1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Siberia

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SIBERIA. This name (Russ. Sibir) in the 16th century indicated the chief settlement of the Tatar khan Kuchum—Isker on the Irtysh. Subsequently the name was extended to include the whole of the Russian dominions in Asia.Name and extent. Geographically, Siberia is now limited by the Ural Mountains on the W., by the Arctic and North Pacific Oceans on the N. and E. respectively, and on the S. by a line running from the sources of the river Ural to the Tarbagatai range (thus separating the steppes of the Irtysh basin from those of the Aral and Balkash basins), thence along the Chinese frontier as far as the S.E. corner of Transbaikalia, and then along the rivers Argun, Amur and Usuri to the frontier of Korea. This wide area is naturally subdivided into West Siberia (basins of the Ob and the Irtysh) and East Siberia (the remainder of the region).

The inhabited districts are well laid down on the best maps; but the immense areas between and beyond them are mapped only along a few routes hundreds of miles apart. The intermediate spaces are filled in according to Orography.information derived from various 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.[1]

Like other plateaus, the great plateau of the centre of Asia, stretching from the Himalayas to Bering Strait,[2] has on its surface a number of gentle eminences (angehäufte Gebirge of K. Ritter), which, although reaching great absolute altitudes, are relatively low.[3] These heights for the most part follow a north-easterly direction in Siberia. On the margins of the plateau there are several gaps or indentations, which can best be likened to gigantic trenches, like railway cuttings, as with an insensible gradient they climb to a higher level. These trenches have for successive geological periods been the drainage valleys of immense lakes (probably also of glaciers) which formerly extended over the plateau or fiords of the seas which surrounded it. And it is along these trenches that the principal commercial routes have been made for reaching the higher levels of the plateau itself. In the plateau there are in reality two terraces—a higher and a lower, both very well defined in Transbaikalia and in Mongolia. The Yablonoi 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 Nerchinsk steppes in Transbaikalia and by the great desert of Gobi in Mongolia (2000 to 2500 ft. above the sea). They rise 5000 to 7000 ft. above the sea; the peak of Sokhondo in Transbaikalia (111° E.) reaches nearly 8050 ft. 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 Nerchinsk Mountains in Transbaikalia, and their continuations reach the northern parts of the Gobi.[4]

The great plateau is fringed on the north-west by a series of lofty border-ranges, which have their southern base on the plateau and their northern at a much lower level. They may be traced from the Tian-shan to the Arctic Circle, and have an east-north-easterly direction in lower latitudes and a north-easterly direction farther north. The Alai range of the Pamir, continued by the Kokshaltau range and the Khan-tengri group of the Tian-shan, and the Sailughem range of the Altai, which is continued in the unnamed border-range of West Sayan (between the Bei-kem and the Us), belong to this category. There are, however, among these border-ranges 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 north-west to 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. The border-ridges of the Alai Mountains, the Khan-tengri group, the Sailughem range and the West Sayan contain the highest peaks of their respective regions. Beyond 102° E. the configuration is complicated by the great lateral indentation of Lake Baikal. But around and north-east of this lake the same well-marked ranges fringe the plateau and turn their steep north-western slope towards the valleys of the Irkut, the Barguzin, the Muya and the Chara, while their southern base lies on the plateaus of the Selenga (nearly 4000 ft. high) and the Vitim. The peaks of the Sailughem range reach 9000 to 11,000 ft. above the sea, those of West Sayan about 10,000. In East Sayan is Munku-Sardyk, a peak 11,450 ft. high, together with many others from 8000 to 9000 ft. Farther east, on the southern shore of Lake Baikal, Khamar-daban rises to 6900 ft., and the bald dome-shaped summits of the Barguzin and southern Muya Mountains attain elevations of 6000 to 7000 ft. above sea-level. The orography of the Aldan region is 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-range. The. former becomes narrower and barely attains an average altitude of 3200 ft.

A typical feature of the north-eastern border of the high plateau is a succession of broad longitudinal[5] valleys along its outer base, shut in on the outer side by rugged mountains having a very steep slope towards them. Formerly filled with alpine lakes, these valleys are now sheeted with flat alluvial soil and occupied by human settlements, and are drained by rivers which flow along them before they make their way to the north through narrow gorges pierced in the mountain-walls. This conformation 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 Chara, at the foot of the Vitim plateau, as also, probably, in the Aldan.[6] The chains of mountains which border these valleys on the north-west contain 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, are in all probability continued north-east in the Baikal Mountains, which stretch from Irkutsk to Olkhon Island and the Svyatoi Nos peninsula of Lake Baikal, thus dividing the lake into two parts.[7]

An alpine region, 100 to 150 m. in breadth, fringes the plateau on the N. W., outside of the ranges just mentioned. This constitutes what is called in East Siberia the taiga: it consists of separate chains of mountains whose peaks rise 4800 to Alpine
6500 ft. above the sea, beyond the upper limits of forest vegetation; while the narrow valleys afford difficult means of communication, their floors being thickly strewn with boulders, or else swampy. The whole is clothed with impenetrable forest. 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 in West Siberia, the Kuznetskiy Ala-tau and the Us and Oya Mountains in West Sayan, the Nizhne-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 unnamed mountains which project north-east between the Lena and the Aldan.

Outside of these alpine regions comes a broad belt of elevated plains, ranging between 1200 and 1700 ft. above the sea. These plains, which are entered by the great Siberian highway about Tomsk and extend south-west to the Altai Mountains,Elevated
are for the most part fertile, though sometimes dry, and are rapidly being covered with the villages of the Russian immigrants. About Kansk in East Siberia they penetrate in the form of a broad gulf south-eastwards 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 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 Tunguzka and the Podkamennaya Tunguzka) and continued to the south-west in lower upheavals, separates the elevated plains from the lowlands which extend towards the Arctic Ocean. In West Siberia these high plains seem to form a narrower belt towards Barnaul and Semipalatinsk, and are bordered by the Aral-Caspian depression.

Farther to the north-west, beyond these high plains, comes a broad belt of lowlands. This vast tract, which is only a few dozen feet above the sea, and most probably was covered by the sea during the Post-Pliocene period, stretches from the Northern lowlands. Aral-Caspian depression to the lowlands of the Tobol, Irtysh and Ob, and thence towards the lower parts of the Yenisei and the Lena. Only a few detached mountain ranges, like the Byrranga on the Taymyr peninsula, the Syverma Mountains, the Verkhoyansk and the Kharaulakh (E. of the Lena) ranges, diversify these monotonous lowlands, which are covered with a thick sheet of black earth in the south and assume the character of barren tundras in the north.

The south-eastern slope of the great plateau of Asia cannot properly be reckoned to Siberia, although parts of the province of Amur and the Maritime Province are situated on it; they have quite a different character, climate and South-
eastern slope of plateau.
vegetation, and ought properly to be reckoned to the Manchurian region. To the east of the Yablonoi border-range lies the lower terrace of the high plateau, reaching 2000 to 2500 ft. in Transbaikalia and extending farther south-west through the Gobi to East Turkestan. The south-eastern edge of this lower terrace is fringed by a massive border-range—the Khingan—which runs in a north-easterly direction from the Great Wall of China to the sources of the Nonni-ula.

