Map of Russia - Arkhangelsk Oblast (2008-03).svg
Arkhangelsk (Russian: Арха́нгельск, IPA: ), also known in English as Archangel and Archangelsk, is a city and the administrative center of Arkhangelsk Oblast, in the north of European Russia. It lies on both banks of the Northern Dvina River near its exit into the White Sea. The city spreads for over 40 kilometers (25 mi) along the banks of the river and numerous islands of its delta. Arkhangelsk was the chief seaport of medieval and early modern Russia until 1703. A 1,133-kilometer-long (704 mi) railway runs from Arkhangelsk to Moscow via Vologda and Yaroslavl, and air travel is served by the Talagi Airport and a smaller Vaskovo Airport. As of the 2010 Census, the city's population was 348,783, down from 356,051 recorded in the 2002 Census, and further down from 415,921 recorded in the 1989 Census.

The arms of the city display the Archangel Michael in the act of slaying the Devil. Legend states that this victory took place near where the city stands, hence its name, and that Michael still stands watch over the city to prevent the Devil's return.

Vikings knew the area around Arkhangelsk as Bjarmaland. Ohthere of Hålogaland told circa 890 of his travels in an area by a river and the White Sea with many buildings. This was probably the place later known as Arkhangelsk. According to Snorri Sturluson, Vikings led by Thorir Hund raided this area in 1027.

In 1989, an unusually impressive silver treasure was found through local farm workers by the mouth of Dvina, right next to present-day Arkhangelsk. It was probably buried in the beginning of the 12th century, and contained articles that may have been up to two hundred years old at that time.

Most of the findings comprised a total of 1.6 kilograms (3.5 lb) of silver, largely in the form of coins. Jewelry and pieces of jewelry come from Russia or neighboring areas. The majority of the coins were German, but the hoard also included a smaller number of Kufan, English, Bohemian, Hungarian, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian coins.

It is hard to place this find historically until further research is completed. There are at least two possible interpretations. It may be a treasure belonging to the society outlined by the Norse source material. Generally such finds, whether from Scandinavia, the Baltic area, or Russia, are closely tied to well-established agricultural societies with considerable trade activity.

This page was last edited on 15 March 2018, at 05:06.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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