First polar city’s story

First polar city’s story

October 28, 2020

The Arctic-2035 project’s new outlet told about Mangazeya.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The Arctic Development Project Office (PORA) continues the Arctic-2035 project’s cycle of programs. Experts and residents of the Arctic regions share news about the High North, new episodes can be found on the YouTube channel.

In the new issue of the project, Ilya Rud, a researcher at the Museum of the Arctic and Antarctic, told the mysterious story of one of the first polar cities – Mangazeya.

The city was built in 1601 by order of tsar Boris Godunov. It was called the Russian Klondike, the Pomors aspired there. It disappeared from the map of Siberia in 1619 by order of tsar Mikhail Romanov. For several centuries Mangazeya was considered a legendary city. It was possible to document its location only in 1900.

“In the 60s and 70s of the last century, large-scale excavations began on the territory of Mangazeya. Scientists managed to find out that artisans and industrialists permanently lived in the city, which was guarded by archers and governors sent from Tobolsk”, Ilya Rud said in the new issue. “Fishing and hunting were developed in Mangazeya, and the inhabitants were also engaged in trade”.

The narrator added that during the excavations they found copper smelting workshops and crucibles in which metal was melted. They also found a lot of bone products for a reindeer team and household items. Mangazeya was rich in the fur trade; it brought about a quarter of all receipts to the treasury. Scientists found both chess and objects that testify to the fact that educated people lived in the city – trade made them do calculations.

“In the Museum of the Arctic and Antarctic there are photographs that illustrate how well preserved the settlement was. It was built of wood on permafrost. About a hundred people lived in Mangazeya, and in the peak months there could be up to a thousand people”, Ilya Rud added.

The Museum of the Arctic and Antarctic stores many items found in Mangazeya. In the Taimyr Museum of Local Lore there is an exposition complex called Mangazeya – the first city of the Siberian Arctic, and this summer, surveyors found a chain mail and a helmet near the village of Nosok, they also became part of the exposition.

Text: Ekaterina Maximova Photo: Institute of the Arctic and Antarctic

October 28, 2020

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