A narrow alpine region (40 to 50 m.), consisting of a series of short secondary chains parallel to the border-range, fringes this latter on its eastern face. Two such folds maybe distinguished, corresponding on a smaller scale to the belt of alpine tracts which fringe the plateau on the north-west. The resemblance is further sustained by a broad belt of elevated plains, ranging from 1200 to 1700 ft., which accompany the eastern edge 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 Silinji in the Amur province belong to this belt, 400 m. in breadth, the surface of which is diversified by the low hills of Ilkhuri-alin, Khuluñ and Turana. These high plains are bordered on the south-east by a picturesque chain—the Bureya Mountains, which are to be identified with the Little Khingan. It extends, with unaltered character, from Mukden and Kirin to Ulban Bay in the Sea of Okhotsk (close by the Shantar Islands), its peaks clothed from top to bottom with luxuriant forest vegetation, ascending 4500 to 6000 ft. A lowland belt about 200 m. broad runs in the same direction along the outer margin of the above chain. The lower Amur occupies the northern part of this broad valley. These lowlands, dotted over with numberless marshes and lakes, seem to have emerged from the sea at a quite recent geological period; the rivers that meander across them are still excavating their valleys.

Volcanic formations, so far as is known, occur chiefly along the north-western border-range of the great plateau. Ejections of basaltic lava have been observed on the southern slope Volcanoes. of this range, extending over wide areas on the plateau itself, over a stretch of more than 600 m.—namely, in East Sayan about Lake Kosso-gol and in the valley of the Tunka (river Irkut), in the vicinity of Selenginsk, and widely distributed on the Vitim plateau (rivers Vitim and Tsipa). Deposits of trap stretch for more than 1200 m. along the Tunguzka; they appear also in the Noril Mountains on the Yenisei, whence they extend towards the Arctic Ocean. Basaltic lavas are reported to have been found in the Aldan region. On the Pacific slope extinct volcanoes (mentioned in Chinese annals) have been reported in the Ilkhuri-alin mountains in northern Manchuria.

The mineral wealth of Siberia is considerable. Gold-dust is found in almost all the alpine regions fringing the great plateau. The principal gold-mining regions in these tracts are the Minerals.Altai, the Upper (or Nizhne-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 Nerchinsk district, and on the upper tributaries of the Amur (especially the Oldoi) and the Zeya, in the north-east continuation of the Nerchinsk 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 Hanka and the Suifong river, as also on the smaller islands of the Gulf of Peter the Great. Mining is the next most important industry after agriculture. In East Siberia gold is obtained almost exclusively from gravel-washings, quartz mining being confined to three localities, one near Vladivostok and two in Transbaikalia. In West Siberia, however, quartz-mining is steadily increasing in importance: whereas in 1900 the output of gold from this source was less than 10,000 oz., in 1904 it amounted to close upon 50,000 oz. On the other hand gravel-washing gives a declining yield in West Siberia, for while in 1900 the output from this source was approximately 172,000 oz., in 1904 it was only 81,000 oz. The districts of Mariinsk and Achinsk are the most successful quartz-mining localities. Altogether West Siberia yields annually 130,000 oz. of gold. The gold-bearing gravels of East Siberia, especially those of the Lena and the Amur, are relatively more prolific than those of West Siberia. The total yield annually amounts to some 700,000 oz., the largest quantity coming from the Olekminsk district in the province of Yakutsk, and this district is followed by the Amur region, the Maritime province, and Nerchinsk and Transbaikalia. Silver and lead ores exist in the Altai and the Nerchinsk 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 Selenginsk region and in the Altai. The more important iron-works of the Urals are situated on the Siberian slope of the range. Coal occurs in many Jurassic fresh-water basins, namely, on the outskirts of the Altai, in south Yeniseisk, about Irkutsk, in the Nerchinsk district, at many places in the Maritime province, and on the island of Sakhalin. Beds of excellent graphite have been found in the Kitoi Alps (Mount Alibert) and in the Turukhansk district in Yenisei. Rock-salt occurs at several places on the Lena and in Transbaikalia, and salt-springs are numerous—those of Ust-kutsk on the Lena and of Usolie near Irkutsk being the most noteworthy. A large number of lakes, especially in Transbaikalia and in Tomsk, yield salt. Lastly, from the Altai region, as well as from the Nerchinsk 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 principal rivers—the Ob, the Yenisei, and the Rivers. 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 many hundreds of miles across the high plains and lowlands before they reach the Arctic Ocean. The three rivers of north-eastern Siberia—the Yana, Indigirka and Kolyma—have the same general character, their courses being, however, much shorter, as in these latitudes the plateau approaches nearer to the Arctic Ocean. The Amur, the upper tributaries of which rise on the eastern border-range of the high plateau, is similar. The Shilka and the Arguñ, which form it, flow first towards the north-east along the windings of the lower terrace of the great plateau; from this the Amur descends, cutting through the Great Khingan and flowing down the terraces of the eastern versant towards the Pacific. A noteworthy feature of the principal Siberian rivers is that each is formed by the confluence of a pair of rivers. Examples are the Ob and the Irtysh, 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, while the Amur in its turn receives a tributary as large as itself—the Sungari. Owing to this twinning and the general direction of their courses, the rivers of Siberia offer immense advantages for inland navigation, not only from north to south but also from west to east. It is this circumstance that facilitated the rapid invasion of SiberiaWater communication. by the Russian Cossacks and hunters; they followed the courses of the twin 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 Tyumen, at the foot of the Urals, to Semipalatinsk on the border of the Kirghiz steppe and to Tomsk in the very heart of West Siberia. Uninterrupted water communication could readily be established from Tyumeñ to Yakutsk, Aldansk, and the goldmines of the Vitim. Owing to the fact that the great plateau separates the Lena from the Amur, no easy water communication can be established between the latter and the 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 easy access for the Great Siberian railway up to and across the high plateau. Unfortunately all the rivers are frozen for many months every year. Even in lower latitudes (52 to 55° N.) they are ice-bound from the beginning of November to the beginning of May;[8] while in 65° N. they are open only for 90 to 120 days, and only for 100 days (the Yenisei) or even 70 days (the Lena) in 70° N. During the 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.

Numberless lakes occur in both East and West Siberia. There are wide areas on the plains of West Siberia and on the high plateau of East Siberia, which, virtually, are still passing through the Lacustrine period; but the total area now under Lakes. water bears but a trifling proportion to the vast surface which the lakes covered even at a very recent period, when Neolithic man 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 the lakes has gone on at a very rapid rate.[9] The principal lake is Lake Baikal, more than 400 m. long, and 20 to 50 broad. Another great lake, Lake Kossogol, on the Mongolian frontier, is 120 m. long and 50 broad. 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 Hanka (1700 sq. m.), connected with the Usuri; Lakes Kada and Kidzi, by which the lower Amur once flowed to the Pacific; and very many smaller ones on the left side of the lower Amur. Numerous lakes and extensive marshes diversify the low plains of West Siberia; the Baraba steppe is dotted with lakes and ponds—Lake Chany (1400 sq. m.) and the innumerable smaller lakes which surround it being but relatively insignificant remains of the former lacustrine basins; while at the confluence of the Irtysh and the Ob impassable marshes stretch over many thousands of square miles. Several alpine lakes, of which the picturesque Teletskoye may be specially mentioned, occupy the deeper parts 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 Nordenskjöld and Captain Wiggins demonstrated (1874–1900) the Coasts
possibility of navigation along its shores, 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 gulf 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 Taymyr—a barren tundra intersected by the wild Byrranga Hills—projects in Cape Chelyuskin as far north as 77° 46′ N. 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 Chaun and Kolyuchin are of little importance. The New Siberia islands are occasionally visited by hunters, as is also the small group of the Bear Islands opposite the mouth of the Kolyma. Wrangel or Kellett Island is still quite unknown. Bering Strait, at the north-east extremity of Siberia, and Bering Sea between the land of the Chukchis and Alaska, with the Gulf of Anadyr, are often visited by seal-hunters, and the Commander Islands off Kamchatka are valuable 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 Sakhalin and Yezo, 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 Uda possess geological interest. The double bay of Gizhiga and Penzhina, as well as that of Taui, would be useful as harbours were they not frozen seven or eight months in the year and persistently shrouded in dense fogs in summer. The northern part of the Sea of Japan, which washes the Usuri region, has, besides the smaller bays of Olga and Vladimir, the beautiful Gulf of Peter the Great, on which stands Vladivostok, the Russian naval station on the Pacific. Okhotsk and Ayan on the Sea of Okhotsk, Petropavlovsk on the east shore of Kamchatka, Nikolayevsk, and Vladivostok on the Sea of Japan, and Dui on Sakhalin are the only ports of Siberia.

