The Kyzylkum Desert is the 15th largest desert in the world. Its name means Red Sand in Turkic languages, it is located in Central Asia in the doab between the rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya, a region known as Transoxania or Sogdiana. Today it is divided between Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, it covers about 298,000 km2. The territory consists of an extensive plain at an altitude up to 300 m above sea level, with a number of depressions and highlands. Most of the area is covered with dunes. There are agricultural settlements in the oases. Temperatures can be high during the summer months, from mid-May to mid-September. Kerki, one extreme inland city located on the banks of the Amu Darya River, recorded 52 °C in July 1983, it is located in Uzbekistan. Desert fauna include the Russian tortoise and a large lizard known as the Transcaspian or desert monitor, which can reach lengths of 1.6 m. The saiga antelope occasionally migrates through the northern part of the desert. Kyzylkum Nature Reserve in Bukhara Province was established in 1971.
The area of the reserve amounts to 101,000 km2 and it is located on flood-land drained by the Amudarya close to the settlement Dargan Ata. Fauna include: wild boar, common pheasant, golden eagle. Djeyran Reserve is located 40 km south of Bukhara; the total area of this reserve is 51,450 km2. It is a breeding centre for rare species such as goitered gazelle, Przewalski's horse, Turkmenian kulan and MacQueen's bustard; the reserve was founded in 1977 on the enclosed area in 5,131 ha. The Kyzylkum Desert has exposed rock formations. Of particular interest is the Bissekty Formation of Uzbekistan, from the early Late Cretaceous, which has produced several species of early birds: Enantiornis martini and E. walkeri, Kizylkumavis cretacea, Kuszholia mengi, Lenesornis kaskarovi, Sazavis prisca, Zhyraornis kaskarovi, Z. logunovi are recognized as valid species. Tyrannosaurid, ostrich-mimic, oviraptorosaurian, armored and horned dinosaurs are known from this rock unit. Other fossils from the Cretaceous rocks of the Kyzylkum include tree trunks, beetles, rays, bony fish, salamanders, crocodylomorphs, a varied fauna of small early mammals.
Paleontologists that have worked in this area include J. David Archibald, Alexander Averianov, Sergei Kurzanov, Lev Nesov, Anatoly Riabinin, Anatoly Rozhdestvensky, Hans-Dieter Sues; the local population uses the large spaces of the Kyzylkum Desert as a pasture for livestock. The desert is well known for its deposits of gold, copper and silver, natural gas and oil; the development of most the famous gold-field at Muruntau began in the early 1970s. The centres for the mining and smelting industry at the region are Zarafshan city, Uchkuduk; the major industrial enterprises are: НГМК and the Uzbek U. S. A. Joint Venture "Zarafshan-Newmont"; the centres of the gas-production industry are Mubarek. Andronovo culture Aydar Lake, large artificial lake Central Asian northern desert, an ecoregion corresponding with the Kyzylkum Desert Karakum Desert, another desert of Central Asia List of deserts by area Sarmishsay, ancient monuments of anthropogenic activity Media related to Kyzyl Kum at Wikimedia Commons Slideshow: Across Central Asia’s Empty Core – Walking the caravan routes of the Kyzyl Kum desert
The Great Purge or the Great Terror was a campaign of political repression in the Soviet Union which occurred from 1936 to 1938. It involved a large-scale purge of the Communist Party and government officials, repression of wealthy landlords and the Red Army leadership, widespread police surveillance, suspicion of saboteurs, counter-revolutionaries and arbitrary executions. In Russian historiography, the period of the most intense purge, 1937–1938, is called Yezhovshchina, after Nikolai Yezhov, the head of the Soviet secret police, the NKVD, executed a year after the purge. Modern historical studies estimate the total number of deaths due to Stalinist repression in 1937–38 to be between 681,692-1,200,000. In the Western world, Robert Conquest's 1968 book. Conquest's title was in turn an allusion to the period called the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution; the term "repression" was used to describe the prosecution of people considered counter-revolutionaries and enemies of the people by the leader of the Soviet Union at the time, Joseph Stalin.
