaikalian, and those of the Amur and the Usuri, whose villages are dotted along the Amur to its junction with the Usuri and.along the Usuri to Lake Khangak and Vladivostok—are under their own officers, and special administrative functions are entrusted to the military chief (ataman) of each separate Cossack voisko. The Altai and Nertchinsk mines, with their territories and Populations, are under the imperial cabinet,—all private mines being under the inspection of mining engineers.

Since the earliest years of conquest Siberia has been placed under the rule of voivodes (governors), under a special department at Moscow. In 1708 it was divided into five provinces, depending upon a governor residing at Tobolsk. Catherine II introduced in 1764 a vice-royalty, which existed, however, only until 1799, when governors and governors-general were introduced. This system prevailed until 1819. This part of the history of Siberia was an unbroken record of robbery, tyranny, and folly on the part of the governors and ispravniks, such as would seem incredible were the facts not testified to by the annals and documents recently published in Russia. In vain were the severest measures resorted to Peter 1.ordered the governor Prince Gagarin to be hanged, and the governor Joloboff was executed in 1736, while many minor officials were condemned to hard labour or the knout. The robberies and the cruelties of rulers like Kryloff, Pestel, Treskin, Loskutoff, and their myrmidons compelled the Government to undertake a thorough inquiry, and for this purpose Speranskiy was sent in 1819. To him Siberia is indebted for the new system of administration which has since remained in force.

The chief towns of Siberia are—Ekaterinburg (25,150 inhabitants), which belongs, however, to Perm, although situated on the eastern slope of the Urals; Tomsk (31,550), a commercial city, selected as the site of the university; and Irkutsk (36,120 in January 1884), capital of Eastern Siberia, a trading city. Tobolsk (20,130), Krasnoyarsk (16,800), Tcliita (12,600), Blagovyeschensk (8000), and Khabarovka (2500) are mere administrative centres. Biysk in Tomsk (18,700) yearly acquires more importance from its trade with the Kirghiz steppe. Kurgan (8915) and Yalutorovsk. (4500) in Tobolsk are large villages, dependent chiefly on agriculture and some trade. Barnaul (17,350), Kotyvafi (12,450), Kuznetsk (7355), Zmeinogorsk (6160), and Zyrianovsk (4450) in the Altai are mining centres; Barnaut is the seat of the mining administration. Tyumeñ (14,300) and Tara (8650) in Tobolsk, Mariinsk in Tomsk, Kainsk (8050) and Minusinsk (7400) in Yeniseisk, Kiaebta (4300), Verkhheudinsk (4150), and Nertebinsk (4070) in Transbaikalia, may be mentioned as local commercial centres—Kiachta having once bad great importance in the tea-trade with China. The others are merely administrative centres. Towns like Obdorsk, Berezoff, Narym, Viluisk, Verkhoyansk, Okhotsk, and many others which figure on the maps are merely administrative centres for levying the yasak, each with less than 1000 or even fewer than 500 and 300 inhabitants. Of the fifty-three towns of Western and Eastern Siberia only two have more than 30,000 and eight from 12,000 to 21,000 inhabitants each; in ten towns the population ranges from 5000 to 10,000.

The shores of all the lakes which filled the depressions during the Lacustrine period are covered with remains dating from the Neolithic Stone period; and numberless kurgans (tumuli), ovens, and so on bear witness to a much denser population than the present.

