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A Great Current
Running: The
U.S.-Russian Lena
River Expedition
With Lena Reunion


Overview | Maps | Environment | Archaeology | Peoples | Siberian Context

The Lena River rises in the mountains just west of Lake Baikal and flows north and east for 2,800 miles to the Arctic Ocean.  One of the world's longest rivers, it is the western border of Northeast Siberia. The Lena River's delta is critical breeding habitat for many birds. The river has been a key conduit for people and cultural diffusion for millennia, and the Dyuktai culture was discovered there. Native peoples are Evenks, Yakuts.

Use these resources to explore the environment, peoples and cultures of the Lena River.

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The Siberian BAM
Guide: Rail, Rivers
& Road: NE Russia's
Siberian BAM
Railway, Lena River
& Kolyma Highway


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Yakutia before its
incorporation into
the Russian state
(Anthropology of the
North: translations
from Russian sources


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Songs and Dances
from Yakutia

Music CD


Click link to order The History Atlas of Asia
The History Atlas
of Asia


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The Forested Taiga:
A Web of Life
(World of Biomes)


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Soul of Yakutia
Music CD


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The Forgotten
Peoples of Siberia


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The Shaman's Coat:
A Native History
of Siberia


Clink link to order A History of the Peoples of Siberia
A History of the Peoples of Siberia:
Russia's North Asian
Colony 1581-1990


Lena River: Overview   [ Top ]

Lena River: key facts about this river that flows north through Sakha, formerly called Yakutia

Lena River & Delta: a detailed description of the course of the Lena River from its source in the mountains west of Lake Baikal through the taiga forest to its wide delta, with graphics

Lena River - origin of its name and the possibility that it once flowed out of the west side of Lake Baikal before the Baikal Mountains rose

Lena River: description, tributaries, delta, ice conditions, photos, and Lena River locations

Aldan River: a major Lena River tributary, with photos

Yakutia Photogallery: with flora, fauna, nature and countryside, people

Yakutsk: capital of Sakha, "city of gold and diamonds," on the Lena, and diamond mining in Sakha, a vast area with just one million people

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Siberian Village:
Land and Life in
the Sakha Republic

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Russia's Diamond Colony: The
Republic of Sakha

Yakutsk: a profile, including parallels with Alaska, and more on Yakutsk from the first Russian fort built in 1632 to the city's role today as an administrative, scientific and cultural center with academies, museums, universities, more

Sakha Republic: an introduction, and another profile of Sakha or Yakutia, and an in-depth look at the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) is a vast region about the size of India that has experienced population changes as the original hunting and fishing peoples such as the Yukagir encountered peoples such as the horse and cattle-breeding Yakuts or Sakha from the south

Lena River Region Maps   [ Top ]

Map of Lena River Watershed: with details on its size

Map of Lena River Region: river flows north, swings east toward the Sea of Okhotsk, then north again, with Yakutsk marked with a star

Map of Yakutia: the Lena flows through the heart of Sakha/Yakutia, and another Yakutia map showing nature preserves, key rivers, cities, and the region's transportion on a map

Map of Russia & Siberia: with, west to east, the Ob, Irtysh and Lena Rivers as well as Lake Baikal, the Amur River and Bering Strait

Map of Central Siberia including Yakutia and the region in Eurasia

Lake Baikal Map:  showing Lena River headwaters north of Olkhon Island, with inset map showing location of Lake Baikal north of Mongolia

Baikal map with the region's major rivers shown including the Angara, the Lena, the Uda and Selenga

Lena River Environment, Wildlife   [ Top ]

Baikalo-Lensky Zapovednik: in this nature preserve on the north and west sides of Lake Baikal, the Lena River has its source. Details on the trees of the taiga, animals, Lena tributaries. Map, photographs. Learn more about Lake Baikal.

Olekminsky Zapovednik: only nature preserve in Yakutia has as its largest river the Olekma, a Lena tributary.  Wildlife includes moose, reindeer, musk deer, wolf, red fox, lynx, wolverine, sable.  Map, photographs.