The purge was motivated by the desire to remove dissenters from the Communist Party and to consolidate the authority of Stalin. Most public attention was focused on the purge of certain parts of the leadership of the Communist Party, as well as of government bureaucrats and leaders of the armed forces, most of whom were Party members; the campaigns affected many other categories of the society: intelligentsia and those branded as "too rich for a peasant", professionals. A series of NKVD operations affected a number of national minorities, accused of being "fifth column" communities. A number of purges were explained as an elimination of the possibilities of sabotage and espionage, by the Polish Military Organisation and many victims of the purge were ordinary Soviet citizens of Polish origin. According to Nikita Khrushchev's 1956 speech, "On the Cult of Personality and its Consequences," and Robert Conquest, a great number of accusations, notably those presented at the Moscow show trials, were based on forced confessions obtained through torture, on loose interpretations of Article 58 of the RSFSR Penal Code, which dealt with counter-revolutionary crimes.
Due legal process, as defined by Soviet law in force at the time, was largely replaced with summary proceedings by NKVD troikas. Hundreds of thousands of victims were accused of various political crimes. Many died at the penal labor camps of starvation, disease and overwork. Other methods of dispatching victims were used on an experimental basis. In Moscow, the use of gas vans used to kill the victims during their transportation to the Butovo firing range was documented; the Great Purge began under NKVD chief Genrikh Yagoda, but reached its peak between September 1936 and August 1938 under the leadership of Nikolai Yezhov, hence the name Yezhovshchina. The campaigns were carried out according to the general line by direct orders of the Party Politburo headed by Stalin. From 1930 onwards, the Party and police officials feared the "social disorder" caused by the upheavals of forced collectivization of peasants and the resulting famine of 1932–1933, as well as the massive and uncontrolled migration of millions of peasants into cities.
The threat of war heightened Stalin's perception of marginal and politically suspect populations as the potential source of an uprising in case of invasion. He began to plan for the preventive elimination of such potential recruits for a mythical "fifth column of wreckers and spies.". The term "purge" in Soviet political slang was an abbreviation of the expression purge of the Party ranks. In 1933, for example, the Party expelled some 400,000 people, but from 1936 until 1953, the term changed its meaning, because being expelled from the Party came to mean certain arrest and execution. The political purge was an effort by Stalin to eliminate challenge from past and potential opposition groups, including the left and right wings led by Leon Trotsky and Nikolai Bukharin, respectively. Following the Civil War and reconstruction of the Soviet economy in the late 1920s, veteran Bolsheviks no longer thought necessary the "temporary" wartime dictatorship, which had passed from Lenin to Stalin. Stalin's opponents on both sides of the political spectrum chided him as undemocratic and lax on bureaucratic corruption.
This opposition to current leadership may have accumulated substantial support among the working class by attacking the privileges and luxuries the state offered to its high-paid elite. The Ryutin Affair seemed to vindicate Stalin's suspicions, he enforced a ban on party factions and banned those party members who had opposed him ending democratic centralism. In the new form of Party organization, the Politburo, Stalin in particular, were the sole dispensers of ideology; this required the elimination of all Marxists with different views those among the prestigious "old guard" of revolutionaries. As the purges began, the government shot Bolshevik heroes, including Mikhail Tukhachevsky and Béla Kun, as well as the majority of Lenin's Politburo, for disagreements in policy; the NKVD attacked the supporters and family of these "heretical" Marxists, whether they lived in Russia or
Fergana, or Ferghana, is the capital of Fergana Region in eastern Uzbekistan. Fergana is about 420 km east of Tashkent, about 75 km west of Andijan, less than 20 km from the Kyrgyzstan border. While the area has been populated for thousands of years, the modern city was founded in 1876; the fertile Fergana Valley was an important conduit on the Silk Roads, which connected the ancient Chinese capital of Xi'an to the west over the Wushao Ling Mountain Pass to Wuwei and emerging in Kashgar before linking to ancient Parthia, or on to the north of the Aral and Caspian Seas to ports on the Black Sea. It used to be called ferghana, during the Kushan empire; the ancient kingdom referred to as Dayuan in the Chinese chronicles is now accepted as being in the Ferghana Valley. It is sometimes, though less written as Dawan. Dayuan were Greeks, the descendants of the Greek colonists that were settled by Alexander the Great in Ferghana in 329 BCE, prospered within the Hellenistic realm of the Seleucids and Greco-Bactrians, until they were isolated by the migrations of the Yuezhi around 160 BCE.
