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1388
Section: History

Discovery of Siberia

The first people came to the territory of Siberia more than half a million years ago and by the end of the Ancient Stone Age they populated the whole Northern Asia. It is the ancient age and the level of development of Siberian Paleolithic cultures that makes it possible for us to speak about Siberia as one of the centers of development of modern mankind

Ages passed: the Iron Age came after the Stone Age… The Vivid original cultures of early nomads formed on the vast expanses of Siberia in the V–II centuries B. C. as part of the great Scythian world, spreading from China to North Caucasus. Since the II century B. C. Siberian peoples were part of the powerful movement of Nomadic Asia westwards. Many makers of European history — the Ugrians, Huns and the other — had their historic roots in Siberia…

The First Russian hunting and military expeditions appeared in Siberia in XI–XIV centuries. However, the rampant expansion of the rule of Moscovy behind the Urals began after the fall of the Siberian Khanate, which was a fragment of the great Genghis Khan’s empire. It took Russians a relatively short time to cross Siberia and reach the Pacific Ocean. The Cossacks moving eastward were followed by hunters, then by merchants, peasant settlers, city dwellers…

In this way Russia acquired a great land rich in natural resources and inhabited with many peoples, the new subjects of the empire. Due to the liberal policy toward the natives, the incorporation of the region into the governmental and social structures of Russia happened relatively easily and peacefully. The annexation of Siberia became not only a turning point in the history of its indigenous peoples, but also the beginning of a new epoch for the Russian State.

At every stage of the long and heavy way of discovering new lands, the pioneers were followed by researchers and travelers.The main theme of this issue is “The Discovery of Siberia”. Presenting solid facts and materials, we continue to acquaint our readers with the history, original spiritual and material culture of the mysterious “land of the East”, on whose large spaces peoples and cultures crossed during thousands of years.

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