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Articles and Publications

Geography treasure number 2. Mangazeya - Myth or Reality?

We are continuing and, as promised, let's start with Mangazeya. Legends about this rich city in the far north have been around for many centuries, but still remains unanswered the main question - Mangazeya - Myth or Reality?

As proof of the existence of this city we will provide some excerpts from the historical stories of Professor Belov:

At the end of the XV century Novgorod nameless traveler first told about the Siberian midnight countries and molkanzei tribe, which lived east of the Ob Bay. Linguists have suggested that Zyryanskoe word "Mangazeya" means the "end of the earth." In those far times Ob and Taz Bay on Russian maps have been depicted as a big endless sea. The foreign evidence of the middle of XVI century, also mentioned trips to Ob at Mangazeya. The place of expensive furs was well known by dealers in Western Europe. In those days, there were legends of a remarkable city, which as a result of the natural disaster found itself on the bottom of a huge lake, but there are similar stories in the folklore of many nations (like the tale of Kitezh and the lake Svetloyar).

In the XVI century, there is a set of numerous references to the ships laden with jewels that came with Obi Mangazeysky into the ground. Such a legend – not a proof of the existence of the city, but information about the city since that moment have become only stronger. If we talk about the facts, then in 1596 Tsar Fedor Ivanovich had sent to the Yenisei through Tobolsk and Berezovka, small expedition of clerk of the council of Fyodor Dyakov. They were told to learn "for certain" about the uncontrolled trade of fisheries for Pomors. Farmers who found themselves under the attack appealed to the king with a petition to grant them the right to trade freely, and trade "soft stuff" (fur) in Mangazeya ground. Such decision was followed by a permit at the beginning of 1600 .

A few months later the royal decision suddenly changed. Boris Godunov ordered to form on the lands of Mangazeya Siberian county and sent to the Taz and Yenisei chieftains of Prince Myron Shakhovsky and musketeers head Daniel Khripunova. In Tobolsk and Berezovka chieftains were given hundreds of archers, lead, guns and "sovereign kochya" (wooden craft, adapted for swimming in the polar latitudes). How it ended hike we still don’t know. From various sources it was found that in autumn 1600 kochi of the Prince got into a storm and sank, and the Shahovsky with archers was ambushed and seriously injured. The following year, the king sent to the aid of the prince and the Boyar Mosalskiy Pushkin with two hundred archers. And no reliable news about them has survived.

There is not enough historical evidence about the life of the Taz city Mangazeya, felled in the lower reaches of the Taz River. Whole archive of Mangazeya burned down in a fire of 1642. Survived only a sent out at the time to Moscow customs books, chieftains memo`s and kings formal reply. But even in those notes polar city of Siberia is described wealthy and populous. The conclusion is that there is every reason to seek for this city.

In our next story, we touch upon the topic of choice place to search and its prospects from treasure hunters point of view.

Valery Sinkovsky



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