The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a village (from 1780 to 1926, a city) and the administrative center of Narovchat Raion, Penza Oblast, RSFSR; it is situated 15 km from the Samaevka railroad station (on the Riazan’-Ruzaevka line). Narovchat was the birthplace of the writer A. I. Kuprin. In the 14th century, the Golden Horde city of Naruchad’ occupied the present site of Narovchat. Judging by the coins minted in Naruchad’, the city had a second name, Mokhshi, and was a center of an ulus (appanage).

Archaeological excavations were conducted in Narovchat in the 1920’s by A. A. Krotkov and from 1959 to 1963 by A. E. Alikhova. The excavations revealed remains of a mosque, public baths with water pipes, dwellings with an underground heating system, and potter’s kilns. The ruins of large mausoleums were found on the site of a Muslim cemetery. Various utensils and artifacts were also discovered. On the outskirts of Narovchat, in the former sloboda (tax-exempt settlement) of Staraia Sotnia, a Moksha burial dating from the 13th or 14th century has been investigated.


Krotkov, A. A. “K voprosu o severnykh ulusakh Zolotoordynskogo khanstva.” Izvestiia Obshchestva obsledovaniia i izucheniia Azerbaidzhana, 1927, no. 5.
Lebedev, V. I. Zagadochnyi gorod Mokhshi. Penza, 1958.
Alikhova, A.E. “Starosotenskii mogil’nik.” In Arkheologicheskii sbor-nik, vol. 1. Saransk, 1948.
Alikhova, A.E. “Mavzolei goroda Mokhshi-Narovchata.” Sovetskaia arkheologiia, 1973, no. 2.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.