During the great migrations in Asia from east to west many populations were probably driven to the northern borders of the great plateau and thence compelled to descend into Siberia; succeeding waves of immigration drove them still farther towards the barren grounds of the north, where they melted away. According to Radloff, the earliest inhabitants of Siberia were the Yeniseians, who spoke a language different from the Ural-Altaic; some few traces of them (Yeniseians, Sayan-Ostiaks, and Kottes) have been found among the Sayan Mountains. The Yeniseians were followed by the Ugro-Samoyedes, who also came originally from the high- plateau and were compelled, probably during the great migration of the Huns in the 3d century B. C., to cross the Altai and Sayan ranges and to enter Siberia. To them must be assigned the very numerous remains dating from the Bronze period which are scattered all over south Siberia. Iron was unknown to them; but they excelled in bronze, silver, and gold work. Their bronze ornaments and implements, often polished, evince a great development of artistic taste; and their irrigated fields covered wide areas in the fertile tracts. On the whole, their civilization stood much higher than that of their more recent successors. Eight centuries later the Turkish stocks of "Tukiu" (in Chinese spelling), Khagasses, and Uigurs—also compelled to migrate north-westwards from their former seats—subdued the Ugro-Samoyedes. These new invaders have likewise left numerous traces of their sojourn, and two different periods may be easily distinguished in their remains. They- were acquainted with iron, and learned from their subjects the art of bronze-casting, which they used for decorative purpose only, and to which they gave a still higher artistic stamp. Their pottery is also much more perfect and more artistic than that of the Bronze period, and their ornaments now have a place among the finest collections at the St Petersburg Hermitage. This Turkish empire of the Khagasses must have lasted until the 13th century, when the Mongols, under Jenghiz Khan, subdued them and destroyed their civilization. A decided decline is shown by the graves which have been discovered, until the country reached the low level at which it was found by the Russians on their arrival towards the close of the 16th century. In the beginning of the 16th century Tatar fugitives from Turkestan subdued the loosely associated tribes inhabiting the lowlands to the east of the Urals. Agriculturists, tanners, merchants, and mollahs (priests) were called from Turke-stan, and small principalities sprang up the Irtish and the Ob. These were united by Khan Ediger, and conflicts with the Russians- who were then colonizing the Urals brought him into collision with Moscow; his envoys came to Moscow in 1555 and consented to a yearly tribute of a thousand sables. This source of wealth attracted Russian adventurers to the trans-Ural regions. As early as the 11th century the Novgorodians had occasionally penetrated into Siberia; but the fall of the republic and the loss of its north-eastern dependencies checked the advance of the Russians across the Urals. On the defeat of Stepan Razin many who were unwilling to submit to the iron rule of Moscow made their way to the settlements of Stroganoff in Perm, and tradition has it that, in order to get rid of his guests, Stroganoff suggested to their chief, Yermak, that he should cross the Urals into Siberia, promising to help him in this enterprise with supplies of food and arms. Yermak entered Siberia in 1580 with a band of 1636 men, following the Taghil and Tura rivers. Next year they were on the Tobol, and 500 men successfully laid siege to Isker, the residence of Khan Kutchum, in the neighbourhood of what is now Tobolsk. Kutchurn fled to the steppes, abandoning his domains to Yermak, who, according to tradition, purchased by the present of Siberia to Ivan IV. his own restoration to favour. Yermak was drowned in the Irtish in 1584, after having been defeated by the Tatars. After his death the Cossacks abandoned Siberia; but new bands of hunters and adventurers, attracted by the furs, poured every year into the country, and were supported by regular troops from Moscow. To avoid conflicts with denser populations in the south, they preferred to advance eastwards along higher latitudes; meanwhile Moscow sent fresh detachments of troops under voivodes, who erected forts and settled labourers around them to supply the garrisons with food, gunpowder, and arms. Within eighty years the Russians had reached the Amur and the Pacific. This rapid conquest is accounted for by the circumstance that they met with no organized resistance: they found only the Tatar Kutchum on the Tobol, and in the Altai the Turkish stocks under the Kalmuck Altyn Khan, the centre of whose power was on the Kemtchik, and who collected tribute from the Teleuts, Uryankhs, Telesses, Beltirs, Buruts (Kirghiz), and other smaller tribes. Neither Tatars nor Turks could offer any serious resistance. When travelling down the Yenisei in 1607-10 the Cossacks first encountered Tunguses, who strenuously fought for their independence, but were at last subdued about 1623. In 1628 the Russians reached the Lena, founded the fort of Yakutskiy in 1637, and two years later reached the Sea of Okhotsk at the mouth of the Ulia river. The Buriats offered some opposition, but between 1631 and 1641 the Cossacks erected several palisaded forts in their territory, and in 1648 the fort on the upper Uda (Verkbne-Udinskiy Ostrog) beyond Lake Baikal. In 1643 Poyarkoffs boats descended the Amur, returning to Yakutsk by the Sea of Okhotsk and the Aldan, and in 1649-50 Khabaroff occupied the course of the Amur. The resistance of the Chinese, however, obliged the Cossacks to quit their forts, and by the treaty of Nertchinsk (1689) Russia abandoned her advance into the basin of the river. In her anxiety to keep peace with China and not to endanger the Kiachta trade, Russia rigorously prohibited and punished all attempts of the Siberians to advance farther towards that river until 1855. In 1849 the Russian ship "Baikal" discovered the estuary of the Amur; in 1851 the military post of Nikolaievskiy was established at its mouth, and two years later the post of Mariinsk near Lake Kizi. Next year a Russian military expedition under Muravioff explored the Amur, and in 1857 a chain of Russian Cossacks and peasants bad already settled along the whole course of the river. The accomplished fact was recognized by China in 1857 and 1860 by a treaty. In the same year in which Khabaroff explored the Amur (1648) the Cossack Dejneff, starting from the Kolyma, sailed round the north-eastern extremity of Asia through the strait which was rediscovered and described eighty years later by Behring (1728). Cook in 1778, and after him La Pérouse, settled definitively the broad features of the northern Pacific coast. Although the Arctic Ocean had been reached as early as the first half of the 17th century, the exploration of its coasts by a series of expeditions under Ovtsyn, Minin, Prontchischeff, Lasinius, and Lapteff—whose labours constitute a brilliant page in the annals of geographical discovery—was begun only in the 18th century (1735-39).