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Taiga (Biomes
of the World)

Yakutia Environment including geography, climate, rivers such as the Lena, Indigirka, Kolyma; the East Siberian Taiga, the larch forests between the Yenisei and Lena Rivers, and around Baikal; and the Siberian tundra

Lena River seen from space: photos show it frozen on May 21, 2001, flooding seven days later, and photo of Upper Lena River.

Lena River Delta: in this region 250 miles wide, many migratory birds breed each summer, and more on the Lena River Delta, the largest Arctic river delta in the world, with 150 branches

Lena River Delta seen from space: with the many branches visible in this vivid, false color photograph

Ust-Lensky or Lena River Delta Region: second largest river delta in the world, vital breeding grounds for migratory birds in the summer, home year round to polar bear and Arctic Fox. Map, photos, many facts.

Salmon species shared across the North Pacific Rim include the chum or dog salmon ranging from California to Japan, east to the Mackenzie River and west to the Lena River, and the pink or humpback with the same range

Lena River Peoples   [ Top ]

Reindeer People of Siberia include the Yakut of the Lena River, Yakutia or Sakha, with a map showing location of peoples

Yakuts of the Lena River:  their recent history, and Yakutsk, a modern Russian city on the river, article from 1991

Yakut People: their origin and recent history, and a look at Sakha, formerly Yakutia

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Tuva, Among The Spirits:
Sound, Music And Nature
In Sakha And Tuva

Yukaghirs: once a numerous hunting and fishing people whose lands stretched from the Lena to the Anadyr, but now intermixed with the Evenk and substantially reduced in number

Yukagir: an ancient Siberian people, western neighbors of the Chukchi, and a short history of the Yukagir who once occupied a vast region, including their contacts with the Sakha or Yakuts and with the Russians

Evenk or Evenki: perhaps established through intermixing of Tungus and Yukagir before the Russians arrived, with 50 percent in Sakha

Timetable for Siberia & Scandinavia: in the 1630s, Russian explorers crossed the Lena River into northeast Siberia, and in 1633 established an ostrog or fort at what is today Yakutsk on the Lena River

Yakutia's Diverse Populations Today: including the native peoples of the north including Evenk, Even, Yukagir, Chukchi in various districts

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Shamanic Worlds:
Rituals and Lore
of Siberia and
Central Asia

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East of the Sun:
The Epic Conquest
and Tragic History
of Siberia


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Tent Life
in Siberia


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Spirit of Siberia:
Traditional Native Life,
Clothing and Footwear


Clink link to order The Palaeolithic of Siberia
The Paleolithic
of Siberia


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Arctic Adaptations:
Native Whalers &
Reindeer Herders
of Northern Eurasia

including Chukchi


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The Chukchi


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People and the
Land: Pathways
to Reform in
Post-Soviet Siberia


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Gaining Ground?
Evenkis, Land
and Reform in
Southeast Siberia

Lena River Region Archaeology   [ Top ]

Archaeology of Siberia: key Palaeolithic sites such as Mal'ta & Buret near Irkutsk, with rich finds, more on Malta, plus Tolbaga in Transbaikal

Diring Yuriakh site on a plateau above the Lena River, near Yakutsk, suggested human occupation a startling 300,000 years ago

Dyuktai Culture: this stone age culture, with wedge-shaped cores and microblades, was named for discoveries at Dyuktai Cave in Yakutia

Ice Age Siberia - Land of Wonders and Early Archaeological Sites on a map with four sites, Ikhine, Ust-Mil, Verhne-Troitskoe and Duktaiskaya or Dyuktai Cave, all on the Aldan River, a major Lena tributary

star-red.gif (881 bytes) Ice Age or Paleolithic Siberia: in-depth guide

Siberian Paleolithic's well known sites such as Kara Bom, 43,000 BP;
Mal'ta and Buret, dated to 23,000 BP, Studenoe 2 to 17,900 BP

Baikal Archaeology Project: the Kitoi and Serovo-Glazkovo Neolithic cultures over 9,000 years old, with the theory that the latter hunted the nerpa or baikal seal, plus research abstracts on topics including origins of Kitoi Culture, coastal-inland trading networks, more

