Ural Mountains

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The Ural Mountains (Russian: Ура́льские го́ры, Uralskiye gory) are a mountain range that runs approximately from north to south through western Russia, from the coast of the Arctic Ocean to the Ural River and northwestern Kazakhstan.[1] Their eastern side is usually considered the natural boundary between Europe and Asia. The mountains lie within the Ural geographical region and significantly overlap with the Ural Federal District and Ural economic region. They are rich in various deposits, including metal ores, coal, precious and semi-precious stones, and since the 18th century have been the major mineral base of Russia.

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Etymology

In Greco-Roman antiquity, Pliny the Elder thought that the Urals correspond to the Riphean Mountains[2][3] mentioned by various authors, including Arabic sources of the 10th century. As attested by Sigismund von Herberstein, in the 16th century Russians called the range by a variety of names derived from the Russian words for rock (stone) and belt. The modern Russian name for the Urals (Урал, Ural), which first appeared in the 16th-17th century, was initially applied to its southern parts and gained currency as the name of the entire range during the 18th century. It might be a borrowing from either Turkic (Bashkir, where the same name is used for the range), or Ob-Ugric.[4] From the 13th century, in Bashkortostan there has been a legend about a hero named Ural. He sacrificed his life for the sake of his people and they poured a stone pile over his grave which later turned into the Ural Mountains.[5][6][7]

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