The scientific exploration of Siberia begun in the period 1733 to 1742 by Messerschmidt, Gmelin, and De Lisle de la Croyère was soon followed up by Müller, Fischer, and Georgi. Pallas, with several Russian students, laid the first foundation of a thorough exploration of the topography, fauna, flora, and inhabitants of the country. The journeys of Hansteen and Erman (1828-33) were a most important new step in the exploration of the territory. Humboldt, Ehrenberg, and Gustav Rose also paid in the course of these years short visits to Siberia, and gave a new impulse to the accumulation of scientific knowledge; while Ritter elaborated in his Asien the true foundations of a sound knowledge of the structure of Siberia. Middendorff’s journey (1841-43) to north-eastern Siberia—contemporaneous with Castrén’s journeys for the special study of the Ural-Altaian languages—directed attention to the far north and awakened interest in the Amur, whose basin soon became the scene of the expeditions of Akhte and Schwarz (1852), and later on (1854-57) of the great Siberian expedition to which we owe so marked an advance in our knowledge of Eastern Siberia. The Siberian branch of the Russian Geographical Society was founded at the same time at Irkutsk, and afterwards became a permanent centre for the exploration of Siberia; while the opening of the Amur and Saghalin attracted Maack, Schmidt, Glehn, Radde, and Schrenck, whose works on the flora, fauna, and inhabitants of Siberia have become widely known.