Climate.—The climate is extremely severe, even in the southern parts. This 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 stretch over more than one half of the area, as well as the elevated plains, lie open to the Arctic Ocean. Although attaining altitudes of 6000 to 10,000 ft., the mountain peaks of East Siberia do not reach the snow-line, which is found only on the Munku-Sardyk in East Sayan, above 10,000 ft. Patches of perpetual snow occur in East Siberia only on the mountains of the far north. On the Altai Mountains the snow-line runs at about 7000 ft. The air, after being chilled on the plateaus during the winter, drifts, owing to its greater density, down upon the lowlands; hence in the region of the lower Lena there obtains an exceedingly low temperature throughout the winter, and Verkhoyansk, in 67°N., is the pole of cold of the eastern hemisphere. The average temperature of winter (December to February) at Yakutsk is −40.2° F., at Verkhoyansk −53.1°. At the polar meteorological station of Sagastyr, in the delta of the Lena (73° 23′ N.), the following average temperatures have been observed: January −34.3° F. (February −43.6°), July 40.8°, year 2.1°. The lowest average temperature of a day is −61.6° F. Nevertheless 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 weather in the immediate neighbourhood of the pole of cold. Frosts of −13° to −18° F. are not uncommon at Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk and Nerchinsk; even in the warmer southern regions of West Siberia and of the Amur the average winter temperature is 2.4° F. and −10.2° respectively; while at Yakutsk and Verkhoyansk the thermometer occasionally falls as low as −75° and −85° F. The minimum temperatures recorded at these two stations are −84° F. and −90° respectively; the minimum at Krasnoyarsk is −67° F., at Irkutsk −51°, at Omsk −56°, and at Tobolsk −58° F. The soil freezes many feet deep over immense areas even in southern Siberia. More dreaded than the frosts are the terrible burans or snowstorms, which occur in early spring and destroy thousands of horses and cattle that have been grazing on the steppes throughout the winter. Although very heavy falls of snow take place 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 are able to find food in the steppe. Spring sets in with remarkable 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. The isotherms are exceedingly interesting. That of 32° F. crosses the middle parts of West Siberia and the southern parts of East Siberia. The summer isotherm of 68° F., which in Europe passes through Cracow and Kaluga, 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 70° N. have in July an average temperature of 40° to 50°. Quite contrary is the course of the January isotherms. That of 14° F., which passes in Europe through Uleåborg in Finland only touches the southern part of West Siberia in the Altai Mountains. That of −4° F., which crosses Novaya Zemlya in Europe, passes through Tobolsk, Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk, and touches 45° N. at Urga in Mongolia, turning north in the Amur region and reaching the Pacific at Nikolayevsk. The isotherm of −22° F., which touches the north point of Novaya Zemlya, passes in Siberia through Turukhansk (at the confluence of the Lena and the Lower Tunguzka) and descends as low as 55° N. in Transbaikalia, whence it turns north to the Arctic Ocean.

Most rain falls in summer, especially in July and August. During the summer an average of 8 in. falls on a zone that stretches from Moscow and St Petersburg through Perm to Tobolsk and, after a dry belt as far as Tomsk, continues in a narrower strip as far as the S. end of Lake Baikal, then it broadens out so as to include the whole of the Amur basin, the total summer precipitation there being about 12 in. North of this zone the rainfall decreases towards the Arctic.

Flora.—The flora of Siberia presents very great local varieties, not only on account of the diversity of physical characteristics, but also in consequence of the intrusion of new species from the neighbouring regions, as widely different as the arctic littoral, the arid steppes of Central Asia, and the wet monsoon regions of the Pacific littoral. Siberia is situated for the most part in what Grisebach describes as the “forest region of the Eastern continent.”[10] The northern limit of this region, must, however, be drawn nearer to the Arctic Ocean. A strip 60 to 200 m. wide is totally devoid of tree vegetation. The last trees which struggle for existence on the verge of the tundras are crippled dwarfs and almost without branches, and trees a hundred years old are only a few feet high and a few inches through and thickly encrusted with lichens.[11] The following species, none of which are found in European Russia, are characteristic of the tundras—arbutus (Arctostaphilus alpina), heaths or andomedas (Cassiope tetragona and C. hypnoides), Phyllodoce taxifolia, Loiseleuria procumbens, a species of Latifolium, a Polar azalea (Osmothamnus fragrans) and a Polar willow (Salix arctica). In Yakutsk the tundra vegetation consists principally of mosses of the genera Polytrichum, Bryum and Hypnum. Some two hundred species of flowering plants struggle for a precarious existence in the tundra region, the frozen ground and the want of humus militating against them more than the want of warmth.[12] From this northern limit to the Aral-Caspian and Mongolian steppes stretches all over Siberia the forest region; the forests are, however, very unequally distributed, covering from 50 to 99% of the area in different 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 steppe, and they are thinly scattered through south-eastern Transbaikalia, where the dryness of the Gobi steppe makes its influence appreciably felt. 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 chiefly in two new species (Larix sibirica and L. dahurica). The fir appears in the Siberian varieties Picea obovata and P. ayanensis. The silver fir (Abies sibirica, Pinus pectinata) and the stone-pine (P. Cembra) are quite common; they reach the higher summits, where the last-named is represented by a recumbent species (Cembra pumila). The birch in the loftier alpine tracts and plateaus becomes a shrub (Betula nana, B. fruticosa), and in Transbaikalia assumes a new and very elegant aspect with a dark bark (B. daurica). In the deeper valleys and on the lowlands of West Siberia the larches, pines and silver firs, intermingled with birches and aspens, attain a great size, and the streams are fringed with thickets of poplar and willow. The alpine rose (Rhododendron dauricum) clusters in masses on the higher mountains; juniper, spiraea, sorbus, the pseudo-acacia (Caragana sibirica and C. arborescens, C. jubata in some of the higher tracts), various Rosaceae—Potentilla fruticosa and Cotoneaster uniflora—the wild cherry (Prunus Padus), and many other shrubs occupy 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. The red whortleberry or cowberry (Vaccinium Vitis idaea), the bog whortleberry (V. uliginosum), the bilberry (V. myrtillus) and the arctic bramble (Rubus arcticus) extend very far northward; raspberries and red and black currants form a luxuriant undergrowth in the forests, together with Ribes dikusha in East Siberia. The oak, elm, hazel, ash, apple, lime and maple disappear to the east of the Urals, but reappear in new varieties on the eastern slope of the border-ridge of the great plateau.[13] There we encounter the oak (Q. mongolica), maple (Acerginala, Max.), ash (Fraxinus manchurica), elm (Ulmus montana), hazel (Corylus heterophylla) and several other European 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 amurense, walnut (Juglans manchurica), acacia (Maackia amurensis), the graceful climber Maximowiczia amurensis, the Japanese Trocho- stigma and many others—all unknown to Siberia proper—are met with.

