Pevtsov, Mikhail

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pevtsov, Mikhail Vasil’evich


Born May 21 (June 2), 1843, in Novgorod Province; died Feb. 25 (Mar. 10), 1902, in St. Petersburg. Russian traveler, explorer of Central Asia. Major general.

Pevtsov graduated from the Academy of the General Staff in St. Petersburg in 1872. From 1875 to 1886 he taught geography at the Siberian Cadet Corps in Omsk, the city that was the starting point of his first two journeys. During his journey to Dzungaria in 1876, he produced a map with a scale of 40 versts (1.07 km) to an inch. In 1878 and 1879 he went across Mongolia, through the Gobi desert, to Kalgan, traveling about 4,000 km through unexplored areas. He plotted these areas on a map and compiled a detailed geographical description.

In 1889 and 1890, Pevtsov made his most important expedition, to Kashgaria and Kunlun. Together with his assistants, N. M. Przheval’skii’s students P. K. Kozlov and V. I. Roborov-skii, and also the geologist K. I. Bogdanovich, Pevtsov surveyed a distance of more than 10,000 km and produced a map of Eastern Turkestan and the northern borders of the Tibetan Highland, using a scale of 100 versts to an inch. In 1890 the expedition discovered the Toksun Basin, the western part of the Turfan Basin. The method Pevtsov developed for determining geographic latitude from observations of two stars at equal altitudes came to be used in geodesy. A glacier in the Altai is named after Pevtsov.


Puteshestvie po Kitaiu i Mongolii. Moscow, 1951. (Contains bibliography.)
Puteshestvie v Kashgariiu i Kun’-Lun’. Moscow, 1949.


Selikhanovich, V. G. M. V. Pevtsov: Puteshestvennik, geograf i astronom. Moscow, 1956.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.