Bibliography—(1) General—The under-mentioned works of the explorers of the 18th century contain rich sources of information not otherwise obtainable. Isbrand Ides, Travels, 1705; Messerschmidt, Reise, 1781; Müller, Sammlung Russ. Geschichte (1736-37), Ejemyesyachnyia Sochineniya (1757), and Hist. Sketch of Siberia (Russ.); Gmelin, Reise, 1751, and Flora Sibirica; Fischer, Sibirische Geschichte, 1774; Steller, Reise nach Kamtchatka, 1771; Fries, Reise, 1770-80; Georgi, Reise (1775), Geogr.-phys. Beschreibung des Russ. Reichs, and Beschr. dei Einwohner (1799); Pallas, Voy. en Sibérie (1773-88), Zoographia Rosso-Asiatica, Sammlung hist. Nachrichten über Mongolischen, Vö1kerschaften (1776); Neue Nordische Beiträge, and Neueste Nord. Beiträge; Falk, Reise, and Topographische Beiträge, 1783; Sievers, Briefe, 1796; Laximann, Briefe, 1793; Cook, Voyage to the Pacific, 1785; Strahlenberg, Der N. und 0. Theil Europa’s; Storch, Russische Reise, 1803; Krasheninnikoff, Description of Kamchatka (Russ.), 1786; Sarytcheff, Journey (Russ.), 1802 ; Lesseps, Travels to Kamtchatka, 1790; the Voyages of Lütke, Kotsebue, Kittlitz, Krusenstern, and La Pérouse; Martynoff, Voyage pittoresque, 1823; Cochrane, Pedestrian Journey, 1825; Klivostoff and Davydoff, Martos, and Slovtsoff’s Journeys (Russ.), 1812 to 1827; Hedenstrom, Fragments on Siberia (Russ.), 1830; Ritter, Asien, IS33, and Russian translations, with appendices; Slovtsoff, Historical Sketch of Siberia (Russ.), 1838-44 ; Wrangel and Anjou, Voyage to the Polar Sea, 1840; Erman, Reise um die Welt, 1833-42, and Archiv f. d. wiss. Kunde von Russland; Ledebour, Reise durch den Altai, 1829, and Flora Altaica, 1829-33; Rose, Reise nach den Altai, 1837-43; Schurovskiy, Journey to the Altai (Russ.), 1846; Tchihatcheff, Voyage de l’ Altai, 1848 ; Helmersen, Reise nach dem Altai, 1848; Humboldt, Asie Centrale, 1844; Stuckenberg, Hydrographie, 1844; Cottrell, Recollections, 1842 ; Hoffmann, Reise nach den Goldwäschereien, 1847 ; Hagemeister, Statistical Sketch (Russ.), 1854; Castrén, Reiseberichte (1856), Ethnographische Vorlesungen über die Altaischen Völker (1857), Nordische Reise und Forschungen (1853), and Briefe aus dem, Altai; Middendorff, Sibirische Reise, 1848-75; Schrenck, Reisen und Forschungen im Amurlande, 1858-80; Maximowicz, Primitiae Florae Amurensis, 1859, and many subsequent monographs; Radde, Reiseberichte, 1861, and Reisen im Südostea Sibiriens, 1861-65; Zavalishin, Description of West Siberia, 1860; Maack, Journey to the Amur, 1861, and The Usuri Region, 1862 (both Russ.); Trudy of the Siberian expedition,—mathematical part (also geographical) by Schwarz, and physical part by Schmidt, Glehn, and Brylkin, 1874 sq; Oswald Herr, "Miocäme Flora von Sakhalin," in Mém. Ac. Sc. St Pétersburg, 1879; Wenukoff, Die Russisch-Asiatischen Grenzlande, 1874, and Russia and the East (Russ.), 1877; Vagin Sibir, a collection of papers (Russ.), 1879 ; Krivoshapkin, Yeniseisk District and its Life (Russ.), 1865 Kennan, Tent Life in Siberia, 1870 ; Tretiakoff, The Turukhansk District, 1869; Pavloff, Siberian Rivers, 1878 ; Usoff, Stat. Descr. of Sib. Cossacks, 1879 ; Finsch, Reise nach West Sibirien, 1879; Seebohm, A Visit to the Valley of ae Yenisei, 1879; Nordenskjöld, Voyage of the Vega, 1881, and Vega Exped. Vetensk. Iakttagelser, 1882 sq.; Winkler, Ural-Altaische Völker, 1882; Bogolubskiy, Minusinsk District, &c., 1884; Sperck, Russia of the Far East (Russ.), 1885; Economical Situation of the Towns of Siberia, official publication (Russ.), 1879; Semenoff, Geogr. and Stat. Dictionary of the Russian Empire, 5 vols. (a most valuable source of information, with full bibliographical details under each article); Elisée.Reclus, G6ographie Universelle, vol. vi., "L’Asie Russe," also Russian translation with appendices; Yadrintseff, Siberia as a Colony (Russ.), 1882 ; Picturesque, Russia (Russ.), ed. by P. Semenoff, vol. xi. (Western Siberia) and xii. (Eastern Siberia); Schegloff, Chronology of Sib. Hist. from 1032 to 1882; Levitoff, Guide to West Siberia (Russ.), 1883; Suvorin, Russkiy Kalendar (for some statistics). The following periodicals contain important information:—Syevernyi Archiv, 1825; Sibirskiy Vyestuik, 1818 sq.; Magasin Asiatique, 1825; Mélanges Asiatiques and Mél Physiques tirés du Bull. de l’Acad. d. Sc. de St Pétersbourg; Mémoires of the same; the publications of the St Petersburg Botanical Garden, and of the general staff; Bär and Helmersen, Beiträge; Erman, Archiv; Historical Acts, 1846, and Addenda, 1846-75, official publications (Russ.); Vyestnik, Zapiski, and Izvestia of the Russian Geographical Society; Zapiski and Izvestia of the Eastern and Western Siberian branches of the same; Bulletin de la Soc. des Natur. de Moscou; Izvestia of the Society of Friends of Natural Sciences at Moscow (for anthropology); Trudy of the Ural and St Petersburg Society of Naturalists; Mining Journal of St Petersburg; Verhandl. der.Miner. Ges. zu St Petersburg; Meteorologischer Jahrbuch and Annales of the Central Physical Observatory; Drevnyaya i Novaya Rossiya; the medical and topographical Sbornik, the Sbornik Sudebnoi Mediciny, and "The Health" (Zdorovie) contain most valuable contributions to the demography of Siberia; the newspapers; Amur, Vostochnoie Oboszrenie, and especially Sibir, now published at Irkutsk; Russische Revue; Priroda, a popular review containing valuable information about hunting; Pamyatnyia Knijki (almanacs) of separate governments. The official publication of the ministry of navy, Morskoi Sbornik. contains many important contributions to the geography of Siberia, as also, occasionally, the Voennyi Sbornik. Complete indexes by M. Mezhoff are published by the Geographical Society.

