Sennar’s gold: Egypt and Sudan through the eyes of a 19th century Ural gold miner

Aleksey Valer'evich Antoshin, Evgenij Jur'evich Rukosuev, Sergej Viktorovich Smirnov


Aleksey Antoshin, professor of history at Ural Federal University, has published a new book, The Gold of Sennar. The work is based on the diary of Ivan Trofimovich Borodin, a Miass foreman gold miner, which is available at the State Archive of Sverdlovsk Region. Borodin participated in Ye. P. Kovalevsky’s expedition to Eastern Sudan with the intent to discover gold deposits and to manage the mining process in 1847–1848. The expedition was organized by the Russian government at the request of Muhammad Ali of Egypt, who sought additional financial support to modernize the country. In his talk with YevgenyRukosuev, a leading research associate of the Institute of History and Archaeology (Russian Academy of Sciences, Ural branch), and Sergey Smirnov, associate professor of the Chair of Early Modern Period and Contemporary History of Ural Federal University, Aleksey Antoshin discusses a number of aspects of the expedition, as reflected in I. T. Borodin’s diary. The new publication is of significant interest to the reader as the diary illustrates the book’s view that he was a man of the people, and the events described are supplemented with the memoirs of E. P. Kovalevsky and other travelers that visited Egypt and Sudan between the 1830s–1850s (N. N. Muravyov-Karsky, A. A. Rafalovich, A. Norov, A. E. Brem).


Russia; Urals; Egypt; gold mining; expedition of Kovalevsky; Muhammad Ali.

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ISSN 2311-911X (Print)
ISSN 2313-6871 (Online)


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