On the high plateau the larch predominates over all other species of conifers or deciduous trees; the wide, open valleys are thickly planted with Betula nana and B. fruticosa in the north and with thick grasses (poor in species) in the southern and drier parts. The Siberian larch predominates also in the alpine tracts fringing the plateau on the north, intermingled with the fir, stone-pine, aspen and birch. In the drier parts the Scotch fir (Pinus sylvestris) makes its appearance. In the alpine tracts of the north the narrowness of the valleys and the steep stony slopes strewn with debris, on which only lichens and mosses are able to grow, make every plot of green grass (even if it be only of Carex) valuable. 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 the geographer can easily distinguish between the cherñ or thick forest of the Altai and the taiga of East Siberia. The lower plateau exhibits, of course, new characteristics. Its open spaces are lovely prairies, on which the Daurian flora flourishes in full beauty. In spring the traveller crosses a sea of grass above which the flowers of the paeony, aconite, Orobus, Carallia, Saussurea and the like wave 4 or 5 ft. high. As the Gobi desert is approached the forests disappear, the ground becomes covered chiefly with dry Gramineae, and Salsolaceae make their appearance. The high plains of the west slope of the plateau are also rich prairies diversified with woods. Nearly all the species of plants which grow on these prairies are common to Europe (paeonies, Hemerocallis, asters, pinks, gentians, violets, Cypripedium, Aquilegia, Delphinium, aconites, irises and so on); but here the plants attain a much greater size; a man standing erect is often hidden by the grasses. The flora of Minusinsk—the Italy of Siberia—is well known; the prairies on the Ishim and of the Baraba steppe are adorned with the same rich vegetation, so graphically described by Middendorff and O. Finsch. Farther north we come to the urmans of West Siberia, dense thickets of trees often rising from a treacherous carpet of thickly interlaced grasses, which conceals deep marshes, where even the bear has learnt to tread circumspectly.

Fauna.—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 southern Urals as a separate region, are not so important a boundary zoologically as they are botanically. As in European Russia, so in Siberia, three principal zones—the arctic, the boreal and the middle—may be distinguished, and these may be subdivided into several sub-regions. 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 East 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 Nordenskjöld[14] it numbers only twenty-nine species of mammals, of which seven are marine and seventeen or eighteen may be safely considered as living beyond the forest limit. Of these, again, four are characteristic of the land of the Chukchis. The reindeer, arctic fox (Canis lagopus), hare, wolf, lemming (Myodes obensis), 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), snow-bunting, Iceland falcon, snow-owl and raven—are permanent inhabitants of the region. The boreal fauna is, of course, much more abundant; but here also the great bulk of the species, both mammals and birds, are common to Europe and Asia. The bear, badger, wolverine, polecat, ermine, common weasel, otter, wolf, fox, lynx, mole, hedgehog, common shrew, water-shrew and lesser shrew (Sorex vulgaris, S. fodiens and S. pygmaeus), two bats (the long-eared and the boreal), three species of Vespertilio (V. daubentoni, V. nattereri and V. mystacinus), the flying and the common squirrel (Tamias striatus), the brown, common, field and harvest mouse (Mus decumanus, M. musculus, M. sylvaticus, M. agrarius and M. minutus), four voles (Arvicola amphibius, A. rufocanus, A. rutilus and A. schistocolor), the beaver, variable hare, wild boar, roebuck, stag, reindeer, elk and Phoca annelata of Lake Baikal—all these are common alike to Europe and to Siberia; while the bear, musk-deer (Moschus moschiferus), ermine, sable, pouched marmot or souslik (Spermophilus eversmani), Arvicola obscurus and Lagomys hyperboraeus, distributed over Siberia, may be considered as belonging to the arctic fauna. In addition to the above we find in East Siberia Mustela alpina, Canis alpinus, the sable antelope (Aegocerus sibiricus), several species of mouse (Mus gregatus, M. oeconomus and M. saxatilus), two voles (Arvicola russatus and A. macrotus), Syphneus aspalax and the alpine Lagomys from the Central Asian plateaus; while the tiger makes incursions not only into the Amur region but occasionally as far as Lake Baikal. 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 C. furunculus), three new voles (Arvicolae), the Tolai hare, Ogotona hare (Lagomys ogotona), Aegocerus argali, Antilope gutturosa and Equus hemionus (jighitai). Of 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 there are 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 G. F. R. 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.[15]

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 West Siberia, while the tropical Colasposoma, Popilia and Languria are found only in south-eastern Transbaikalia, or are confined to the southern Amur. On the other hand, several American genera (Cephalaon, Ophryastes) extend into the north-eastern parts of Siberia.[16] As in all uncultivated countries, the forests and prairies of Siberia become almost uninhabitable in summer because of the mosquitoes. East Siberia suffers less from this plague than the marshy Baraba steppe; but on the Amur and the Sungari large gnats are an intolerable plague. The dredgings of the “Vega” expedition in the Arctic Ocean disclosed an unexpected wealth of marine fauna, and those of L. Schrenck in the north of the Japanese Sea led to the discovery of no fewer than 256 species (Gasteropods, Brachiopods and Conchifers). Even in Lake Baikal Dybowski and Godlewski discovered no fewer than ninety-three species of Gammarides and twenty-five of Gasteropods.[17] The Sea of Okhotsk is very interesting, owing to its local species and the general composition of its fauna (70 species of Molluscs and 21 of Gasteropods). The land Molluscs, notwithstanding the unfavourable conditions of climate, number about seventy species—Siberia in this respect being not far behind north Europe. The increase of many 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, not only in the usual rotation of the seasons but also as a result of occasional climacteric conditions are not yet fully understood (e.g. the migration of thousands and thousands of roebuck from Manchuria across the Amur to the left bank of the river, or the migration of reindeer related by Baron F. von 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 intermingling northern and southern faunas in the Amur region and the remarkable consequences of that intermixture in the struggle for existence;—all these render the study of the Siberian fauna most interesting. 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 Equidae are merely a slight indication of what may be expected in this field.

Population.—In 1906 the estimated population was 6,740,600. In 1897 the distribution was as follows. Geographically, though not administratively, the steppe provinces of Akmolinsk and Semipalatinsk belong to Siberia. They are described under Steppes.

Governments and Provinces. Area in
sq. m.
sq. m.
Tobolsk 535,739 1,444,470 2.7
Tomsk. 327,173 1,947,021 5.1
 Irkutsk Yeniseisk 981,607 572,847 0.6
 (general- Irkutsk 280,429 515,132 1.8
 government) Yakutsk 1,530,253 271,830 0.2
Transbaikalia 229,520 676,407 3.0
 Far East Amur 172,826 119,909 0.6
 (viceroyalty) Maritime 712,585 209,516 0.7
Sakhalin 14,700 27,250 1.9
 4,784,832 5,784,382 Av. 1.2

Of the total in 1897, 81.4% were Russians, 8.3% Turko-Tatars, 5% Mongols and 0.6% “indigenous races,” i.e. Chukchis, Koryaks, Ghilyaks, Kamchadales and others. Only 8% of the totals are classed as urban. The great bulk of the populationRussians. are Russians, whose number increased with great rapidity during the 19th century; although not exceeding 150,000 in 1709 and 500,000 a century later, they numbered nearly 6,500,000 in 1904. Between 1870 and 1890 over half a million free immigrants entered Siberia from Russia, and of these 80% settled in the government of Tobolsk; and between 1890 and 1905 it is estimated that something like a million and a half free immigrants entered the country. These people came for the most part from the northern parts of the black earth zone of middle Russia, and to a smaller extent from the Lithuanian governments and the Ural governments of Perm and Vyatka. The Russians, issuing from the middle Urals, have travelled as a broad stream through south Siberia, sending 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 villages 15 to 20 m. apart. As Lake Baikal is approached the stream of Russian immigration becomes narrower, being confined mostly to the valley of the Angara, with a string of villages up the Irkut; but it widens out again in Transbaikalia, and sends branches up the Selenga and its tributaries. It follows the course of the Amur, again in a succession of villages some 20 m. apart, and can be traced up the Usuri to Lake Khangka and Vladivostok, with a string of villages on the plains between the Zeya and the Silinji. Small Russian settlements are planted on a few bays of the North Pacific and the Sea of Okhotsk, as well as on Sakhalin.