(2) Flora and Fauna.—Besides the works of Gmelin, Georgi, Pallas, Ledebour, Middendorff, Maack, Schrenck, Radde, Schmidt, Glehn, and Maximowicz, see a large number of monographs by Schmidt, Regel, Trautvetter, Herder, Brandt, Polyakoff, Martynoff, Budischeff, and many others scattered through the publications of the Academy of Sciences, the St Petersburg Botanical Garden, the Society of Naturalists of Moscow, the Society of Friends of Natural Sciences of Moscow, and the Geographical Societies of St Petersburg and Irkutsk. Several of them are complete florulae, of separate regions, or important monographs of separate classes of the vegetable or animal kingdom, or lists. of plants and animals collected during separate jorneys; see also Taczanowski’s lists of birds in Bull. de la Soc. Zool. de France, 1882. Mezhoff’s Biblio-graphical Indexes, yearly published by the Geographical Society, and the Indexes of the Kieff Society of Naturalists give full details.

(3) Geology.—Geological observations occur in nearly all the above-mentioned works of travel and serial publications. Of recent monographs the following, published in periodical publications, may be mentioned:—Meglitzky, in Verh. der Miner. Ges. zu St Petersburg, 1856 ; Schmidt, "Mammuth Reise," in Mem. of St Petersburg Ac.; Lopatin, on the Vitim, Yenisei, and Krasnoyarsk, Mining Journal and serials of the St Petersburg and East Siberian Geographical Society; Czekanowski, in Mem. Ac. of Sciences; Czerski (map of shores of Baikal), in Izvestia, East Siberian Geographical Society, and several papers, especially on mining districts, in the Gornyi Journal.

(4) Ethnology.—Slovtsoff, History of Siberia; Shashkoff, a series of papers on the "Indigenous Races of Siberia," "The Native Question," "Serfdom in Siberia," "Historical Sketches," in various reviews; Polyakoff, Journey to the Ob (translated into German); Schapoff, in various historical works and in the Izvestia of the Siberian Geographical Society; Samokvasoff, Customary Law of Siberian Indigenes, 1876; papers in Otetchestvennyia Zapiski, vols. ccxxxix. and cexciii.; Yadrintseff, Siberia, 1882. Argentoff and Kostroff in the serials of the Geogr. Soc. give information about the present state of the indigenes and their relations to Russia.