It has been suggested that the name "Yuan" was a transliteration of the words “Yona”, or “Yavana”, used throughout antiquity in Asia to designate Greeks. Their capital was Alexandria Eschate; the earliest Chinese visitor was the ambassador Zhang Qian, who passed through on his way to secure a military alliance with the Da Yuezhi or'Great Yuezhi' against the Xiongnu, c. 127/126 BCE. The Shiji, Chap. 123 says: Dayuan lies southwest of the territory of the Xiongnu, some 10,000 li directly west of China. The people are settled on the land, plowing the fields and growing rice and wheat, they make wine out of grapes. The region has many fine horses; the people live in houses in fortified cities, there being some seventy or more cities of various sizes in the region. The population numbers several hundred thousand; the people can shoot from horseback. Dayuan is bordered on the north by Kangju, on the west by the kingdom of the Great Yuezhi, on the southwest by Daxia, on the northeast by the land of the Wusun, on the east by Yumi and Yutian."
Da Yuan appears as a powerful state in both the Hanshu. However, after Xian, king of Yarkand, conquered it about the middle of the 1st century CE, it lost importance; the Hou Hanshu adds that Da Yuan sent tribute and offerings to the Chinese court in 130 CE along with Kashgar and Yarkand. After that, it is referred to as Liyi 栗弋, is stated to be a dependency of Kangju. By the time of the Weilüe, the old capital, Alexandria Eschate, had become a separate kingdom called'Northern Wuyi.'Zoroastrian literature identifies the area as the Zoroastrian homeland. It was known as "Özkent" during Karakhanid rule. Fergana played a central role in the history of the Mughal dynasty of South Asia in that Omar Sheikh Mirza, chieftain of Farghana, was the father of Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur, founder of the Mughal dynasty in India. At Mirza's death in 1498, Babur became chief. During the expansion of Russia in the nineteenth century the Russians invaded Turkistan taking it over between 1855 and 1884, they took the capital of the Kokand Khanate in 1873 and included it within what was named the Fergana Province of the Russian empire.
Modern Fergana city was founded in 1876 as a garrison town and colonial appendage to Margelan by the Russians. It was named New Margelan renamed Skobelev in 1907 after the first Russian military governor of Fergana Valley. In 1924, after the Bolshevik reconquest of the region from basmachi rebels, the name was changed to Fergana, after the province of which it was the centre; the industrial base of Fergana was developed in the 20th century. Industry in the city included a nitric fertiliser plant; some of the industrial development was a result of Evacuation in the Soviet Union during World War II. Fergana has been a center for oil production in the Fergana Valley since the region's first oil refinery was built near the city in 1908. Since more refineries have been added, Fergana is one of the most important centers of oil refining in Uzbekistan. Natural gas from western Uzbekistan is transported by pipeline to the valley, where it is used to manufacture fertilizer; the Great Fergana Canal, built entirely by hand during the 1930s, passes through the northern part of the city and completed in 1939.
During its construction, the canal and the city was photographed by the noted photographer Max Penson. With a western loan Fergana is able to modernize its refinery and reduce air pollution emissions. Fergana has a cold desert climate. Winters are cool and short, with a daily average low temperature of −2.8 °C and a daily average high of 4.6 °C in January. Annual precipitation is less than 200mm, is higher in winter and autumn; the population of Fergana was 227,000 as of January 2007. Tajiks and Uzbeks are the largest ethnic groups, with Russian-speakers comprising about 25% of the city's population. Fergana’s wide, orderly tree-sh
Mineralogy is a subject of geology specializing in the scientific study of the chemistry, crystal structure, physical properties of minerals and mineralized artifacts. Specific studies within mineralogy include the processes of mineral origin and formation, classification of minerals, their geographical distribution, as well as their utilization. Early writing on mineralogy on gemstones, comes from ancient Babylonia, the ancient Greco-Roman world and medieval China, Sanskrit texts from ancient India and the ancient Islamic World. Books on the subject included the Naturalis Historia of Pliny the Elder, which not only described many different minerals but explained many of their properties, Kitab al Jawahir by Persian scientist Al-Biruni; the German Renaissance specialist Georgius Agricola wrote works such as De re metallica and De Natura Fossilium which began the scientific approach to the subject. Systematic scientific studies of minerals and rocks developed in post-Renaissance Europe; the modern study of mineralogy was founded on the principles of crystallography and to the microscopic study of rock sections with the invention of the microscope in the 17th century.
