Don River (Russia)

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The Don (Russian: Дон, IPA: [ˈdon]) is one of the major rivers of Russia. It rises in the town of Novomoskovsk 60 kilometres southeast from Tula, southeast of Moscow, and flows for a distance of about 1,950 kilometres (1,220 mi) to the Sea of Azov.

From its source, the river first flows southeast to Voronezh, then southwest to its mouth. The main city on the river is Rostov on Don, its main tributary, the Donets.

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History

Paleolithic archaeological layers at Kostenki reveal human histories around 40,000 years ago.The lithic industry at that time developed the technology to drill stone.

In antiquity, the river was viewed as the border between Europe and Asia by some ancient Greek geographers.[1] In the Book of Jubilees, it is mentioned as being part of the border, beginning with its easternmost point up to its mouth, between the allotment of Japheth to the north and that of Shem to the south, sons of Noah. During the times of the old Scythians, it was known in Greek as the Tanaïs, and has been a major trading route ever since.

Tanais appears in ancient Greek sources as both the name of the river and of a city on it, situated in the Maeotian marshes. The name derives from Scythian (East Iranian) Dānu "river",[citation needed] akin to Ossetic don "river", and Pashto dand (ډنډ) or dun (depending on dialect) "pond, lake".

The Khazar fortress of Sarkel used to dominate this point in the Middle Ages. This part of the river saw heavy fighting during Operation Uranus, one of the turning points of the Second World War.[citation needed]

The Don Cossacks, who settled the fertile valley of the river in the 16th and 17th centuries, were named for the river. In modern literature, the Don is often featured in the works of Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov, a writer from the stanitsa of Veshenskaya.

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