Imperiia: a spatial history of the Russian Empire

A policy of neglect

Potemkin was not the only man with opinions on this topic. Some shared the prince's taste for the classical era. Peter Simon Pallas, the famous naturalist, described his scramble over the narrow cliffs at Dziva Rock and Kuchuk Issar, and his subsequent exuberance at the discovery of an ancient ruin in a level clearing. He marveled at the white marble column standing in a glen and at the ignorance of the "superstitious natives" who chipped off small pieces and ground them into a fine dust to be consumed for purposes unknown to Pallas.

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