Nicholas Steno first observed the law of constancy of interfacial angles in quartz crystals in 1669. This was generalized and established experimentally by Jean-Baptiste L. Romé de l'Islee in 1783. René Just Haüy, the "father of modern crystallography", showed that crystals are periodic and established that the orientations of crystal faces can be expressed in terms of rational numbers, as encoded in the Miller indices. In 1814, Jöns Jacob Berzelius introduced a classification of minerals based on their chemistry rather than their crystal structure. William Nicol developed the Nicol prism, which polarizes light, in 1827–1828 while studying fossilized wood. James D. Dana published his first edition of A System of Mineralogy in 1837, in a edition introduced a chemical classification, still the standard. X-ray diffraction was demonstrated by Max von Laue in 1912, developed into a tool for analyzing the crystal structure of minerals by the father/son team of William Henry Bragg and William Lawrence Bragg.
More driven by advances in experimental technique and available computational power, the latter of which has enabled accurate atomic-scale simulations of the behaviour of crystals, the science has branched out to consider more general problems in the fields of inorganic chemistry and solid-state physics. It, retains a focus on the crystal structures encountered in rock-forming minerals. In particular, the field has made great advances in the understanding of the relationship between the atomic-scale structure of minerals and their function. To this end, in their focus on the connection between atomic-scale phenomena and macroscopic properties, the mineral sciences display more of an overlap with materials science than any other discipline. An initial step in identifying a mineral is to examine its physical properties, many of which can be measured on a hand sample; these can be classified into density. Hardness is determined by comparison with other minerals. In the Mohs scale, a standard set of minerals are numbered in order of increasing hardness from 1 to 10.
A harder mineral will scratch a softer, so an unknown mineral can be placed in this scale by which minerals it scratches and which scratch it. A few minerals such as calcite and kyanite have a hardness that depends on direction. Hardness can be measured on an absolute scale using a sclerometer. Tenacity refers to the way a mineral behaves when it is broken, bent or torn. A mineral can be brittle, sectile, flexible or elastic. An important influence on tenacity is the type of chemical bond. Of the other measures of mechanical cohesion, cleavage is the tendency to break along certain crystallographic planes, it is described by the orientation of the plane in crystallographic nomenclature. Parting is the tendency to break along planes of weakness due to twinning or exsolution. Where these two kinds of break do not occur, fracture is a less orderly form that may be conchoidal, splintery, hackly, or uneven. If the mineral is well crystallized, it will have a distinctive crystal habit that reflects the crystal structure or internal arrangement of atoms.
It is affected by crystal defects and twinning. Many crystals are polymorphic, having more than
The Ural Mountains, or the Urals, are a mountain range that runs from north to south through western Russia, from the coast of the Arctic Ocean to the Ural River and northwestern Kazakhstan. The mountain range forms part of the conventional boundary between the continents of Europe and Asia. Vaygach Island and the islands of Novaya Zemlya form a further continuation of the chain to the north into the Arctic Ocean; the mountains lie within the Ural geographical region and overlap with the Ural Federal District and with the Ural economic region. They have rich resources, including metal ores and precious and semi-precious stones. Since the 18th century the mountains have contributed to the mineral sector of the Russian economy; as attested by Sigismund von Herberstein, in the 16th century Russians called the range by a variety of names derived from the Russian words for rock and belt. The modern Russian name for the Urals, first appearing in the 16th–17th century when the Russian conquest of Siberia was in its heroic phase, was applied to its southern parts and gained currency as the name of the entire range during the 18th century.