Colonization.—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 communication along the routes, (3) of stryeltsy (i.e. Moscow imperial guards) to garrison forts, (4) of yamshiks—a special organization of Old Russia entrusted with the maintenance of horses for postal communication, and finally (5) of convicts. 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 Transbaikal Cossacks); some of these 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, along 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 (1580) of the Cossacks of Yermak in Siberia thousands of hunters, 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, on the prairies and even on Chinese territory. But the severe measures adopted by the government against such “runaways” were powerless to prevent their immigration into Siberia. While governmental colonization studded Siberia with forts, free colonization filled up the intermediate spaces. Since the emancipation of the serfs in 1861, it has been steadily increasing, the Russian peasants of a village often emigrating en bloc.[18]

Siberia was for many years a penal colony. Exile to Siberia began in the first years of its discovery, and as early as 1658 we read of the Nonconformist priest Avvakum[19] following in chains the exploringExiles. party of Pashkov on the Amur. Raskolniks or Nonconformists in the second half of the 17th century, rebel stryeltsy under Peter the Great, 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 increased steadily from 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 every year to Siberia. This figure reached an average of 18,250 in 1873–1877, and from about 1880 until the discontinuance of the system in 1900 an average of 20,000 persons were annually exiled to Siberia. After liberation the hard-labour convicts are settled in villages; but nearly all are in a wretched condition, and 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 brodyagi (runaways or outlaws), trying to make their way through the forests to their native provinces in Russia.

Asiatic Races.—The Ural-Altaians consist principally of Turko-Tatars, Mongols, Tunguses, Finnish tribes and Samoyedes. The Samoyedes, who are confined to the province of Tobolsk, Tomsk and Yeniseisk, do not exceed 12,000 in all. The Finns consist principally of Mordvinians (18,500), Ostiaks (20,000) and Voguls (5000). Survivals of Turkish blood, once much more numerous, are scattered all over south Siberia as far as Lake Baikal. Their territories are being rapidly 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 of the Altai and Sayan Mountains. In all they number nearly a quarter of a million. The Turkish stock of the Yakuts in the basin of the Lena numbers 227,400. Most of these Turkish tribes live by pastoral pursuits and some by agriculture, and are a most laborious and honest population.

The Mongols (less than 300,000) extend into West Siberia from the high plateau—nearly 20,000 Kalmucks living in the eastern Altai. In East Siberia the Buriats occupy the Selenga and the Uda, parts of Nerchinsk, and the steppes between Irkutsk and the upper Lena, as also the Baikal Mountains and the island of Orkhon; they support themselves chiefly by live-stock breeding, but some, especially in Irkutsk, are agriculturists. On the left of the Amur there are some 60,000 Chinese and Manchurians about the mouth of the Zeya, and 26,000 Koreans on the Pacific coast. The Tunguses (nearly 70,000) 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. In the Maritime Province, before the Boxer uprising of 1900, 26% of the population in the N. Usuri district and 36% in the S. Usuri district were Koreans and Chinese, and in the Amur province there were nearly 15,000 Manchus and Koreans. Jews number 32,650 and some 5000 gipsies wander about Siberia.

At first the indigenous populations were 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 were compelled to settle in the less favourable regions. European civilization made them familiar with all its worst sides and with none of its best. Taxed with a tribute in furs from the earliest years of the Russian conquest, they often revolted in the 17th century, but were cruelly reduced to obedience. In 1824 the settled indigenes had to pay the very heavy rate of 11 roubles (about £1) per head, and the arrears, which soon became equal to the sums levied, were rigorously exacted. On the other hand the severe measures taken by the government 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 to the merchants. Even the best-intentioned 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.

Social Features.—In West Siberia there exist compact masses of Russians who have lost little of their primitive ethnographical features: but the case is otherwise on the outskirts. M. A. Castrén characterized Obdorsk (mouth of the Ob) as a true Samoyedic town, although peopled with “Russians.” The Cossacks of West 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 in the middle of the 19th century 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 Nerchinsk district and among the Transbaikal Cossacks settled on the Argun. They speak the Buriat language as often as Russian, and in a Buriat dress can hardly be distinguished from the Buriats. In different parts of Siberia, on the borders of the hilly tracts, intermarriage of Russians 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 or Nonconformists, where the north Russian, the Great Russian and the Ukrainian (or southern) 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 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 the children, is one of the causes of this, the birth-rate being also lower than in Russia. The climate of Siberia, however, cannot be called unhealthy, except in certain localities where goitre is common, as it is on the Lena, in several valleys of Nerchinsk and in the Altai Mountains. The rapid growth of the actual population is chiefly due to immigration.

Towns.—Only 8.1% of the population live in towns (6.4% only in the governments of Tobolsk and Tomsk). There are seventeen towns with a population of 10,000 or more, namely, Tomsk (63,533 in 1900) and Irkutsk (49,106)—the capitals of West and East Siberia respectively; Blagovyeshchensk (37,368), Vladivostok (38,000). Tyumen (29,651) in West Siberia, head of Siberian navigation; Barnaul (29,850), capital of the Altai region; Krasnoyarsk (33,337) and Tobolsk (21,401), both mere administrative centres; Biysk (17,206), centre of the Altai trade; Khabarovsk (15,082), administrative centre of the Amur region; Chita (11,480), the capital of Transbaikalia; Nikolsk (22,000); Irbit (20,064); Kolyvañ (11,703), the centre of the trade of southern Tomsk; Yeniseisk (11,539), the centre of the gold-mining region of the same name; Kurgan (10,579), a growing town in Tobolsk; and Minusinsk (10,255), in the southern part of the Yeniseisk province, trading with north-west Mongolia.

Education.—Education stands at a very low level. The chief town of every province is provided with a classical gymnasium for boys 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. Primary education is in a very unsatisfactory state, and primary schools very scarce. The petitions for a university at Irkutsk, the money required for which has been freely offered to the government, have been refused, and the imperative demands of the local tradesmen for technical instruction have likewise met with little response. The Tomsk University remains incomplete, and has only 560 students. There are nevertheless eighteen scientific societies in Siberia, which issue publications of great value. Twelve natural history and ethnological museums have been established by the exiles—the Minusinsk museum being the best. There are also twenty public libraries.

Agriculture.—Agriculture is the chief occupation both of the settled Russians and of the native population. South Siberia has a very fertile soil and yields heavy crops, but immense tracts of the country are utterly unfit for tillage. Altogether it is estimated that not more than 500,000 sq. m. are suitable for cultivation. The aggregate is thus distributed—192,000 sq. m. in West Siberia, 20,000 in Akmolinsk and Semipalatinsk, 100,000 in East Siberia, 85,000 in Transbaikalia, 40,000 in Amur, and 63,000 in Usuri. In the lowlands of West Siberia cultivation is carried on up to 61° N.[20] On the high plains fringing the alpine tracts on the north-west it can be carried on only in the south, farther north only in the valleys, reaching 62° N. 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, the wide trenches alone (Uda, Selenga, Jida) offering encouragement to the agriculturist. On the lower plateau, in Transbaikalia, grain is successfully raised in the Nerchinsk region, with serious risks, however, from early frosts in the valleys. South-east Transbaikalia suffers from want of water, and the Buriats have to irrigate their fields. Although agriculture is carried on on the upper Amur, where land has been cleared from virgin forests, it really prospers only below Kumara and on the fertile plains of the Zeya and Silinji. 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 the 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 Ishim region, the Baraba, the region about Tomsk and the outskirts of the Altai. The Minusinsk district, one of the richest in Siberia (45,000 inhabitants, of whom 24,000 are nomadic), has more than 45,000 acres under crops. Mining, the second industry in point of importance, is dealt with above.

