Investigations of silver mines in the era of Ivan III

In 1491 the Muscovy state sent its first exploration party attempting to find copper and silver ores in the land of Komi, on river Tsilma. After many centuries, it is hard to separate facts from myths in the history of the Tsilma works. Despite the persistent legend regarding the existence of a copper producing factory, no reliable sources have been found to confirm that copper ores were mined and smelted in the area.

Without a special archeological investigation, it is impossible to date precisely the surviving traces of old mining activities. Some parts of the relief seen as remnants of old mines could also be of natural origin. But there is a documentary record in the chronicles confirming that the party of 1491 did find some ores or presumably precious metals, which marks the attempt as a pioneering event in the history of Russian mining and metallurgy.


Recommended bibliographic description

, Investigations of silver mines in the era of Ivan III, Voprosy Istorii Estestvoznaniia i Tekhniki [Studies in History of Science and Technology], , p.  50-68


    2014 • № 1

    © Studies in the History of Science and Technology: Quarterly scientific journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences (2015)
    ISSN 0205-9606. Индекс 70143