It might have been a borrowing from Ob-Ugric. From the 13th century, in Bashkortostan there has been a legend about a hero named Ural, he sacrificed his life for the sake of his people and they poured a stone pile over his grave, which turned into the Ural Mountains. Possibilities include Bashkir үр "elevation. N. Tatischev believes that this oronym is set to "belt" and associates it with the Turkic verb oralu- "gird". I. G. Dobrodomov suggests a transition from Aral to Ural explained on the basis of ancient Bulgar-Chuvash dialects. Geographer E. V. Hawks believes; the Evenk geographical term era "mountain" has been theorized. Finno-Ugrist scholars consider Ural deriving from the Ostyak word urr meaning "chain of mountains". Turkologists, on the other hand, have achieved majority support for their assertion that'ural' in Tatar means a belt, recall that an earlier name for the range was'stone belt'; as Middle-Eastern merchants traded with the Bashkirs and other people living on the western slopes of the Ural as far north as Great Perm, since at least the 10th century medieval mideastern geographers had been aware of the existence of the mountain range in its entirety, stretching as far as to the Arctic Ocean in the north.
The first Russian mention of the mountains to the east of the East European Plain is provided by the Primary Chronicle, when it describes the Novgorodian expedition to the upper reaches of the Pechora in 1096. During the next few centuries Novgorodians engaged in fur trading with the local population and collected tribute from Yugra and Great Perm expanding southwards; the rivers Chusovaya and Belaya were first mentioned in the chronicles of 1396 and 1468, respectively. In 1430 the town of Solikamsk was founded on the Kama at the foothills of the Ural, where salt was produced in open pans. Ivan III of Moscow captured Perm and Yugra from the declining Novgorod Republic in 1472. With the excursions of 1483 and 1499–1500 across the Ural Moscow managed to subjugate Yugra completely. Around that time early 16th century Polish geographer Maciej of Miechów in his influential Tractatus de duabus Sarmatiis argued that there were no mountains in Eastern Europe at all, challenging the point of view of some authors of Classical antiquity, popular during the Renaissance.
Only after Sigismund von Herberstein in his Notes on Muscovite Affairs had reported, following Russian sources, that there are mountains behind the Pechora and identified them with the Ripheans and Hyperboreans of ancient authors, did the existence of the Ural, or at least of its northern part, become established in the Western geography. The Middle and Southern Ural were still unavailable and unknown to the Russian or Western European geographers. In the 1550s, after the Tsardom of Russia had defeated the Khanate of Kazan and proceeded to annex the lands of the Bashkirs, the Russians reached the southern part of the mountain chain. In 1574 they founded Ufa; the upper reaches of the Kama and Chusovaya in the Middle Ural, still unexplored, as well as parts of Transuralia still held by the hostile Siberian Khanate, were granted to the Stroganovs by several decrees of the tsar in 1558–1574. The Stroganovs' land provided the staging ground for Yermak's incursion into Siberia. Yermak crossed the Ural from the Chusovaya to the Tagil around 1581.
In 1597 Babinov's road was built across the Ural from Solikamsk to the valley of the Tura, where the town of Verkhoturye was founded in 1598. Customs was established in Verkhoturye shortly thereafter and the road was made the only legal connection between European Russia and Siberia for a long time. In 1648 the town of Kungur was founded at the western foothills of the Middle Ural. During the 17th century the first deposits of iron and copper ores, mica and other minerals were discovered in the Ural. Iron and copper smelting works emerged, they multiplied quickly during the reign of Peter I of Russia. In 1720–1722 he commissioned Vasily Tatishchev to oversee and develop the mining and smelting works in the Ural. Tatishchev proposed a new copper smelting factory in Yegoshikha, which would become the core of the city of Perm and a new iron smelting factory on the Iset, which would become the largest in the
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician who led the Soviet Union from the mid–1920s until 1953 as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Premier. While presiding over a collective leadership as first among equals, he consolidated enough power to become the country's de facto dictator by the 1930s. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin helped to formalise these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies became known as Stalinism. Born to a poor family in Gori, Russian Empire, Stalin joined the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party as a youth, he edited the party's newspaper and raised funds for Vladimir Lenin's Bolshevik faction via robberies and protection rackets. Arrested, he underwent several internal exiles. After the Bolsheviks seized power during the 1917 October Revolution and created a one-party state under Lenin's newly renamed Communist Party, Stalin joined its governing Politburo.