(5) Exile.—Maximoff, Siberia and Hard Labour, 1871; Foinitzky, Administration of Exile 1879; Vagin, "Historical Documents on Siberia," in the collection Sibir, vol. i.; Nikitin, "Prisons and the Prisons Question," in Russkiy Vyestnik, 1878 Mishlo, "On Siberian Prisons," in Otetch. Zapiski 1881 Yadrintseff, Siberia as a Colony, 1882; Dostoievsky, Buried Alive, 1881; Rosen, Memoiren eines Decabristen, 1870.


FOOTNOTE (page 1)

1. This natural subdivision bas been adopte by P. Semenoff in his valuable sketch of Western Siberia in Picturesque Russia (Jivopisnaya Rossiya), vol. xi.

FOOTNOTES (page 2)

(1) Governor-generalships.

(2) The wide area between the middle Lena and the Amur, as well as the hilly tracts west of Lake Baikal, the Yeniseisk mining region, and many others, are in this condition. An instance of a map distinguishing between surveys and information derived from natives is given on a cartoon of map 4 of Mem. Russ. Geogr. Soc., General Geography, vol. iii.

(3) A catalogue of heights in East Siberia is given in the appendix to the present writer’s "Report on the Olekma and Vitim Expedition" (Mem. Russ. Geogr. Soc., General Geography, vol. iii., 1973); also in Petermann’s Mitth., 1872. The height of Irkutsk, taken as a basis for the catalogue, has been determined since that date by a levelling through Siberia at 1486 feet.

(4) "General Sketch of the Orography of Siberia," with map and sections, and "Sketch of the Orography of Minusinsk, &c.," by the same writer (same series, vol. v., 1875). The views taken in these writings have been embodied by A. Petermann in his map of Asia, sheet 58 of Stieler’s Hand-At1as.

(5) The great plateau of North America, also turning its narrower point towards Behring Strait, naturally suggests the idea that there was a period in the history of our planet when the continents turned their narrow extremities towards the northern pole, as now they turn them towards the southern.

FOOTNOTE (page 3)

(1) The lower terrace is obviously continued in the Tarim basin of East Turkestan; but in the present state of our knowledge we cannot determine whether the further continuations of the border-ridge of the higher terrace (Yablonovoi, Kelltei) must be looked for in the Great Altai or in some other range situated farther to the south. There may be also a breach of continuity in some depression towards Barktil.

(2) See "Orographical Sketch of Minusinsk, &c.," ut sitpra.

(3) The word "longitudinal" is here used in an orographical not a geological sense. Meglitzki in 1856 and recently M. Chersky have shown these valleys are not synclinal foldings of rocks; they seem to be erosion-valleys.

(4) We do not know at present t whether the same structure is exhibited in the Altai at the foot of the Sailughem range. The upper Bukhtarma valley seems, however, to belong to the same type.

(5) The deep crevice filled up by Lake Baikal would thus appear to be made up of two longitudinal valleys connected together by the passage between Olkhon and Svyatoi Nos.

(6) "Levelling of Siberia," in Izvestia of the Russian Geogr. Soc., vol. xxi.

FOOTNOTES (page 4)

(1) "Orographical Sketch of East Siberia," ut supra.

(2) For further details, see the descriptions of the different provinces of Siberia.

FOOTNOTES (page 5)

(1) The Lena at Verkholensk is navigable for 170 days, at Yakutsk for 153 days; the Yenisei at Krasnoyarsk for 180 days; see Izvestia of the Eastern Siberian Geographical Society, vol. xii. sq.

(2) See Yadrintseff, in Izvestia of the Russian Geogr. Soc., 1886, No. 1 (with maps).

FOOTNOTES (page 6)

(1) Only the narrow fringe of the tundras extends beyond 70º N. lat.

