Pyotr Kozlov

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Kozlov 01.jpg

Pyotr Kuzmich Kozlov (Russian: Пётр Кузьми́ч Козло́в; October 3, 1863 near Smolensk - September 26, 1935, Peterhof) was a Russian explorer who continued the studies of Nikolai Przhevalsky in Mongolia and Tibet.

Although prepared by his parents for military career, Kozlov chose to join Przhevalsky's expedition. After his mentor's death, Kozlov continued travelling in Asia with his successors, Pevtsov and Roborovsky. During 1895, he took general command of the expedition from ailing Roborovsky. From 1899 to 1901 he explored and later described in a book the upper reaches of Huang He, Yangtze, and Mekong rivers.

During the first decade of the 20th century, when the Great Game reached its peak, Kozlov rivalled Sven Hedin and Aurel Stein as the foremost researcher of Xinjiang. Although he was on good terms with Hedin and other foreign explorers, the British government, as represented by George Macartney, monitored his movements across Central Asia. Kozlov's 1905 visit to the Dalai Lama in Urga gave "the British War Office a fright",[1] especially after the Lama declared his intention to "settle within the confines of Russia".[2]

During the expedition of 1907–1909, Kozlov explored the Gobi Desert and discovered remains of Khara-Khoto, a Tangut city ruined by the Ming Chinese during 1372. It took him several years to excavate the site and bring to St. Petersburg no less than 2,000 books in Tangut language he uncovered there. Kozlov described his findings in a bulky volume entitled Mongolia and Amdo and the Dead City of Khara-Khoto (1923).

His last expedition to Mongolia and Tibet (1923-1926) resulted in discovery of an unprecedented number of Xiongnu royal burials at Noin-Ula. After bringing to Petrograd some amazing samples of 2000-year-old Bactrian textiles, Kozlov retired from scientific work and settled in a village near Novgorod.


  1. ^ Palace, Wendy. The British Empire and Tibet, 1900-1922. Routledge, 2005. ISBN 0415346827. Page 71.
  2. ^ Andreyev, Alexandre. Soviet Russia and Tibet: The Debacle of Secret Diplomacy, 1918-1930s. Brill Publishers, 2003. ISBN 9004129529. Page 29.