Studying Ancient Peoples & Cultures at Lake Baikal, and ancient artifacts discovered: bone beads, bracelets of sea shells, green nephrite pendants

Rock Art in Russian Far East & Siberia: a window on ancient cultures in the Amur and Lena River regions and Lake Baikal area, and comparison of Siberian native art from the Amur River, Chukotka areas

"Molecular Genetic Diversity of Indigenous Siberians: Implications for Ancient DNA Studies of Cis-Baikal Archeological Populations" - mtDNA haplogroups for Kitoi, Serovo-Glazkovo peoples, Theodore G. Schurr, 2004

Zhokov Island Site: now one of the New Siberian Islands off the coast and east of the Lena River Delta, this site of ancient reindeer and polar bear hunters was once part of the mainland

Lena River in a Siberian Context   [ Top ]

star-red.gif (881 bytes) Siberia's Land & Cultures: in-depth guide

Map of Aboriginal Peoples of Siberia: including Paleo-Siberian, Altaic,  and Uralic, with main rivers including the Lena, Yenisei and Ob

Red Book of the Peoples of the Russian Empire: info on 85 peoples of Russia and Siberia, Chukchi, Koryak, Itelmen, Eskimo, Yukagir, Evenks

star-red.gif (881 bytes) Chukchi & Neighbors:  the people and their environment

Crossroads of Continents Exhibit: Siberia
& Alaska
- meet the Chukchi, Koryak, Even,
Amur River people in Siberia, Eskimo,

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Crossroads Alaska:
Native Cultures of
Alaska and Siberia

Information about Siberia: size, geography, history, climate, and more about Siberia's regions, culture, peoples, economy, history, more

Geography of Russia: map shows Siberia as about two-thirds of Russia with text covering land forms, climate, vegetation, population, and more on Siberia's taiga and tundra, home to reindeer hunters and herders

Map of Russia & Siberia: mountain ranges, plains, cities, with Lake Baikal and Lena River in context, and a map of Russia & Siberia showing, west to east, the Ob, Irtysh, Lena Rivers, Lake Baikal, Amur River, Bering Strait

Click link to order Baikal: Sacred Sea of Siberia
Baikal: Sacred
Sea of Siberia

Lake Baikal


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Around the Sacred
Sea:  Mongolia
and Lake Baikal
on Horseback


Lake Baikal in Brief:   [ Top ]

Lena River rises in the Baikal mountains just west of Lake Baikal, then flows north and east to the Arctic Ocean. Tributaries include the Aldan, Vitim

Baikal Web World: in-depth look at Lake Baikal with facts, history, maps, and Lake Baikal Homepage: with photos, maps, links, more

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Lake Baikal

Baikal - The Pearl of Siberia: a gem in Siberia's vast taiga forest

star-red.gif (881 bytes) Lake Baikal - Blue Eye of Siberia: an in-depth guide

Facts about Lake Baikal:  beauty, size, origin, wildlife and sources for its name, plus FAQ for Lake Baikal & Angara River

Peoples of Lake Baikal: Buryat, Evenk and Russian settlers, and the region's archaeological sites

Fact Sheet on Baikal Geography: a wealth of data on the lake's length, width, depth, surface area, latitude, longiture, much more

Physical features of Lake Baikal: plus climate, flora, fauna, as well as the six major rivers flowing into the lake: Selenga, Chikoy, Khilok, Uda, Barguzin and Upper Angara rivers

Animals of Lake Baikal and a large photo of the distinctive Baikal seals by the name of nerpa and a Lake Baikal photogallery

Clink link to order Antler on the Sea
Antler on the Sea:
The Yup'ik and
Chukchi of the
Russian Far East

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Shyaan Am!:
Tuvan Folk Tales


Clink link to order Drawing Shadows to Stone
Drawing Shadows to Stone:
Photography of the Jesup
North Pacific Expedition

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Ainu: Spirit of a
Northern People


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Siberia, Siberia

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In Siberia

.Clink link to order Siberian Light
Siberian Light

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Siberia Bound: Chasing
the American Dream
on Russia's Wild Frontier

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Raven and the
Rock: Storytelling
in Chukotka


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The Forgotten
Peoples of Siberia


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