Land Tenure.—Out of the total area of over 3,000,000,000 acres of land in Siberia, close upon 96 % belong to the state, while the cabinet of the reigning emperor owns 114,700,000 acres (112,300,000 in the Altai and 2,400,000 in Nerchinsk) or nearly 4%. Private property is insignificant in extent—purchase of land being permitted only in the Amur region. (In West Siberia it was only temporarily permitted in 1860–1868.) Siberia thus offers an example of the nationalization of land unparalleled throughout the world. Any purchase of land within a zone 67 m. wide on each side of the trans-Siberian railway was absolutely prohibited in 1895, and the extent of crown lands sold to a single person or group of persons never exceeds 1080 acres unless an especially useful industrial enterprise is projected, and in that case the maximum is fixed at 2700 acres. The land is held by the Russian village communities in virtue of the right of occupation. Industrial surveys, having for their object the granting of land to the peasants to the extent of 40 acres per each male head, with 8 additional acres of wood and 8 acres as a reserve, were started many years ago, and after being stopped in 1887 were commenced again in 1898. At the present time the land allotments per male head vary greatly, even in the relatively populous region of southern Siberia. In the case of the peasants the allotments vary on an average from 32 to 102 acres (in some cases from 21.6 to 240 acres); the Transbaikal Cossacks have about 111 acres per male head, and the indigenous population 108 to 154 acres.

The total cultivated area and the average area under crops every year have been estimated by A. Kaufmann as follows[21]:—

Province or
Under Crops (Acres).
Total. Average
per 100
 Tobolsk 5,670,000 3,270,000 13.2 243
 Tomsk 8,647,000 5,259,000 15.7 310
 Yeniseisk 1,830,000 977,000 13.0 267
 Irkutsk 1,800,000 910,000 13.2 265
 Transbaikalia 1,415,000 872,000 9.4 159
 Yakutsk 81,000 43,000 0.8 16
 Amur (Russians)  143,000 143,000 19.4 275
 South Usuri
 (peasants only)
151,000 151,000 24.0 375
19,737, 000 11,625,000 . . . .

These figures are somewhat under-estimated, but the official figures are still lower, especially for Tomsk. Tillage is conducted on very primitive methods. After four to twelve years' cultivation the land is allowed to lie fallow for fen years or more. In the Baraba district it is the practice to sow four different grain crops in five to seven years and then to let the land rest ten to twenty-five years. The yield from the principal crops fluctuates greatly; indeed in a very good year it is almost three times that in a very bad one. The southern parts of Tobolsk, nearly all the government of Tomsk (exclusive of the Narym region), southern Yeniseisk and southern Irkutsk, have in an average year a surplus of grain varying from 35 to 40% of the total crop, but in bad years the crop falls short of the actual needs of the population. There is considerable movement of grain in Siberia itself, the populations of vast portions of the territory, especially of the mining regions, having to rely upon imported corn. The forest area under supervision is about 30,000,000 acres (in Tobolsk, Tomsk, Yeniseisk and Irkutsk), out of a total area of forest land of 63,000,000 acres.

As an independent pursuit, live-stock breeding is carried on by the Russians in eastern Transbaikalia, by the Yakuts in the province of Yakutsk, and by the Buriats in Irkutsk and Transbaikalia, but elsewhere it is secondary to agriculture.Live
Both cattle-breeding and sheep-grazing are more profitable than dairying; but the Kirghiz herds are not well tended, being left to graze on the steppes all the year, where they perish from wild animals and the cold. The live stock includes some 180,000 camels.

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

Hunting.—Hunting is 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 exceedingly scarce. Squirrels, bears, foxes, arctic foxes, antelopes and especially deer in spring are the principal objects of the chase. 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.

Fishing.—Fishing is a valuable source of income on the lower courses of the great rivers, especially the Ob. 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 Gilyaks—support themselves chiefly by fishing, when the salmon enters the Amur and its tributaries in dense masses. Fish (e.g. the keta, salmon and sturgeon) are a staple article, of diet in the north.

Manufactures.—Though Siberia has within itself all the raw produce necessary for prosperous industries, it continues to import from Russia 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 25,000 workmen, and of these some 46% are employed in West Siberia. Nearly one-third of the total value of the output represents wine-spirit, 23% tanneries, 18% tallow-melting and a considerable sum cigarette-making.

It is estimated that about one-half of the Russian agricultural population supplement their income by engaging in non-agricultural pursuits, but not more than 18 to 22% carry on domestic trades, the others finding occupation in the carrying trade—which is still important, even since the construction of the railway—in hunting (chiefly squirrel-hunting) and in work in the mines. Domestic and petty trades are therefore developed only round Tyumen, Tomsk and Irkutsk. The principal of these trades are the weaving of carpets—about Tyumeñ; the making of wire sieves; the painting of ikons or sacred images; the making of wooden vessels and of the necessaries for the carrying trade about Tomsk (sledges, wheels, &c.); the preparation of felt boots and sheepskins; and the manufacture of dairy utensils and machinery. Weaving is engaged in for domestic purposes. But all these trades are sporadic, and are confined to limited areas, and often only to a few separate villages.

Commerce.—There are no figures from which even an approximate idea can be gained as to the value of the internal trade of Siberia, but it is certainly considerable. The great fair at Irbit retains its importance, and there are, besides, over 500 fairs in Tobolsk and over 100 in other parts of the region. The aggregate returns of all these are estimated at £2,643,000 annually. The trade with the natives continues to be mainly the sale of spirits.

In the external trade the exports to Russia consist chiefly of grain, cattle, sheep, butter and other animal products, furs, game, feathers and down. The production of butter for export began only in 1894, but grew with great rapidity. In 1902 some 1800 dairies were at work, the greater number in West Siberia, and 40,000 tons of butter were exported. The total trade between Russia and China amounts to about £5,500,000 annually, of which 87% stands for imports into Russia and 13% for exports to China. Tea makes up nearly one-half of the imports, the other commodities being silks, cottons, hides and wool; while cottons and other manufactured wares constitute considerably over 50% of the exports. Part of this commerce (textiles, sugar, tobacco, steel goods) is conveyed by sea to the Pacific ports. The principal centre for the remainder (textiles and petroleum), conveyed by land, is Kiakhta on the Mongolian frontier. Prior to the building of the trans-Siberian railway a fairly active trade was carried on between China and the Amur region; but since the opening of that railway (in 1902–1905) the Amur region has seriously and rapidly declined in all that concerns trade, industry, general prosperity and civilization. There is further an import trade amounting to between two and three-quarters and three millions sterling annually with Manchuria, to over one million sterling with the United States, and to a quarter to half a million sterling with Japan. As nearly as can be estimated, the total imports into Siberia amount approximately to £5,000,000, the amount having practically doubled between 1890 and 1902; the total exports average about £9,000,000. In the Far East the chief trade centres are Vladivostok and Nikolayevsk on the Amur, with Khabarovsk and Blagovyeshchensk, both on the same river. For some years a small trade was carried on by the British Captain Wiggins with the mouth of the river Yenisei through the Kara Sea, and after his death in 1905 the Russians themselves endeavoured to carry farther the pioneer work which he had begun.

