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 Peter Chikhachev


Born:   16 August 1808
Deceased:   1 November 1890

Peter Chikhachev - a famous Russian traveller and geologist of the 19th century

      

Peter Chikhachev was a famous Russian traveller, geologist, honourable member of the Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1876), and popularizer of natural sciences of the end of 19th century. Travel and written works on Asia Minor brought him high popularity in Europe and reputation of the “Russian Humboldt”.

As a child the future traveller got a high-grade home education, and by the age of 12 he had mastered the German and French languages, and later started to learn Greek and Latin. Peter was so interested in natural sciences that in 1829-1830 he repeatedly left for Western Europe to listen to lectures given by famous scientists. When the traveller got a job in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Petersburg he rapidly started to make progress in career growth; in 1830 he was assigned to a position of an interpreter of the State Board of Foreign Affairs, and directed to the Asian department. Most of his life Chikhachev spent in France.

In 1842 Peter Chikhachev committed an impressive trip to the eastern Altai and also wrote an overview of the vast territory from Ust-Kamenogorsk to Semipalatinsk. One of the Altai Mountains where Chikhachev organized the researches was named after the traveller. After the exploratory trip was over the traveller tried to publish his descriptive works in Russia, but he failed, and left for Paris where in 1845 a book with his works called "Voyage scientifique dans l'Altaï Oriental et les parties adjointes de la frontière de Chine" was published in French with magnificent illustrations by the Russian artist E. Mayer, a participant of the trips, and also by the great Russian artist I. Aivazovsky. The literary talent of Chikhachev, rich content, beauty of the illustrations, and the additional cartographic material made the book a masterpiece of not only Russian but also the world geographical literature of the second half of the 19th century.

Up to now Chikhachev remains one of the most popular Russian travellers in Europe while in Russia they have not even bothered to publish his books and translate them into Russian. In the times of Chikhachev it was natural because all intelligent people could speak French, however, now the works of the famous Russian traveller are still unavailable for common Russian readers.

Later, in 1847-1863 the traveller committed a number of journeys to Asia Minor and devoted 20 years to geological, botanic, zoological, palaeonthological, and archaeological researches. The results of those trips were published eight-volume book called “Asie Mineur”, which was released in 1853-1869. Chikhachev`s classic works included researches in geography, geology, climatology, zoology, botanic, and palaeontology of Asia Minor and were written with the help of some outstanding specialists in various fields of natural sciences. After finishing this work Chikhachev didn’t make an attempt to commit any other journeys due to his old age but kept on his home scientific studies. Peter Chikhachev died in Florence in 1890, at the age of 82.

Source:
    www.ukg.kz
    www.vashpereezd.ru
    www.hrono.ru
Lavrentyeva Natalya


Tags: Peter Chikhachev Russian travellers Russian explorers   




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