Serving in the Russian Civil War before overseeing the Soviet Union's establishment in 1922, Stalin assumed leadership over the country following Lenin's 1924 death. During Stalin's rule, "Socialism in One Country" became a central tenet of the party's dogma. Under the Five-Year Plans, the country underwent agricultural collectivisation and rapid industrialization, creating a centralized command economy; this led to significant disruptions in food production that contributed to the famine of 1932–33. To eradicate accused "enemies of the working class", Stalin instituted the "Great Purge", in which over a million were imprisoned and at least 700,000 executed between 1934 and 1939. By 1937, he had complete personal control over the state. Stalin's government promoted Marxism–Leninism abroad through the Communist International and supported anti-fascist movements throughout Europe during the 1930s in the Spanish Civil War. In 1939, it signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany, resulting in the Soviet invasion of Poland.
Germany ended the pact by invading the Soviet Union in 1941. Despite initial setbacks, the Soviet Red Army repelled the German incursion and captured Berlin in 1945, ending World War II in Europe; the Soviets annexed the Baltic states and helped establish Soviet-aligned governments throughout Central and Eastern Europe and North Korea. The Soviet Union and the United States emerged from the war as the two world superpowers. Tensions arose between the Soviet-backed Eastern Bloc and U. S.-backed Western Bloc which became known as the Cold War. Stalin led his country through its post-war reconstruction, during which it developed a nuclear weapon in 1949. In these years, the country experienced another major famine and an anti-semitic campaign peaking in the Doctors' plot. Stalin died in 1953. Considered one of the 20th century's most significant figures, Stalin was the subject of a pervasive personality cult within the international Marxist–Leninist movement which revered him as a champion of the working class and socialism.
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Stalin has retained popularity in Russia and Georgia as a victorious wartime leader who established the Soviet Union as a major world power. Conversely, his totalitarian government has been condemned for overseeing mass repressions, ethnic cleansing, hundreds of thousands of executions, famines which killed millions. Stalin was born in the Georgian town of Gori on 18 December 1878, he was the son of Besarion "Beso" Jughashvili and Ekaterine "Keke" Geladze, who had married in May 1872, had lost two sons in infancy prior to Stalin's birth. They were ethnically Georgian, Stalin grew up speaking the Georgian language. Gori was part of the Russian Empire, was home to a population of 20,000, the majority of whom were Georgian but with Armenian and Jewish minorities. Stalin was baptised on 29 December, he was nicknamed "Soso", a diminutive of "Ioseb". Besarion owned his own workshop; the family found themselves living in poverty, moving through nine different rented rooms in ten years.
Besarion became an alcoholic, drunkenly beat his wife and son. To escape the abusive relationship, Keke took Stalin and moved into the house of a family friend, Fr. Christopher Charkviani, she worked as launderer for local families sympathetic to her plight. Keke was determined to send her son to school, something that none of the family had achieved. In late 1888, aged 10 Stalin enrolled at the Gori Church School; this was reserved for the children of clergy, although Charkviani ensured that the boy received a place. Stalin excelled academically, displaying talent in painting and drama classes, writing his own poetry, singing as a choirboy, he got into many fights, a childhood friend noted that Stalin "was the best but the naughtiest pupil" in the class. Stalin faced several severe health problems. Aged 12, he was injured after being hit by a phaeton, the cause of a lifelong disability to his left arm. At his teachers' recommendation, Stalin proceeded to the Spiritual Seminary in Tiflis, he enrolled at the school in August 1894, enabled by a scholarship that allowed him to study at a reduced rate.