Communications.—Navigation on the Siberian rivers has developed both as regards the number of steamers plying and the number of branch rivers traversed. In 1900, one hundred and thirty private and several crown steamers plied on the Ob-Irtysh river system as far as Semipalatinsk on the Irtysh, Biysk on the Ob, and Achinsk on the Chulym. The Ob-Yenisei canal is ready for use, but its actual usefulness is impaired by the scarcity of water in the smaller streams forming part of the system. On the Yenisei steamers ply from Minusinsk to Yeniseisk, and to Ghilghila at its mouth; on its tributary, the Angara, of which some rapids have been cleared, though the Padun rapids have still to be rounded by land; and on the Selenga. On the Lena and the Vitim there are steamers, and a small railway connects the Bodoibo river port with the Olekma gold-washings. In the Amur system, the Zeya, the Bureya and the Arguñ are navigated.

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 Tyumen on the Tura, whence steamers ply via Tobolsk to Tomsk. From Tyumen the road proceeds to Omsk, Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk, sending off from Kolyvan a branch south to Barnaul in the Altai and to Turkestan. From Irkutsk it proceeds to Transbaikalia, Lake Baikal being crossed either by steamer or (when frozen) on sledges, in either case from Listvinichnoe to Misovaya. A route was laid out about 1868 round the south shore of Lake Baikal in order to maintain communication with Transbaikalia during the spring and autumn, and in 1905 the great Siberian railway was completed round the same extremity of the lake. From Lake Baikal the road proceeds to Verkhne-udinsk, Chita and Stryetensk on the Shilka, whence steamers ply to the mouth of the Amur and up the Usuri and Sungacha 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. When the water in the upper Amur is low, vessels are sometimes unable to reach the Shilka. 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 Kiakhta and Kalgan (close by Peking) across the desert of Gobi.

The first railway to reach Siberia was built in 1878, when a line was constructed between Perm, at which point travellers for Siberia used to strike off from the Kama eastwards, and Ekaterinurg, Railways.on the eastern slope of the Urals. In 1884 this line was continued as far as Tyumeñ, the head of navigation on the Siberian rivers. It was supposed at that time that this line would form part of the projected trans-Siberian railway; but it was finally decided, in 1885, to give a more southerly direction to the railway and to continue the Moscow-Samara line to Ufa, Zlatoust in the Urals, and Chelyabinsk on the west Siberian prairies, at the head of one of the tributaries of the Ob. Thence the line was continued across the prairies to Kurgan and Omsk, and from there it followed the great Siberian highway to Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk, and on round Lake Baikal to Chita and Stryetensk on the Shilka. From that place it was intended to push it down the Amur to Khabarovsk, and finally to proceed up the Usuri to Vladivostok. The building of the railway was begun at several points at once in 1892; it had, indeed, been started a year before that in the Usuri section. For reasons indicated elsewhere (see Russia: Railways) it was found inadvisable to continue the railroad along the Shilka and the Amur to Khabarovsk, and arrangements were made in 1896 with the Chinese government for the construction of a trans-Manchurian railway. This line connects Kaidalovo, 20 m. below Chita, with Vladivostok, and sends off a branch from Kharbin, on the Sungari, to Dalny and Port Arthur. Those parts of it which run through Russian territory (in Transbaikalia 230 m.; in the neighbourhood of Vladivostok 67 m.) were opened in 1902, and also the trans-Manchurian line (1000 m.), although not quite completed. A line was constructed from Vladivostok to the Amur before it became known that the idea of following the latter part of the route originally laid down would have to be abandoned. This line, which has been in working order since 1898, is 479 m. long, and proceeds first to Grafskaya, across the fertile and populous south Usuri region, then down the Usuri to Khabarovsk at the confluence of that river with the Amur.

Returning westwards, Chelyabinsk has been connected with Ekaterinburg (153 m.); and a branch line has been built from the main Siberian line to Tomsk (54 m.). Altogether the entire railway system, including the cost of the Usuri line, the unfinished Amur line, the circum-Baikal line and the eastern Chinese railway, is put down at a total of £87,555,760, and the total distance, all branches included, is 5413 m., of which 1070 m. are in Chinese territory.

History.—The shores of all the lakes which filled the depressions during the Lacustrine period abound in remains dating from the Neolithic Stone period; and numberless kurgans (tumuli), furnaces 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 forced them still farther towards the barren grounds of the north, where they melted away. According to Radlov, 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) exist 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 3rd 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 southern Siberia. Iron was unknown to them; but they excelled in bronze, silver and gold work. Their bronze ornaments and implements, often polished, evince considerable 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” (the Chinese spelling for “Turks”), Khagases and Uigurs—also compelled to migrate north-westwards from their former seats—subdued the Ugro-Samoyedes. These new invaders 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 purposes only, and to which they gave a still higher artistic stamp. Their pottery is much more perfect and more artistic than that of the Bronze period, and their ornaments are accounted among the finest of the collections at the St Petersburg museum of the Hermitage. This Turkish empire of the Khagases 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 Turkestan, and small principalities sprang up on the Irtysh 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. 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 the adventurer Stenka Razin (1667–1671) many who were unwilling to submit to the iron rule of Moscow made their way to the settlements of Stroganov in Perm, and tradition has it that, in order to get rid of his guests, Stroganov suggested to their chief, Yermak, that he should cross the Urals into Siberia, promising to help him with supplies of food and arms. Yermak entered Siberia in 1580 with a band of 1636 men, following the Tagil and Tura rivers. Next year they were on the Tobol, and 500 men successfully laid siege to Isker, the residence of Khan Kuchum, in the neighbourhood of what is now Tobolsk. Kuchum 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 Irtysh in 1584 and the Cossacks abandoned Siberia. But new bands of hunters and adventurers poured every year into the country, and were supported by Moscow. To avoid conflicts with the denser populations of the south, they preferred to advance eastwards along higher latitudes; meanwhile Moscow erected forts and settled labourers around them to supply the garrisons with food. Within eighty years the Russians had reached the Amur and the Pacific. This rapid conquest is accounted for by the circumstance that neither Tatars nor Turks were able to offer any serious resistance. In 1607–1610 the Tunguses fought strenuously for their independence, but were subdued about 1623. In 1628 the Russians reached the Lena, founded the fort of Yakutsk in 1637, and two years later reached the Sea of Okhotsk at the mouth of the Ulya 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 beyond Lake Baikal. In 1643 Poyarkov’s boats descended the Amur, returning to Yakutsk by the Sea of Okhotsk and the Aldan, and in 1649–1650 Khabarov occupied the banks of the Amur. The resistance of the Chinese, however, obliged the Cossacks to quit their forts, and by the treaty of Nerchinsk (1689) Russia abandoned her advance into the basin of the river. In 1852 a Russian military expedition under Muraviev explored the Amur, and by 1857 a chain of Russian Cossacks and peasants were 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 Khabarov explored the Amur (1648) the Cossack Dejnev, starting from the Kolyma, sailed round the north-eastern extremity of Asia through the strait which was rediscovered and described eighty years later by Bering (1728). Cook in 1778, and after him La Perouse, 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, Pronchishev, Lasinius and Laptev—whose labours constitute a brilliant page in the annals of geographical discovery—was begun only in the 18th century (1735–1739).