(2) Although rising to heights ranging from 6000 to 10,000 feet, the mountain peaks of Eastern Siberia do not reach the snow-line, which is found only on the Munku-Sardyk in East Sayan, above 10,000 feet. Patches of perpetual snow occur in Eastern Siberia only on the mountains of the far north. On the Altai Mountains the snow-line is about 7000 feet.

(3) The average temperature of winter (December to February) at Yakutsk is - 40º ·2 Fahr., at Verkhoyansk - 53º ·1. At the polar meteorological station of Sagantyr, in the delta of the Lena (73º 23 N. at .), the following average temperatures were observed in 1882 and 1883—January - 34º ·3 Fahr. (February - 43º ·6), July 40º ·8, year 2º ·1. The lowest average temperature of a day is - 61º ·6 Fahr.

FOOTNOTES (page 7)

(1) According to Engler’s Versuch einer Entwickelungsgeschichte der Pflanzenwelt (1879), we should have in Siberia—(a) the arctic region; (b) the sub-arctic or conifer region,—north Siberian province; (c) the Central-Asian domain,—Altai and Daurian hilly regions; and (d) the east Chinese, intruding into the basin of the Amur.

(2) Middendorff’s observations on vegetable and animal life on the borders of and in the tundras—so attractively told in vol. iv. of his Sibirische Reise—will long remain classical.

(3) M. Kjellmann (Vega Exp. Vet. Iakttagetser) reckons their number at 182; 124 species were found by Middendorff on the Taimyr peninsula, 219 along the borders of the forest region of Olenek, and 344 species within the forest region of the same; 470 species were collected by M. Maack in the Vilui region.

(4) Nowhere, perhaps, is the change better seen than on crossing the Great Khingan. The change in the flora witnessed by the present writer on his way from Transbaikalia to Mergeñ was really astonishing.

(5) "Horizontal Distribution of Animals," in the Bulletin (Izvestia) of the Society of Friends of Natural Science, vol. viii., 1873.

(6) "Anteckningar och Studier," &c., in Vega Exp. Vet. Iakt., vol. ii.

FOOTNOTES (page 8)

(1) Czekanowski (Izvestia Sib. Geog. Soc., 1877) has described fifty species from the basin of the Amur; he considers that these constitute only two-thirds of the species inhabiting that basin.

(2) L. Schrenck, Reisen und Forschungen im Amurlande, 1858-80.

(3) Mem. de l’Acad. des Sc. de St Pétersb., vol. xxii., 1876.

(4) Aus Sibirien, 2 vols.. Leipsic, 1884; also in Jivopisnaya, Rossiya, vol. xii.

FOOTNOTES (page 9)

(1) Yadrintseff’s Siberia as a Colony contains a summary of this literature with bibliography.

(2) The northern limits of agriculture are 60*º N. lat. on the Urals, 62º at Yakutsk, 61º at Aldansk, 54º 30' at Udskoi, and 53ºto 54º in the interior of Kamchatka (Middendorff, Sibirische Beise, vol. iv.).

FOOTNOTE (page 10)

(1) Salt in the Altai region (where it is obtained) is retailed at 2 roubles 40 co-pecks the pud (4s. 10d. or 32 1b); sugar, which is sold at 7 to 8 roubles the pud in Western Siberia (14s. to 16s. the 32 1b), reaches 12 to 20 roubles in Transbaikalia and occasionally 40 rouble at Yakutsk.

(2) Yadrintseff, Siberia as a Colony; Levitoff, Guide to West Siberia (Russian); Russkaya Mysl, July 1882.

(3) The autobiography of the protopope Avvakum is one of the most popular books with Russian Nonconformists.

(4) The Poles are not reckoned in the above figures.

The article above was written by: Prince Peter Alexeivitch Kropotkin, recipient of the Gold Medal of Russian Geographical Society, 1864; crossed North Manchuria from Transbaikalia to the Amur, 1864; author of General Sketch of the Orography of East Siberia; In Russian and French Prisons; Recent Science in the Nineteenth Century; and Memoirs of a Revolutionist.

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