- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
229

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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FROM SUMAROKOVA TO YENISEISK
229
side and follow the course of the river southward, and
the land on that side therefore rises suddenly to an
unusual height. The east side is here much lower and
flatter ; but there, too, a ridge extends southward a
little way inland, joining the river farther south, where
the latter makes a bend at right angles. Here the other
bank again becomes low, as the ridge southward from
Sumarokova goes on in a southerly direction inland,
and no doubt extends towards the hills at the rapids to
the south.
As far as I could see at a distance, these ridges con
sist to some extent of loose material. There were great
landslips of sand in many places along their sides ; and
small streams had dug out deep channels or little
valleys with fresh landslips down the slopes. And
there was nothing but sand and clay to be seen any
where. But probably this is only on the outside, and
one would doubtless come upon beds of rock by going
far enough into them.
Wc passed the Podkåmennaya Tunguska (i.e. the
Tunguska below the mountains), where the gold country
begins. Along this river inland towards the mountains
on the east and southward on the east side of the
Yenisei, is the richest goldfield in this part of Siberia.
From what Vostrotin, who has gold-mines of his own,
told me gold was first discovered near the Angarå in
1838, and also farther north in the forties. There is a
story that the first grains of gold were found by natives
in the crop of a capercailzie. There was soon a rush of
people who came to wash gold along all the rivers.
At first they came from the Ural, and then from Peters
burg and the whole of Russia. In one district 20,000
poods (320 tons) are said to have been got out, and in
another 18,000 poods (288 tons) ; together 38,000 poods
(608 tons) of gold in the two richest Yenisei districts.

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