Here he joined 600 trainee priests who boarded at the semina
The Altai Mountains spelled Altay Mountains, are a mountain range in Central and East Asia, where Russia, China and Kazakhstan come together, are where the rivers Irtysh and Ob have their headwaters. The massif merges with the Sayan Mountains in the northwest, becomes lower in the southeast, where it and merges into the high plateau of the Gobi Desert, it spans from about 45° to 52° N and from about 84° to 99° E. The region is inhabited by a sparse but ethnically diverse population, including Russians, Kazakhs and Mongolians; the local economy is based on bovine and horse husbandry, agriculture and mining. The now-disputed Altaic language family takes its name from this mountain range; the mountains are called Altain nuruu in Khalkha Mongolian, altai-yin niruɣu in Chakhar Mongolian, Altay tuular in the Altay language. They are called Altai’ tay’lary in Kazakh; the name comes from the word alt that means "gold" in Mongolic languages and the -tai suffix that means "with". That matches their old Chinese name 金山 "Gold Mountain".
The word for "gold" is altın in Turkic languages. In the north of the region is the Sailughem Mountains known as Kolyvan Altai, which stretch northeast from 49° N and 86° E towards the western extremity of the Sayan Mountains in 51° 60' N and 89° E, their mean elevation is 1,500 to 1,750 m. The snow-line runs at 2,000 m on the northern side and at 2,400 m on the southern, above it the rugged peaks tower some 1,000 m higher. Mountain passes across the range are few and difficult, the chief being the Ulan-daban at 2,827 m, the Chapchan-daban, at 3,217 m, in the south and north respectively. On the east and southeast this range is flanked by the great plateau of Mongolia, the transition being effected by means of several minor plateaus, such as Ukok with Pazyryk Valley, Kendykty, and; this region is studded with large lakes, e.g. Uvs 720 m above sea level, Khyargas and Khar 1,170 m, traversed by various mountain ranges, of which the principal are the Tannu-Ola Mountains, running parallel with the Sayan Mountains as far east as the Kosso-gol, the Khan Khökhii mountains stretching west and east.
The north western and northern slopes of the Sailughem Mountains are steep and difficult to access. On this side lies the highest summit of the range, the double-headed Belukha, whose summits reach 4,506 and 4,440 m and give origin to several glaciers. Altaians call it Kadyn Bazhy, but is called Uch-Sumer; the second highest peak of the range is in Mongolian part named Khüiten Peak. This massive peak reaches 4374 m. Numerous spurs, striking in all directions from the Sailughem mountains, fill up the space between that range and the lowlands of Tomsk; such are the Chuya Alps, having an average elevation of 2,700 m, with summits from 3,500 to 3,700 m, at least ten glaciers on their northern slope. Several secondary plateaus of lower elevations are distinguished by geographers, The Katun Valley begins as a wild gorge on the south-west slope of Belukha; the Katun and the Biya together form the Ob. The next valley is that of the Charysh, which has the Korgon and Tigeretsk Alps on one side and the Talitsk and Bashalatsk Alps on the other.
This, too, is fertile. The Altai, seen from this valley, presents the most romantic scenes, including the small but deep Kolyvan Lake, surrounded by fantastic granite domes and towers. Farther west the valleys of the Uba, the Ulba and the Bukhtarma open south-westwards towards the Irtysh; the lower part of the first, like the lower valley of the Charysh, is thickly populated. The valley of the Bukhtarma, which has a length of 320 km has its origin at the foot of the Belukha and the Kuitun peaks, as it falls some 1,500 m in about 300 km, from an alpine plateau at an elevation of 1,900 m to the Bukhtarma fortress, it offers the most striking contrasts of landscape and vegetation, its upper parts abound in glaciers, the best known of, the Berel, which comes down from the Byelukha. On the northern side of the range which separates the upper Bukhtarma from the upper Katun is the Katun glacier, which after two ice-falls widens out to 700 to 900 metres. From a grotto in this glacier bursts tumultuously the Katun river.
The middle and lower parts of the Bukhtarma valley have been colonized since the 18th century by runaway Russian peasants and religious schismatics, who created a free republic there on Chinese territory. The high valleys farther north, on the same western face of the Sailughem range, are but little known, their only visitors being Kyrgyz shepherds; those o