The scientific exploration of Siberia, begun in the period 1733 to 1742 by Messerschmidt, Gmelin, and De Lisle de la Croyère, was 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 (1828–1830) were a most important 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 (1832-1859) the foundations of a sound knowledge of the structure of Siberia. Middendorff’s journey (1844–1845) to north-eastern Siberia—contemporaneous with Castren’s journeys for the special study of the Ural-Altaian languages—directed attention to the far north and awakened interest in the Amur, the basin of which soon became the scene of the expeditions of Akhte and Schwarz (1852), and later on (1854–1857) of the Siberian expedition to which we owe so marked an advance in our knowledge of East 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 Sakhalin attracted Maack, Schmidt, Glehn, Radde and Schrenck, whose works on the flora, fauna and inhabitants of Siberia have become widely known.

Bibliography.—A. T. von Middendorff, Sibirische Reise (St Petersburg, 1848–1875); L. Schrenck, Reisen und Forschungen im Amurgebiet (St Petersburg, 1858–1891); Trudy of the Siberian expedition—mathematical part (also geographical) by Schwarz, and physical part by Schmidt, Glehn and Brylkin (1874, seq.); G. Kennan, Tent Life in Siberia (1870); Paplov, Siberian Rivers (1878); A. E. Nordenskjöid, Voyage of the Vega (1881) and Vega Exped. Vetensk. Iakttagelser (5 vols., Stockholm, 1872–1887); P. P. Semenov, Geogr. and Stat. Dictionary of the Russian Empire (in Russian, 5 vols., St Petersburg, 1863–1884)—a most valuable source of information, with full bibliographical details under each article; Picturesque Russia (in Russian), ed. by P. Semenov, vol. xi. (West Siberia) and xii. (East Siberia); Scheglov, Chronology of Sib. Hist. from 1032 to 1882; Yadrintsev, Siberia (St Petersburg, 2nd ed., 1892, in Russian); Vagin, “Historical Documents on Siberia,” in the collection Sibir, vol. i.; Yadrintsev, Siberia as a Colony (new ed., 1892); F. M. Dostoievsky’s novel, Buried Alive (1881); Baron A. von Rosen, Memoiren eines russischen Dekabristen (Leipzig, 1870). Consult further Materials for the Study of the Economic Conditions of West Siberia (22 vols., St Petersburg, 1889–1898), condensed in Peasant Land-Tenure and Husbandry in Tobolsk and Tomsk (St Petersburg, 1894), both in Russian. Similar Materials for the Altai region, published at St Petersburg by the Cabinet of the emperor, and for Irkutsk and Yeniseisk (12 fasc., Irkutsk, 1889–1893); Materials for Transbaikalia (16 vols., St Petersburg, 1898), summed up in Transbaikalia, by N. Razumov (St Petersburg, 1899). Other works deserving special mention are: Ermolov, Siberia as a Colony (3rd ed., 1894); Jarilow, Ein Beitrag zur Landwirtschaft in Sibirien (Leipzig, 1896). Among books of more recent publication must be mentioned G. Krahmer, Russland in Asien (3 vols., Leipzig, 1898–1900) and Sibirien und die grosse sibirische Eisenbahn (2nd ed., 1900); Wirt Gerrare, Greater Russia (London 1903); J. F. Fraser, The Real Siberia (London, 1902); P. Kropotkin, Orographie de la Siberie (Brussels, 1904); P. Leroy-Beaulieu, La Rénovation de l'Asie centrale (Paris, 1900); J. Stadling, Through Siberia (London, 1901); S. Turner, Siberia (London, 1906); G. F. Wright, Asiatic Russia (2 vols., London, 1903); L. Deutsch, Sixteen Years in Siberia (Eng. trans., London, 1905); V. Dolgorukov, Guide through Siberia (3rd ed., Tomsk, 1898, in Russian, with summaries in French); A. N. de Koulomzine, Le Trans-sibérien (Paris, 1904); Bishop of Norwich, My Life in Mongolia and Siberia (London, 1903); S. Patkanov, Essai d'une statistique et d’une geographie des peuples paleoasiatiques de la Sibérie (St Petersburg, 1903); M. P. de Semenov, La Russie extra-européenne et polaire (Paris, 1900); J. W. Bookwalter, Siberia and Central Asia (Springfield, Ohio, 1899); Siberia and the Great Siberian Railway, by Ministry of Finance (Eng. trans., ed. by J. M. Crawford, St Petersburg, 1893, vol. v. for flora). Climatological Atlas of the Russian Empire, by the Physical Observatory (St Petersburg, 1900), gives data and observations covering the period 1849–1899. A full bibliography will be found in the Russian Encyclopaedic Dictionary, as also in Mezhov, Siberian Bibliography (3 vols., St Petersburg, 1891–1892), and in A. Pypin’s History of Russian Ethnography, vol. iv.  (P. A. K.; J. T. Be.) 

  1. The wide area between the middle Lena and the Amur, as well as the hilly tracts west of Lake Baikal, and the Yeniseisk mining region are in this condition.
  2. The great plateau of North America, also turning its narrower point towards Bering 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.
  3. See “General Sketch of the Orography of Siberia” with map and “Sketch of the Orography of Minusinsk, &c.,” by Prince P. A. Kropotkin, in Mem. Russ. Geogr. Soc., General Geography (vol. v., 1875).
  4. 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 (Yablonoi, Kentei) must be looked for in the Great Altai or in some other range situated farther south. There may be also a breach of continuity in some depression towards Barkul.
  5. The word “longitudinal” is here used in an orographical, not a geological sense. These valleys are not synclinal foldings of rocks; they seem to be erosion-valleys.
  6. The upper Bukhtarma valley in the Sailughem range of the Altai system appears to belong to the same type.
  7. The deep fissure occupied by Lake Baikal would thus appear to consist of two longitudinal valleys connected together by the passage between Olkhon and Svyatoi Nos.
  8. The Lena at Verkholensk is navigable for 170 days, at Yakutsk for 153 days: the Yenisei at Krasnoyarsk for 196 days.
  9. See Yadrintsev, in Izvestia of the Russian Geogr. Soc. (1886, No. 1, with maps).
  10. According to A. Engler's Versuch einer Entwickelungsgeschichte der Pflanzenwelt (Leipzig, 1879–1882), we should have in Siberia (a) the arctic region; (b) the sub-arctic or coniferous region—north Siberian province; (c) the Central-Asian domain—Altai and Daurian mountainous regions; and (d) the east Chinese, intruding into the basin of the Amur.
  11. See Middendorff's observations on vegetable and animal life in the tundras, attractively told in vol. iv. of his Sibirische Reise.
  12. Kjellmann, Vega Expeditionens Vetenskapliga Iakttagelser (Stockholm, 1872-1887) reckons their number at 182; 124 species were found by Middendorff on the Taymyr 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 Maack in the Vilui region.
  13. Nowhere, perhaps, is the change better seen than on crossing the Great Khingan.
  14. In Vega Exped. Vetensk. Iakttagelser., vol. ii.
  15. 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.
  16. See L. Schrenck, Reisen und Forschungen im Amurlande (1858–1891).
  17. See Mém. de l'academie des sciences de St-Pétersbourg, vol. xxii. (1876).
  18. See Yadrintsev, Siberia as a Colony (in Russian, 2nd ed., St Petersburg, 1892).
  19. The autobiography of the protopope Avvakum is one of the most popular books with Russian Nonconformists.
  20. The northern limits of agriculture are 60° N. on the Urals, 62° at Yakutsk, 61° at Aldansk, 54° 30′ at Udskoi, and 53° to 54° in the interior of Kamchatka (Middendorff, Sibirische Reise, vol. iv.).
  21. Russian Encyclopaedic Dictionary, vol. lix. (1900).